Updated: Dec 12, 2020
I’ve spoken to 5 different business owners (from completely different business sectors) this week that are suffering physically from stress and exhaustion and can’t see light at the end the tunnel at the moment.
From the outside looking in anyone that doesn’t know them would think they were lucky, they’ve worked through the whole of this year, all of their businesses are growing and doing well financially.
So why are they stressed, exhausted, physically completely run down and why are they not dancing from the roof tops celebrating that they’re doing so well in their business?
Does that sound familiar?
This year has been one of the toughest years I’ve ever known for business owners, the laws seem to change daily about what is allowed and what isn’t allowed, what new rules need to be followed and have they changed from the new rules announced from what seemed like yesterday, the furlough changes regularly, what funding is available and to who is a mine field, for business owners that have premises knowing if you can open is a moving target month by month.... and on top of that there’s been huge costs changing the way your staff work so they’re protected while working and then reassuring your clients that you’re compliant and won’t be putting them at risk and everything else...
While that’s happening everyone is looking to YOU to have all of the answers when you’re watching the same announcements your staff are and on top of that worrying about the normal day to day running of your business!
Putting your business to one side for just a moment, when was the last time you:
Laughed out loud and I mean really laughed? It could have been over a coffee with someone close to you, at something one of your kids did (if you have children) or at a really funny film? You might be thinking I’m completely out of my mind even asking this after the year you have had... but if you think back to the last time you really laughed and how you felt in that moment? If you were to laugh like that now how much better would you feel? Even if it was only for an hour or 2? Could you take a couple of hours out a week and spend that time watching a film that you know makes you laugh or spending time with someone that you can laugh and be free with? Your business will still be there and after a couple of hours laughing and relaxing will you be in a different head space going back to your business?
Something I discovered this year was laughing yoga, there are a lot of videos on YouTube and virtual meet up classes. If you have never tried it I recommend it! You can’t help but laugh, at first I felt completely strange just laughing for no reason but not long into the class I was genuinely laughing out loud and I felt amazing afterwards!
When was the last time you went for a walk and was really present in that moment? This time of year is such a beautiful time of year (maybe a bit on the chilly side). When was the last time you went for a walk in nature, stopped took a few deep breaths and just looked around taking in your surroundings and cleared your mind? And then just enjoyed being outside and surrounded by nature? In that moment were you grateful for that moment and how good you felt in that moment?
How often do you stop, take a mental step back and focus on all of the great and amazing things you have in your life and then are grateful that they’re in your life?
Do you give yourself credit for the AMAZING things you have achieved to date? Not just in this year, looking back over your life do you think about all of the things you’ve achieved and give yourself credit for those achievements and think about how you felt when you achieved them?
Our diaries are jam packed with business appointments and then running your business, managing your staff. It’s so easy to finish the day completely exhausted, spend a few hours staring at the tv or social media while worrying about everything happening the next day or the things that are coming up and then forgetting to take time for your business’s most precious asset....YOU!
I would like to set you a challenge... for the next 4 weeks I ask that you set aside an hour a day as YOU time. That could be getting up an hour earlier and going for a walk before your day starts, meditating, watching a comedy, coffee with someone that lifts you up, reading a good book that you can get lost in. Anything that makes you smile, laugh, relax and in that time (here’s where the actual challenge is) you promise yourself you won’t think, talk, stress or worry about your business or the never ending to do list that you have. You just take that time out to focus completely on you.
Your business needs you firing on all cylinders and by taking this time to yourself you are recharging your batteries so that you can give your all without working yourself into an early grave or getting seriously ill and being forced to take time out for your body to recover.
Having that time to clear your mind you could then take an extra hour to step back from the day to day to look strategically at how you can start to remove some of the stresses, for example can you delegate some of your work? (Do you need to be doing everything that you’re doing?). Are there things that you’re doing manually that could be automated?
Where do you want to be in 12 months? What do you need to be there? Are there any other changes you can make now to take some of that pressure from your shoulders so that you can concentrate on moving towards where you want to take your business next?