This month I wanted to share with you a number of tools our clients have developed over the years to manage the stress that can build up as a result of owning your own business and or parenting. Both roles often come without a manual or handbook and even if there were one it would never have your exact circumstances in it.
Having read a number of fabulous articles and self help books over the years it is apparent to me that many of them take time out for physically from their stressful environment on a regular basis and that can quite often be for fitness and some kind of physical activity.
Over the years of supporting our clients to develop tools and strategies to manage themselves in order to be more effective at managing others I have also noticed a pattern that once they have made what they consider to be a good decision the weight is lifted off their shoulders. You can see them physically relax.
However on some occasions there can be a gap between knowing what you need to make a good decision and having the information you need to finalise it. In these cases the clients often develop a strategy to park that thought/decision and let it go until they can make the decision. This process then gives them that same sense of relief and freeing up the mind.
Having the resources to park thoughts can result in being a calmer parent or a more assertive leader, more relaxed and less stressed.
No matter who the client is the solution invariably involves taking a physical or mental break. It is like hitting the pause button metaphorically or physically in some cases.
Interestingly those of my clients that are fitness instructors and regularly do physical activity their strategy is a little different. The pause button often involved learning to stop and giving themselves time to emotionally park and sort information, time to allow ideas to be formed fully.
How I made a good decision about stress?
For me the turning point and the blinding flash of the obvious was one Thursday evening in the middle of 2013, when my mindset completely switched.
I had had a particularly busy week my head felt full, my eyes felt heavy and I had no energy. It was 6pm and I was supposed to be going to circuits in an hour. All I wanted to do was curl up in bed and close my eyes.
At this point I had managed to attend most Thursdays for about 2 years, so I had made some kind of commitment to the concept of fitness. But I would convince myself it was about loyalty to my instructor Belinda Bulter of Pazzazz Me who is also a valued client or that I was doing it to be with my husband as we attended together. In my head I would moan that ‘he’ was making me go. The problem with these strategies is that if my husband or Belinda were away I would more likely to miss the class.
The Change of Mindset
I remember so very clearly on this particular night, how amazing I felt after circuits. There was such a radical difference my head was clearer, my eyes were lighter and although still tired it felt like a really healthy kind of tired. It’s hard to describe.
I could now recognise the direct relationship between my well being and exercise. I had experienced the benefit to me personally. On this day fitness and exercise stopped being something I did to please others, it was now something I wanted. I was no longer debating in my head shall I or shan’t I, it was now simply a decision of when and what. I now wanted this instant relief and great feeling more of the time. This whole experience left me with such a strong embedded feeling that my instant association with fuzzy head is to want to go and do some physical exercise.
The next step was to develop strategies to manage my time and make it happen. I soon learned that the result of feeling instantly better were important but also their were other criteria about the environment I trained in that would impact my motivation.
I took some time to notice what had worked for me in the past. You can coach yourself too by ordering your copy of our free E-Workbook Success without Stress in 8 Simple Steps
The following criteria were important to me:
- Local and easy to get
- Easy to Budget For
- Sociable group you could laugh and chat
- Flexible times
Yours of course will be different that’s what makes us all so unique.
I still do circuits with Belinda and I discovered my local gym hosted circuits on Saturday, yoga Friday and Sunday which all fitted with my routine most weeks. If I can’t make them then I can go swimming or use the gym which gives me the flexible choice. I pay a fix fee and the staff are a laugh.
Here are a couple of questions you can explore.
What works for you to clear your head and manage your stress?
Take a moment to consider what is happening when you are working at your best?
Please do let me know in the comments below what you discover.
If you would like to find out more check out the events below.
Founder and Communication Coach
Next Best Step
Motivational Speakers and Mini Workshop
14th Feb 2014 12 to 2.30
Ros and I are co-hosting this event with Belinda. We will be sharing other strategies we use to look good and feel great both as business leaders, friends, mothers, sisters and partners. This is a launch event to celebrate the success of our client Belinda Butler. I do hope you can join us. For more information and to book click here
Need a break?
Taking Your Leadership and Communication Skills To The Next Level In Just 7 Days
Part 1 Listen to Yourself
This is a 2 day retreat that focuses on your physical and mental well being. You will be taking time to explore and experience what you need to work at your best. You will leave re-focused, re- energised and ready to take action. To find out more click here