All my posts have been about how to better your small business in the Springfield, Camdenton, Lebanon, and Lake area in Missouri by having a website and participating in social media. Today, I’m changing it up and am going to discuss ways to take care of yourself and how to alleviate stress. Not eliminate stress because I don’t feel that’s actually possible, but ways to help control it and not let it take over. At Distillery Web Design, we understand how being a small business owner can be stressful and also rewarding. We understand because, like you, we also own and operate a small business. Here are 10 tips to keep yourself healthy and relatively stress free.
Most of us sit at a desk for the majority of the day. This is not good for our physical well being, so in order to make sure you are feeling well here are a few tips for when you are at your desk.
- Place both feet on the floor when sitting at your desk. This will help keep your back in alignment. If you’re short, then place a box or step stool under your feet.
- Intermittently change out your chair for a stability ball. If this is possible, a stability ball helps strengthen your back and core. You have to sit up straight and you’ll get a little exercise while working.
- Keep wrists in neutral alignment. It’s important to keep wrists neutral when typing. Use a wrist rest if needed.
- Position the top of the monitor screen to eye level. No one wants to be hunched over, so monitor level is important. Be sure your monitor is at least 20 to 28 inches away from your eyes.
- Use a headset instead of the receiver. If you are a receptionist or answer the phones frequently then you know the importance of a headset. The balance game of placing the receiver between your shoulder and ear, then trying to write down a message or type at the same time is not fun. It’s also very uncomfortable and bad for your posture.
- Take frequent breaks. Both from sitting and staring at your monitor. Stretch, go for a quick walk (even if it’s to the restroom and back), and look away from your monitor. Follow the 20/20 rule when you are doing work on the computer. For every 20 minutes you work on the computer, look away and into the distance for 20 seconds.
Stress Relief Tips
If you’re living and breathing, then you have stress. Life and work can get especially stressful for small business owners. I get cracked up when doctors say to eliminate it. How is that possible? Should I become a hermit and live in the mountains? I’m sure even hermits get stressed from time to time. Since we are not hermits, here are some tips to help when work, life, or both get tough.
- Angry dance it out. Ever see Footloose? Ren McCormack (the main character) was mad and stressed about living in a new town with all sorts of social oppression. He angry danced it out and felt better. With all seriousness, physical activity helps relieve stress. So go for a walk, run, swim, do yoga, dance, lift weights, etc., you will feel much better and get a better perspective on the stressful situation.
- Listen to music. Most will say listen to something calming like classical, ocean waves, nature sounds or in the same music field as Enya. I say listen to what makes you feel better. If it’s country, classic rock, metal, who cares?! For me, a little Prince can usually do the trick.
- Journal. For some of us, writing it down is the best way to get it out. It is freeing to say exactly what is on our minds without repercussions or embarrassment. Write it out!
- Talk to a friend. Others need to vocalize the situation in order to feel better or to get a new perspective. Remember if you talk to a friend about being stressed, be sure to reciprocate when it’s their turn.
- Have fun. Remember the motto “Laughter is the best medicine”? It’s best not to take life too seriously and laugh about it. Call up the one person who is likely to make you laugh, talk about it, and then laugh about it. Most of the time the thing(s) we stress over are beyond our control, so why not make fun of it. An alternative is to watch your favorite comedy and laugh it away.
Unfortunately, as a small business owner you live in a hectic world. The key is to make time for yourself. Block out time on the calendar. Whatever it is you’re working on will still be there in 20 minutes, trust me.
Let me add a little bonus information as well. The better you manage your stress, the better your business will run. Like anything else, negative feelings like stress are “catching”. Exercise and eating right is the best way to help control negative feelings. Some of you may abhor exercise. Okay, but you can carve out time to do something you enjoy. Maybe it’s a hobby of some sort like reading or building bird houses. Maybe you just enjoy going to the park and feeding the birds. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s healthy and you feel better after the activity.
As for eating, I’m not saying never eat fast food or junk. I like it too. What I am saying is be aware of what is going into your body. I’m not a nutritionist by any means, but I do know no one got fat from eating too many fruits and vegetables. Find what works for you because a healthy business owner is a profitable business owner.
Distillery Web Design and Marketing is a feature website builder, online marketer, and advertising specialty consulting group working with businesses in the Lebanon, Camdenton, Osage Beach, Springfield, and St. Robert areas of Missouri. Facebook, websites, online promotions, print media, radio promotions, online newsletters, graphic design and direct mail campaigns are our specialty. We know how to get the Internet, social networking and new media to work for you!