In our world of fast-paced lifestyles, most everyone is dealing with stress on some level or another. Either we over-extend ourselves, worry about how we are going to pay the bills, get overly excited about family or even world events …. Stress on top of stress!
Working with the public, like most of do on some level, dealing with stress about meeting deadlines, worrying about the lows in our sales, and compromising with difficult customers/buyers are real points of anxiety.
Winter, for me, is a time to unwind from the crazy sales during Christmas. Our inventory, house and warehouse is a disaster of lose bags, shred and boxes that need to be sorted and put away. But even after the cleanup, I need to get on the bookkeeping in order to file taxes. From there, I still working on creating and implementing new projects. So where is my time to unwind?
What Really Causes Stress
One of the main contributors to stress is the feeling that everything needs your attention at once! And because you cannot do it all, you feel miserable and/or ineffective!
When I get to that point, I stop and make a lists of all the big projects and little projects I need to accomplish. From the tasks I added to the list, I look at what needs to be done first. Of course, filling orders or taking care of your family should be at the top of the list. From there, prioritize small tasks in order of importance and check them off as you finish them. Checking them off gives you a feeling of accomplishment that helps motivate you through the rest of the list.
For the larger projects, try breaking them up into small tasks. For instance, working on your website can be a large overwhelming project. So break that into smaller tasks such as updating pricing, tweaking verbiage, taking pictures, or adding new products. Assign each smaller task every day. (I schedule my tasks via Microsoft Outlook and block out a certain amount of time every day to complete each one.) After a week or so, you will have your website updated!
After observing myself over the years, I find that most of my stress starts with fear: Fear that I won’t get everything done in a timely manner; fear that I am going to ‘lose it’ if I don’t get my house and warehouse back in order; fear that the new project I am working on won’t sell ….
Once I recognize that I am falling back into my fear stressor, I go back to my lists and see what I can accomplish, go do it, and check it off as finished. This gets me back on track.
Take Care of Yourself
The best way to deal with long-term stress is to take care of yourself. Here are a few steps from the medical folks may help you deal with your own stressors:
1. Follow a Regular Sleep Routine
2. Use Exercise to Combat Stress
3. Learn How to Meditate
4. Take care of your skin and body
5. Ask For Help When You Need it
Taking time for yourself is a very important way to help manage stress.