Life passes swiftly, at an increasingly frenetic pace. It’s easy to get caught up in all the drama involved with multi-tasking, responsibilities, and trying to be all things to all people.
Learning how to de-stress is as important to your business as learning how to make money, so don’t neglect it. Pick and choose from these twenty-one ideas to cut down on stress and truly enjoy your life.
- Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are tinctures extracted from flowers and herbs. They taste and smell like the plant itself.
Essential oils can be calming if you choose the right combinations. They can be inhaled or used on the skin or in baths. You can use them in diffuser form or buy essential-oil-scented candles.
Lavender, bergamot, chamomile, rose, and lemongrass are all scents that help destress.
One sniff of your favorite essential oil – a scent that takes you back to a happy memory – and stress will just melt away.
- Use Herbal Teas
Teas are a great way to destress, particularly if you turn a cup of afternoon tea into your own private ritual. Use a beautiful teacup. Buy quality teas from your favorite tea shop.
Invest in sampler packs until you can identify the teas that work best for you.
Try teas such as chamomile, lemon balm, or valerian before bed. In the afternoon, try green teas flavored with your favorite herbs or flowers.
Peppermint tea is not only good for digestion, it acts as a muscle relaxant too.
- Use Music Wisely
Many people find listening to music destresses them, but music has to be used wisely. Listening to stirring music before bed can over-stimulate you. Listening to a gentle relaxation tape while driving a car is not always the best idea, since it can make you drowsy and sleepy.
If neither music nor silence works for you, try using a white noise app while you work.
There’s a genre of music that will help you destress and relax – just experiment till you find the type that works best for you.
- Use a Relaxation App
Here’s where technology comes into its own! If stress is a chronic condition for you, use an app that provides you with instant breathing and relaxation exercises – ones you can do on the spot.
While many people find that reading in bed quickly puts them to sleep, listening to someone read you stories can work even more effectively. If you don’t have someone to actually read to you, try listening to one of your favorite audio books.
Better yet, make it a nightly routine: That way you’re relaxing and creating a new, restful habit at the same time.
- Spring-Clean Your Workspace
There’s some truth to the idea that a disorganized, chaotic environment leads to a disorganized, chaotic mind. But more than that, a chaotic workspace can contribute to feelings of inadequacy, depression, and reinforce the notion that others lead perfect lives – not you. So, clean up your workspace. Throw out, give away or donate everything that doesn’t inspire you or is unnecessary. Polish all your furniture. Put fresh flowers in your home office.
Make sure that your workspace reflects the way you want your business to be. And you may be surprised to discover you’re feeling more positive and energized towards your business.
- Upgrade Your Equipment
We can suffer unnecessary stress from stumbling along with outdated equipment – whether that’s hardware, software, furniture, or anything else in between. If you suffer from chronic backache or you have to lift your arms too high over your keyboard, buy a comfortable new office chair. If you spend hours trying to get your printer to work, just to print out one simple page, then get a new printer. If you’re missing out on easy tracking or other enhanced features in a subscription you have, upgrade to a better version.
You can save significant time, cut down on body aches and pains, and restore both your sanity and confidence when you invest in the right equipment – and yourself!
- Do Something Creative
If you’re really stressed, take a complete break – even if it’s only a short one – and do something creative. Sketch your dog, pick up your knitting, scrapbook a journal cover or write a short story.
You don’t have to take an entire afternoon off. Even if you only allow yourself fifteen minutes of knitting, it will break the cycle of stress and flip your mind into a more relaxed state.
- Get Kinesthetic
Physical activity is a great stress reliever. It’s tactile, setting your brain on autopilot. When the brain engages with a physical task, it stops worrying. So, washing the dishes, running around the block, tidying your office or gardening all work as kinesthetic activities that relieve stress.
- Get a Holistic Treatment
Another great way to relieve stress: Schedule a treatment into your day – one that targets well-being. Try a massage or a Reiki session. Combine the Reiki session with aromatherapy. Get a manicure and pedicure. Have a facial.
Pampering yourself in this way is not self-indulgent: It’s a practical and pleasant way to reduce stress and help you re-center.
- Take Action on Hated Tasks
Is there one task or business activity above all others that is crushing you? Making you procrastinate? Leaving you not wanting to get out of bed? If so, that’s a sure sign you ought to get rid of it, re-think what you’re doing – or tackle it first.
If you find yourself hating one-on-one client work, consider hiring practitioners to do it for you or creating a pre-recorded, online course instead. If bookkeeping is your bugbear, get into the habit of organizing your receipts for your bookkeeper first thing in the morning. If you spend far too many hours writing articles for your blog, outsource it to a competent ghostwriter or copywriter.
The one thing you should NOT do is keep hiding from that task!
- Join a Support Group
There is nothing quite like discovering that others deal with the same issues and problems you do. Whatever area of your life is bothering you, find a specialized support group – even if it’s just a monthly meeting of your local business organization.
Talking to others allows you to vent to those who know what you’re talking about, and you’ll often find you get great ideas and solutions simply listening to their own struggles.
Support groups rub your square corners round, and help you feel part of life again. And sometimes, that is all one needs!
- Do Something You Love on a Regular Basis
Everyone needs something to look forward to on a regular basis. What this does is make it easier to bear other areas of our lives that may not feel so rewarding right now. You lose that “all work, no play” feeling, which in turns cuts down on feeling helpless or victimized. Whatever it is, the regular new activity you choose should be something that really lights up your life and taps right into your dreams.
So, join that writing group, take those horseback riding lessons you’ve always wanted, or take ballet lessons.
- Get it Done First
If you have a habit of putting off unwelcome but necessary tasks until they snowball out of control, put them into your schedule and get them done first every day.
This does require some real resolution, especially if you’ve been in the habit of procrastinating, but take comfort in the fact that, if you manage to do it every day for more than a week, getting the worst tasks out the way first will quickly become a habit – easier and easier to do.
- Retrain your Brain
Our brains are like worn bicycle paths: They develop grooves so deep from habitual worry that it’s hard to climb out of these grooves – and so easy to slip into them.
What you need is a way to re-hardwire your brain. Try EFT, Autogenics, guided imagery, or even just make an appointment with a therapist and work on cognitive-behavioral reframing.
You’ll be glad you did!
- Improve Your Breathing
Shallow breathing stresses the body, as well as the mind. Those who come from abusive backgrounds, homes where financial or marital stress was always present, or those who faced bullying as children (or even recently, in the workplace) soon learn to under-breathe as a way of emotionally ‘hiding’.
Work on your breathing. Take yoga, Qi Gong or Tai Chi – anything that emphasizes the importance of proper breathing. Use your breathing app. Do breathing exercises. Do physical exercises that naturally force you to breathe more deeply (like running or power-walking.)
Breathing deeply and slowly is a wonderful way of reclaiming your right to be present in this life.
- Know Your Learning Style
If you work with your own dominant learning style instead of against it, you will cut down on stress. That’s just a well-established fact.
But first you need to identify what your best learning style might be!
If you’re an auditory learner, you like audiobooks better than reading. You’d rather listen to a podcast than watch a video. On the other hand, if you’re a visual learner, you choose the video without hesitation, and you love diagrams, infographics, color-coding and charts.
If you are a tactile (kinesthetic) learner, you learn by doing – by touch. Yours is a hands-on approach, and all the instructions in the world won’t help you (written or diagrammatic). But if you’re a textual learner, you would much rather read that book than watch a webinar. You probably have a beautifully-crafted Master Business Manual and you love to document systems and procedures – particularly if you’re also left-brain dominant.
Honor your own unique learning style and don’t waste time (or stress yourself out) by trying to work in a manner that doesn’t feel natural. This is a surprisingly easy way to reduce stress!
- Get Out of Your Seat Regularly
Don’t spend all day at your desk. Get up at least once every hour and move around. Go look out the window. Enjoy the sunshine. Walk around the garden. Get your circulation moving and take some deep breaths. It will wake you up mentally and break you out of tunnel-vision stress.
Many entrepreneurs find that journaling not only relieves stress, it helps them see patterns that need changing or reminds them of small victories they experience every day.
Journal in whatever form works best for you – a video or audio log; a pretty journal in printed form; a simple online journal you keep in a Word file.
Journaling helps you to know yourself – and that is essential to cutting down on true causes of stress.
- Don’t Lose Touch with Your Friends
It is a fact of life: Relationships have to be cultivated, nurtured, and maintained.
Get together for a board game or a canoe trip. Go shopping together. Take a course together. Above all, laugh together. Laughter is a great stress-releaser.
You can’t take people for granted. If they’re important, make the effort to be part of their lives.
- Practice Gratitude
Stress is a fear-based phenomenon. It grows when we focus on our fears and dissipates when we notice all the things we have to be grateful for.
Try starting out, first thing when you wake, by thinking of at least three things you are grateful for that morning. Do the same thing at night. Even if you’re going through a rough patch, you will most likely find you can think of more reasons for gratitude than just three.
When you reconnect with life’s blessings, stress loses much of its power.
Stress is inevitable, but it is also a choice. You can choose whether or not you want to be reactive, ever at its beck and call. That said, if you’re in a constant state of stress related to work, it may be time to change what you’re doing. Membership Fix helps people reconnect to their passion and purpose. Learn how in 5 easy steps.