To thrive in business and to deal with the pressure and uncertainty, we need to find simple ways to bring some calm and ease into our daily life, says Kim McCormick.
Embarking on a solo business is very fulfilling but it also comes with its own complexity and challenges which can be very stressful. Stress is often dismissed as a natural part of a solo business venture, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to have your own business and find calm.
While meditation is a very effective way to create a calm mind, and it is my favourite calming practice, there are days that between running my solo business, being a mum and just living life, that it’s impossible to find any time during the day to sit in meditation.
What I found that helps me the most to bring about and maintain a feeling of calm is not the big things I do, it’s the small simple things that I do daily.
Here are ten easy ways to calm your mind (without meditating).
1. One thing at a time
Your brain is not designed to do more than one thing at a time. You may think you are doing multiple tasks at the same time but really you are quickly shifting your attention from one task to another. It is a much more efficient and calmer way of working when you focus solely on one activity at a time.
2. Pause between tasks
Before completing one task and moving onto the next take a minute to pause and bring your attention to your breath. This not only helps you take a moment to briefly relax it also brings your attention to the present moment.
3. Create realistic schedules
Be realistic about how much work you can get done in a given period of time rather than getting overwhelmed working through a jam-packed unachievable schedule. Often we overestimate how much we can actually do in a day and how long each task will take.
4. Create space in your schedule
Is every minute of your day scheduled? Put blank spaces in your calendar to create spaciousness in your day and to have a break, even if it’s only 5 minutes. Taking regular breaks is a simple but effective way to de-stress. Make sure at least every couple of hours you take a break.
5. Stretch your body
Taking a quick stretch break during your day relieves muscle tension and helps you relax. Do some easy and gentle stretches either remaining seated in your chair or you can stretch standing up if you prefer. You will find it beneficial to take multiple stretch breaks during the day.
6. Close your eyes
If you need a quick break from the chaos of your day, simply closing your eyes for a moment is a very easy way to regain calm and focus. We often have too much screen time, closing your eyes has the added benefit of reducing eye strain.
Laughing has been shown to lower your stress levels and can instantly put you in a better mood. Give yourself permission to watch funny videos on YouTube to quickly destress and make you feel good.
8. Say no
Overcommitting is a very common reason for stress. Reduce your stress by reducing your commitments. Don’t take on more than you can manage and always remember it is ok to say no.
9. Eat well
Many studies worldwide have shown that there’s a link between diet quality and mental health. You have so much influence over your overall sense of wellbeing using food. Make sure you eat plenty of fresh nutrient rich food throughout the day.
10. Change your surroundings
Sometimes changing your surroundings is all it takes to reduce the pressure. Step outside for a few minutes and enjoy the sunshine or go sit in a park. Even altering the location of where you are working can be helpful, if possible take your work to your favourite cafe or change the room you are working in if you work from home.
What simple strategies have helped you manage stress?
Written by Kim McCormick