Whether you work in a corporate job, own a business or run your household as a full-time mum – our lives move very fast and the stress level is at a constant high. How can we successfully deal with stress and focus on what is important? After a career in the corporate world and now as an entrepreneur, stress is at an all-time high for me. I would like to share the following tips with you which have helped me not only to manage stress but turn it into positive outcomes:
Obvious? You think? I remember long days at the office and stressing out over not only the big problems but basically anything that happened. Exercising in the mornings or during lunch time has helped me to focus my energy on the important things. Furthermore, it gives me a more relaxed attitude. If you do not have enough time to exercise every day, try to walk to your office (or maybe get off two stops before your office). Alternatively, use 15 minutes of your lunch break to walk around the building. It really helps me to spend some time on my own and refocus.
2. Surround yourself with people who are positive.
Try to find mentors or peers who share your passion and can also understand the challenges you face. If I have a low, I have a chat with these people and am able to put everything into perspective. How did I find them? Some have been family or long-term friends, some I met at work, or I actively went to networking events. Yes, take this step! Even if you have to show up on your own, it is worth it!
3. Try not to freak out and apply a new perspective.
I used to think “Oh my God, I will never manage to fix this problem, it is so hard.”. By doing this, I focused all my energy on being negative and did not focus my efforts on actually solving the problem. When you find yourself in a situation like this, write the problem down and start thinking strategically:
Which small steps can you take to solve this?
Who can you ask for advice?
Who can introduce you to people how can actually help?
Once you started solving small parts of the problem, they will put themselves together and you will see the big picture again.
4. Remember challenges you have overcome already.
I think about a really tough situation that I managed to overcome and compare it with my current challenge. It does not necessarily have to be a challenge at work. For me, it is reminding myself when my friend and I were stuck at an airport in rural China after our flight had been cancelled. We could not communicate with anybody because at that point we did not speak any Chinese. When I face a challenge, I now ask myself:
“Is it as bad as being stuck at that airport?”
“Can I apply something from that airport situation to my current problem?”
Definitely: Stay focused, do not give in to your despair and try to find people to help you.
5. Use “down times” to meditate.
Well, when I first read about meditation in Ariana Huffington’s book “Thrive”, I was not sure if I was a “meditation person”. However, I found her advice very useful. According to Huffington, you should use times that seem lost to you (e.g. waiting for the bus or brushing your teeth) to meditate. It does not mean that you should start sitting in the lotus seat at home each day. But while you are waiting for the bus, put away your phone and think about your day. What have you achieved, what can you do better? Or simply try to think about nothing at all and observe what the people around you are doing.
Good luck 🙂