October 10th 2020 is World Mental Health Day and we'd like to take the opportunity to use it as a reminder to pause. Here's why ....
Even if you're running your absolute dream business, you are not immune from the stresses it may bring from time to time, quite simply.... because everything in life doesn't always go perfectly according to plan.
Whether you're battling stresses in your business every day or just once in awhile, there are some effective techniques you can use to relieve stress.
Learning healthy ways to release your stress and even how to prevent a stressful reaction in the first place are critical to your health, success, and peace of mind.
Stress, Anxiety and Depression affect more people than anyone would ever realise. It's something that has been highlighted massively in the media recently but until you have first hand experience it's always something that you think could 'happen to someone else.'
According to recent figures, in the UK in 2017, 15.1% of the entire workforce was registered as self-employed, a figure which has seen a slight increase over the past few years.
As a small business owner, feelings of overwhelm and extra pressures and worries can seem like something that's just 'part of the job description' but if there's one thing we both want you to take away from this blog post it's that you can watch Netflix and still be successful.
We know that Self Care to some people can be something that comes naturally and that's absolutely great, to many others it doesn't for a whole host of reasons.
We wanted to share with you 7 quick tips that you can use to tackle those feelings of self-employed stress and overwhelm that we all feel at some time or other.
1. Establish your boundaries
No matter how good you are at what you do, if your personal life and work life are all muddled together, it’s almost impossible for your business to reach its full potential – or for you to have enough downtime.
Establishing your boundaries is not only key to the success of your business, it's also vital to stop you from burning out. The BIGGEST myth in business is that you have to be available 24/7 for your clients...... You work for them yes, but you also work for yourself.
2. Set your working hours
Decide what your working hours will be and stick to them to the best of your ability. Of course, things may come up from time to time that you'll need to deal with, but the vast majority of the time you should stick to the hours you set.....like glue. .
If you never switch off and relax, you’ll never be able to recharge up to your full capacity. Consider snoozing your work emails during your days off and for set times overnight, and having a separate work mobile, which you can switch off or divert to voicemail. Self Care is productive too.
3. Think positively
When things aren't going so good, you may be tempted to fall into a negative pattern of thinking. It's easy to say that you hate what you do, but are you doing anything to improve the situation? If you can adopt a positive attitude, it'll be easier to maintain the drive you need to overcome any problems you may be facing.
It's quite possible that everything in your business may not be as bad as you think! If you focus on the things that are going right, it'll bring you more patience, less stress, and increase your overall job satisfaction.
4. Take care of yourself
Your business is everything to you, you have grown it from nothing and you want to make damn sure it succeeds but this can come at a cost! You may begin to lose yourself in it and this will have a huge impact of your health mentally and physically. You may feel as if your business has become your whole life. In these instances, it's best to take a step back and focus on taking care of yourself.
Take regular breaks and enjoy something that's not work-related when you're not working.
Go for a coffee with a friend, pick up the phone and chat to family, Take care of your body by exercising, eating nutritious foods, and getting enough sleep. While that sounds so simple, how often do we rush around on 4 hours of sleep, a coffee, and a donut all day long?
5. Accept that everyone's human except maybe Superman
but you are not Superman.....!
The drive to be perfect is an automatic stress inducer! Everyone makes mistakes - you, your coworkers, and your clients.
(You are not this guy and nor are we)
6. Get organised
Organisation can be a key factor for job stress relief. If your workplace is disorganised, it can also cause disorganisation in your mind. Your thoughts may become scattered and you'll be less likely to think on your feet effectively, causing even more stress.
7. Build and maintain your support network
Self-employment can make for a lonely existence. That’s why it’s important to proactively stay connected to others – especially if you work at home alone, rather than go out to work with other people. It’s important to keep in mind that creating a business-related support network is about so much more than discussing the work at hand.
Connecting with others can protect against the onset of anxiety and depression through something as simple as discussing common business worries. At TWISN we have monthly meet-ups all over the UK and beyond where you can meet local like minded business owners to support and guide you through when things may not be going great. You can find your local group here.
Reducing stress at work will take a little practice, but the results are well worth the effort. Follow these work stress strategies daily and soon you'll find less and less situations to feel stressful about.
If you experience stress, anxiety or mental health problems for whatever reason, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Right at the beginning of this blog we said we wanted to use World Mental Health Day as a reminder to pause and reflect.
This is because both of us, (hey from Katie and Roxy) at The Wedding Industry Supplier Network, go through all of those feelings too, today whilst writing this blog - you don't see that it's in between little pockets of stress, stress that every person on the planet goes through. Self care for some people could be getting a coffee with a friend, self care could be taking a nap, it could be picking up the phone and talking to someone, it could be sending a message, tackling a bill, watching a film, binging on some football, it may be a walk in the fresh air, it might be having to tell yourself to pause because pausing does not come naturally to you ..... and so today on World Mental Health Day we are putting our feet up, and will also be trying out one (or more) of these tips along with you.
Some helpful resources for supporting your mental health, not just at work and in your career but in any capacity, include: