Whether you’re an inspiring, new or seasoned business owner, there comes a time when you will feel stretched and overwhelmed. Actually, some business owners seem to find they’re living in this condition, more often than not. You have a lot of demand on your time and you feel that you don’t have time to breath and people are looking to you for answers and direction. Or, you may be bridging your business with a fulltime job;throw in family responsibilities and this can add to an overwhelming feeling of stress.
You would think all the advances in technology that’s supposed to make our lives easier and more efficient would help save time and make us more productive. However, the opposite seems to have happened. People, especially business owners are feeling stressed and overwhelmed more than ever.
When I find myself in this place, there are some tips that really help me get through it. These tips help me to feel more grounded and reduce the stress and overwhelm that I may be feeling. Some of my favorites include:
Setting Boundaries – This is an area that has really cut down on my level of stress and overwhelm. In the past and especially when I got into coaching, I used to take clients anytime in the evenings and weekends. I would change around my schedule completely to accommodate. Now this was at a time when I was fairly new to motherhood, and with work, wellness business, coaching, group coaching, and family commitments, it became very overwhelming. I then had to set standards where I did not take calls past a certain time (and this was very early) and cut back on weekend work. I was also not an evening person (very much a morning person) so evenings became a no work/business space. I gave myself permission to relax and unwind, and this helped me in so many ways. Not only was I more rested and in a state of mind to help others more, but I felt more present with my family which was a priority for me.
Ask for help – Why is this so hard for some of us to do (myself included!)? When you get into the place of overwhelm, it is important to reach out to your support networks (friends, family, colleagues etc.) and ask for help. We tend to have this Superwoman mentality that we can do it all, and feel that we will somehow get a prize for being a martyr. This is an area I know I personally struggle with and have to be very conscious off. Asking for help does not imply that you are weak, but rather the opposite. It takes great courage to ask for help, and the amazing thing is, you give those around you the opportunity to be of service to you. I know how amazing I feel, when someone I care about is in need and they come to me for help and I am able to help them. When you don’t do the same, you’re depriving your loved ones the opportunity to feel amazing by helping you. Think about that the next time you are in need and are afraid to ask for help!
Consider if you’re being too controlling – Another thing I have to admit to myself is that when the feeling of overwhelm is high for me, it is at those times that I am having a hard time letting go of some form of control. I tend to sometimes want to do everything myself, and have things be exactly the way I want them to be. This thinking is something that will lead you to get stressed. I often have to remind myself, that just because I started something, it is okay to delegate the rest and let someone else finish it. And that yes, it is okay that it is not done 100% to the way I would have done it. This control is a form of attachment and the need for us to have things a certain way. Letting go the need to control can be good and allows us to see things differently and know that there are many different options and solutions that will yield the same results.
You can’t do it all…and that’s okay – Sometimes just the thought of a task or deadline not being met raises our stress level. We push pushpush and then when the realization that a deadline will not be met, you go into a frantic state. Something that has helped me is the realization that sometimes not everything on my to-do list will be done. As long as I try my best, and prioritize those things that need to be done, that will have to do. I know some of you may be thinking, “Well everything is a priority!” But I am going to call BS on that. What I find at times is that things may be of priority to others, but not to you, however, you let others place their urgent matters on you.
Remembering to Breathe –Our breath is home base. Think about it, without our breath we would not be alive. It is breathing in the air that keeps us alive. When you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you often have hard time breathing. You then take short shallow breaths, when what you need it do is take long deep breathes. Inhale for a count of 5 and exhale for a count of 5. And as you inhale, expand your belly like Buddha belly. We often breathe wrong and if you’ve done any yoga practice you would know the best way to inhale is to expand your belly (we tend to do the opposite). Do this for a minute or so with your eyes closed, and for added bonus, throw in some affirmations. Inhale, “I receive Divine guidance and support now” and exhale “I release all that no longer serves me”.
Now your turn, which tips resonate with you the most and what have you done in the past that has helped you cut down on your feelings of overwhelm? Share in the comments below.
Uchechi Ezurike-Bosse is a Business & Lifestyle Strategist, Speaker and Writer, but most importantly, a proud Mother and Wife. Uchechi is Co-Founder of Elite Wellness Services Inc. (www.elitewellness.ca) and Founder of My Empowered Living (http://www.myempoweredliving.com) a website aimed at helping women change negative and disempowering mindset and live their passion! Whether it’s starting and building their dream business, or helping them create a lifestyle they crave, Uchechi is the modern woman’s secret to success! Visit Uchechi at www.myempoweredliving.com to get your FREE copy of 5 Simple Steps to Create a Life you’re Crazy About! A 15-page workbook!