This week I met a business owner of 28 years; he has a successful business that is working well and he continues to look for ways to improve it. A few years back though he had an episode that wasn’t so great. He would wake up in the night in a cold sweat, this feeling like a black dog hung over him. Sometimes he would sit at his desk incapable of doing any more than staring at his computer screen, and that was on the good days. It is not uncommon for any of us to slip from a place of healthy drive and focus on our business to sleeplessness, worry, anxiety and or depression. These are just some of the symptoms that some of my business clients have suffered from at times. Here are a few things that can make a real difference:
- There is always time to stop! We think that we have to do everything now, we have to just keep going until it is all done. It will NEVER all be done and if you find yourself feeling under that kind of pressure then the only healthy thing to do is stop. If you are mildly over whelmed go for a 10 minute walk. If you are moderately stressed take an hour to do something else, if it is feeling really bad you need a least half a day to go and do something completely un-work related. Make sure at least one day a week has no work in it.
- Breathe: I advocate 7-11 breathing, which means breathing in for a count of 7 and out for a count of 11. It is the significantly longer out breath that is important for calming you down. If 7 – 11 feels too much of a stretch try 5 – 8. If someone has pressed your buttons or you are feeling stressed do a couple of rounds of breathing like this. I also recommend that you try it as a regular practice for 5 to 10 minutes at the start and/or end of every day. After a few weeks you may start to find yourself feeling calmer overall.
- Start a gratitude practice. Have a note book, and at the end of everyday make a note of three things you are grateful for from the day. Simple things like a nice cup of tea or a great sunset are as important as winning a big contract.
- Get some green time. There is a mounting body of research that supports what I see in my clients and that is that being in green spaces make you feel better. Even if you can do no more than peer into somebodies garden or find an urban park, standing under a tree will make a big difference to your mental well-being.
Making these things a habit can act as preventative measures as well as supporting recovery. If you want to know more about how I can help, then please get in touch.