Do you ever feel like some days as a leader you are in complete flow, where business is easy and enjoyable? Yet other days it feels like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, feeling as though you are drowning in tasks that you don’t yet have a solution for?
Not only might you find myself drowning in tasks, but your inbox is also overloaded with people vying for your attention or wanting your support in one way or another.
I’m the type of person who likes to respond to things immediately. Whether it’s a message or email, I prefer not to have unread messages in my inbox, otherwise, I get an uneasy sense that I’m not on top of things.
According to The American Institute of Stress, in 2019, 94% of American workers report experiencing stress at their workplace. Around 23% of them described their stress levels as high, while 6% said their levels of stress were unreasonably high.
Here are 3 ways to bounce back from stress and overwhelm in business and leadership.
Set boundaries with others — immediately
As soon as you feel there is any tension inside your body resulting from any “need” to do anything, observe and understand where it is stemming from and put a boundary in place immediately.
For example, because I’m the type of person that likes to respond to messages or emails immediately, I had to ask myself “out of all the messages that come in, which messages are actually worth replying to, right now?”
I have learned to let go of the need to respond to everyone immediately and have allowed unimportant messages sit there unread for as long as I need to.
When you are a business owner or leader, it’s important to protect your energy and boundaries so others don’t leave you feeling any more drained or stressed than necessary.
Having people taking up space in your field (online or offline), can be challenging especially when we feel the need to reciprocate that energy when we have more important tasks to direct our energy towards.
Tune into your bodily signals
When we are conscious, mindful, and in tune with what our body is trying to tell us, we can transmute the feeling of stress and overwhelm almost immediately.
As business owners, we have a tendency to operate so much from our minds or heads, rather than our hearts and souls.
If we ignore what our body is telling us, we store emotions in our bodies which can lead to illness if we aren’t paying attention to what is happening on an inner-body level. According to WebMD, stress can worsen or increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma.
While it’s important to relax by spending time with your family or friends, sometimes what your body often needs is a period where you are doing absolutely nothing.
Sitting on the couch, staring at the ceiling. Laying flat on your bed with your eyes closed. Or on your balcony or porch staring into the blue skies or starry skies.
When our minds are not occupied with anything, this can be a form of meditation in itself without feeling like it is meditation — which some people can find a chore.
It is often in the silence, where the most creative ideas are able to flow through. Something can easily click in a way that brings you greater levels of clarity.
Our never-ending to-do lists and messages to respond to can either push us into over-drive leading us to burn-out, or it can bring us to a standstill completely as we would rather avoid the overwhelm, stopping us right in our tracks.
Either end of the spectrum is an unhealthy and unsustaintable way to run a business, and can deeply impact the relationships around us and our quality of life.