Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up.

photo credit: stuartpilbrow via photopin cc

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to take a look at how you can overcome and manage the stress that can sometimes come hand in hand when starting a business.

Starting up and running a successful business is a demanding process, you may feel like you have to split yourself into lots of different pieces.

As a one man/woman band you will have to deal with a variety of things when running a business:

  • Production
  • Marketing
  • Administration
  • Finance
  • Sales
  • Managing
  • Planning

There will be a number of ups and downs on your journey as a new business and many frustrations. However, if you really believe in what you are doing, you will probably thrive on this, or at least some of it. But what you may not realise is that what is driving you forward at these times is stress.

Stress is the response you have when faced with a challenge.  It’s what motivates you to perform when you are under pressure and keeps you focused when there’s a deadline to meet, so in small doses it can be beneficial.

However when stress is a constant factor in your life it can have the opposite effect. It will no longer help but hinder you and your performance at work. You can reduce the negative effects of stress by being more conscious of the things that cause it, and learning to handle them better, using relaxation techniques as well as other lifestyle changes.

Time Management

We’d all love to control time by pressing rewind, giving us an extra couple of hours to complete a task because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Unfortunately you can’t manage time, only yourself and how efficiently you complete tasks. List tasks in an order of priority and complete the most urgent first. Break large jobs down into smaller chunks and tackle them when you are most productive during the day.

Learn to say no!

If you don’t have the time or have no interest in a piece of work, learn to say no and take control of your workload. Consider how beneficial the work is to your business and what impact it will have on your targets.

Take a break

Try taking mini breaks every hour or so, stretching your legs to grab a glass of water or just looking away from the computer screen for 5 minutes will give your eyes and mind a rest. When taking your lunch, get away from your work space and refresh your mind by going for a walk or simply getting some fresh air.

Annnnd Relax…

Have you ever sat somewhere quiet and just listened to the thoughts in your head? Try to be still in the moment and completely empty your mind of the thoughts rather than letting them pull you in multiple directions. Having a clear head can make you more productive and help you feel less stressed.

Mental health charity Mind has a selection of relaxation techniques on their website, why not try them out and just relax.

Finally, if you feel that stress is having a negative impact on your work, it is worth taking the steps to find ways of reducing it, because when managed well stress can improve your productivity and help bring the best out of you when you need it the most. De Montfort University students can gain support from the Mental Health Inclusion Team who work with students to offer professional advice and support in relation to mental health difficulties. The team are able to assess your needs and offer the appropriate intervention.

Thinking of starting up? Book an appointment at one of our start-up surgeries and gain advice about your idea.

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