It’s inevitable that every entrepreneur will have to cope with life changes at some point during their business journey. But how you minimise the stress of life changes whilst also juggling the demands of business?
In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways that stress affects the mind and body, along with some useful strategies you can implement which will help you to build resilience and cope with any life changes you may face.
The Impact of Stress
There are a whole host of different ways that stress can affect your life. Emotional, physical and behavioural manifestations of stress are all possible.
Here are some of the ways that stress can affect you…
Stress affects your emotions. Some of the more common emotional manifestations of stress include:
- Irritability and/or anger
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and/or worry
- Feeling overwhelmed
When you’re stressed, you tend to react to small things in a big way – in other words, problems seem much bigger than they actually are. Each challenge you have to deal with, no matter how small, can feel like the end of the world.
The effects of stress on the body are becoming more and more well known, particularly when it come to digestive disorders. Other physical signs of stress can include:
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Susceptibility to other illnesses, due to the impact stress has on the immune system
- Chronic pain that is difficult to identify
Stress is often exhibited via behavioural changes. Behavioural stress may manifest as:
- Lashing out verbally and/or physically
- Drinking alcohol and/or smoking
- Gambling or overspending
- Staying up very late at night, sleeping in late in the morning and general lack of interest in keeping routine
- Withdrawal from family, friends, or any social activity
As you can see from the above, it’s vital that you learn healthy ways to manage stress during life changes.
How to Cope With Life Changes With Minimal Stress
Recognise how you’re feeling
Whilst it may be tempting to maintain a stiff upper lip and just crack on with your work, it’s important to let yourself feel the sense of loss, grief, hurt, anger, pain, or other emotions that the life change brings on.
It will be a costly mistake in terms of your mental health if you stifle your feelings, or tell yourself you ‘shouldn’t’ be feeling the things you do. Let yourself experience the emotions, and don’t judge yourself.
See the change in a positive light
This might not always be possible, but if there is a bright side, seek it out and embrace it.
Ask yourself; what are the benefits of this change? What am I learning from this change?
[sharable-quote tweet=”Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful – Joshua J. Marinet #stress #lifechanges” user=”calmpreneur” url=”https://calmpreneur.com/life-changes-stress/”]
Try not to wallow in negative emotions, either. While honestly experiencing negative thoughts and feelings is healthy, dwelling on them and allowing them to make you bitter and angry is not.
Give yourself a break from business
When life changes hit hard, you need to make a decision about what to do in your business.
If you can easily take some time out, then do; or at least do the bare minimum until things improve. You can enlist the support of Virtual Assistants and freelancers to help you cover some of your time-consuming tasks.
Now is also the time to start saying “No”, or “Not right now”, to any business requests. Over burdening yourself with additional stress will lead to burnout.
Journal through change
The benefits of journalling are scientifically proven; writing down your thoughts and feelings during difficult life events can really help you to recover quickly and focus on the positive aspects of change.
Make a commitment to write a few short sentences every day as you navigate through your life change. This will help you to problem solve and find creative ways to address challenges.
Include a daily gratitude practice in your journal too, by writing down 3 simple things you are thankful for.
Meditation is a great stress reliever and is also a great way of practicing self-care.
When big life changes are at the forefront of your mind, it can feel like they are all-consuming. Meditation will help you to focus on your body and breath; you’ll still get distracted by thoughts, but by bringing your attention back to your body you’ll find that your stress starts to dissipate.
One helpful form of meditation for chronic stress is ‘mindfulness meditation’. In this sort of meditation, you learn how to live in the present and focus on the now. This will help with long-term stressful life changes but ensure you make time to meditate each day to get the full benefits.
Fuel your body (with the right stuff)
Good nutrition is essential when you’re dealing with life changes. Vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D are especially important in helping the body handle stress. Studies show that Vitamin C helps boost the immune system, and magnesium is important in muscle relaxation and nerve function.
Consider taking a good-quality vitamin supplement, but also eat as many vitamin-rich foods as possible with plenty of whole foods and plant-based meals.
By taking good care of your body during difficult times, you’ll maintain focus, sleep better and have more energy.
Remember who you are
Long-term stress can make you feel like you’ve somehow ‘lost’ yourself as you focus solely on the demands of your life change.
Your identity, ambitions, interests and business goals are important to remember during times of change. They are like your anchors. A life change may actually bring on a reassessment of these things, and that can be healthy, too.
Maybe you need to face some fears and anxieties you have about change in general? Life changes can be a catalyst for other significant changes, either in your personal life or in your business.
There are lots of things to say “No” to during life changes; the most important thing being destructive coping strategies.
Say no to…
- Drinking to excess
- Spending money on things you don’t really need
- Overeating/not eating enough
All these coping strategies might bring short-term relief, but they’ll do you no favours in minimising stress and will hinder your business growth if they become habits.
Life changes are difficult, especially when wearing the many hats of business ownership. By having support systems and strategies in place, you’ll be able to minimise the impact of stress and bounce back to business much sooner.
Have you had to deal with life changes when running your business? Share your story in the comments.