Four Simple Steps to Manage Stress from the Corner Office
Lowering overhead and costs, boosting business, staying competitive in changing markets - you’re grinding away to keep your company ahead of the game, but this all leads to long hours at the office and being tied to your phone or laptop during your off time.
You’re exhausted, living off coffee, and if you’re not grabbing takeout, it’s because you have a business lunch or dinner meeting. You know the stress is terrible for you - not only does every health story on the news talk about some new risk, but you’re feeling it - your blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight are all on the rise, your temper is short, and your brain doesn’t shut off at night.
Let’s get off the path to imminent implosion with some simple ways to manage stress throughout the day and rewire your brain to reduce stress in the long term.
Know Your Stress Signs
Too many people don’t realize they’re stressed until they’re overly stressed and snapping at people, yelling, or starting to shut down. If you recognize your stress when it’s at a two or a three instead of a level ten, you can manage it much more easily. Usually some deep breaths, creating a short plan to tackle whatever is stressing you out, or a walk around the parking lot will calm you down, but won’t be nearly as effective when your stress is through the roof.
Part of your role includes the expectation of being ‘on’ 100 percent of the time. While it’s probably not in your actual job description, the role implies that you’re always accessible, you’re laser-focused on the company, and you’re ready to put out fires as they come up.
But it’s not possible to be ‘on’ 100 percent of the time. And if you are, the quality of what you put in will suffer because your brain needs downtime.
In order to get it, you’re going to need to set some boundaries, even with yourself. Here are some tips to get the opportunities to recharge:
Set “Blackout” times where you don’t answer your phone or emails. This could be during your commute, on the weekends, or in the evenings when you get home (or all three), but you need time where work is not in your face so you can truly break away from it.
Say no. If you don’t have the time or you’re too busy working on your own projects, you can say no to less important tasks or picking up someone else’s slack. “Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine,” - maybe it’s a little harsh, but desperate times call for drastic measures.
Avoid interruptions. If you’re working on a project, don’t let interruptions drag out what you’re trying to do. Unnecessary interruptions eat up so much time, and that feeling of running out of time is a major stressor to most of us. If someone tries to pull you away, be firm and set those boundaries.
Build in Recharge Time
With your time freed up because you set smart boundaries, you can actively take time to recharge your brain and reduce your stress levels. Think of this as an obligation to yourself, and make this recharge time as much of a priority as your meetings and work obligations. Write it on your schedule and stick to it (see: setting boundaries).
Yes, exercise is pretty much the solution for everything. Not sleeping? Exercise. Need to lose weight? Exercise. Stressed out? Exercise. Stuck in a well? Okay, maybe not everything. But you get the idea.
Exercise releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that help you feel good. You’ve heard of runner’s high? It applies to really any exercise that gets your heart pumping - tennis, swimming, or even a brisk walk can help. Plus, exercise, especially an activity you have to focus on, helps shift your brain from whatever is causing you stress to moving your body.
If you’re not seeing a drastic improvement in your stress levels from these quick hacks, you may be suffering from hormonal disruption. Our Elite Coaching Program for Male Executives can get your body in alignment so you can perform your best in work and in life.
If you’re ready to invest in wellness solutions that lead you to achieving peak performance, experiencing energy, and having the mental clarity to create business strategies and solutions that transform your company, click here and schedule a Free 15-minute Video Consultation. Space is limited so book soon.