Running your own business isn’t always a walk in the park.  If you find yourself hustling without any clear direction or results, then maybe it’s a sign you need.a.break.  

I’m a big fan of the tv show Mad Men.  While I don’t believe that you should pick up a two-pack-a-day or whiskey drinking habit, I do think they’re on to something with their frequent naps & visits to the movie theater.  

Sometimes you need to disconnect to reconnect… with yourself, with your ideas, and especially with your family.

 

Feeling stressed? Take a hike... or a walk.

You’ve been trying to write the same blog post for the last two hours and you’ve got… nothing.  No ideas, bad ideas, nothing is flowing and now you’re stressed.

Endorphins – those little chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers can be produced through exercise.  Studies show that exercise is also great for reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function.  So, if you’ve got a case of writers block, taking a walk is a great way to get the sludge out & more ideas in!  

Can I pet your dog?

If you’re a pet owner, then you’re in luck.  The ADAA calls it the pet effect, but essentially it means that spending time with your fur baby is a great way to alleviate stress.  The human-animal bond is strong and believe it or not can lower your heart rate & improve symptoms of depression.

This hilarious video sums it up!

Take a day off.

Hustle, hustle, hustle… that’s the name of the game, right?  As women, we need to stop the glorification of busy.  Where is being “busy” getting you?  In one of the women business owner groups I belong to, a question was asked, “Is anyone else working over the holidays?”  Seriously?  You would rather work than spend time with your family?  The whole point of having your own business is creating rules and boundaries that work for YOU and YOUR FAMILY.  

All work all the time isn’t how we were designed.  It is absolutely okay to TAKE A DAY OFF.  It doesn’t mean shirking responsibility, but maybe it looks like batch creation, batch posting, scheduling things, setting things on auto, notifying people that you’ll be out of the office.  I promise you that your clients and customers will be okay if you take a day off. 

I went to Disney World in October and do you know what my clients all said? 

“Have fun!” 

I took a break for five days.  No one canceled their services with me, the world kept turning, & my kids had my 100% attention in the happiest place on Earth. 

 

Call a friend for coffee.

If you’re a solopreneur, working from home can feel a bit isolating at times.  When you’re stressed and there’s literally just YOU at the water cooler, it might be a good time to call a friend for coffee.  Certainly it wouldn’t be your intention to vent about everything going wrong – afterall, you want to keep your friends!

Having coffee with a friend is a great way to bounce around ideas, seek their opinion or advice about a solution you’re seeking, or just to find a new perspective on things.

Pamper yourself.

If you don’t have the funds or the time (hello, kids) for an afternoon at the spa, sneak some time for yourself just taking care of YOU.  For some that might mean putting on some comfortable pajamas and curling up with a book, for others maybe a nice hot bath is your thing.  One of my favorite things is giving myself a facial — a little steam, detox mask, some moisturizer mixed with Frankincense and I’m back.in.the.game.  

Laugh.

There are a lot of things in my life that make me laugh — my two knucklehead Bichons, my hilarious six year-old, Kevin Hart, and watching funny animal Vines on YouTube with my daughters.  According to the Mayo Clinic, research is clearly showing that laughter is just what the doctor ordered for reducing stress.  

Things to make you laugh…

  • a funny movie or book
  • listen to a stand-up comic
  • hang something funny on the fridge
  • spend time with small children

Diffuse Essential Oils

The topic of essential oils can be so polarizing for some people, but I’m going to be the first to admit this… I love them.  I’m currently diffusing the Joyful Blend as I’m writing this.  If you do some searching, you’ll find that there are several oils that you can use when you’re feeling stressed.

If you’re stressed in the evening, lavender has a great calming effect.  As a side note, this works on the hilarious (but sometimes moody) six-year-old at bedtime with great success.

Popular in my office space is also a Reassuring Blend – it’s a great combination of Vetiver Root, Lavender Flower, Ylang Ylang Flower, Frankincense Resin, Clary Sage Flower, Marjoram Leaf, Labdanum Leaf/Stalk, & Spearmint Herb.  If I’m looking for a quick pick-me-up, I just put a drop in my palm, rub my hands together, and breathe in deeply.  

Another last bit of advice from someone who has been down this road a time or two – never forget why you’re doing this in the first place.  Chances are you’ve chosen the freelance life because it’s best for your family.  Remember that there’s nothing more important that those little people who depend on you & call you mama.  Don’t let the stress of running your business interfere with raising your family.  I say that without judgement, but from experience.  

Do you have some suggestions for ways to reduce stress and anxiety as a freelancer or small business owner?  I’d love to hear your ideas!  Join our Facebook group & let’s continue the conversation.  Looking forward to connecting with you!

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