Monday, December 5, 2011

Managing Holiday Stress Tips For The Female BOSS

The end of the year and holiday season typically mark a festive time with an abundance of invitations to holiday parties and social gatherings. For entrepreneurs, the end of the year is also the time for fourth quarter financial and business reporting, end of year employee evaluations, company goals review, contract re-negotiations and so much more.  As women entrepreneurs with multiple obligations and demanding personal and professional roles, we often find ourselves dealing with excessive stress during this time of year.  Stress can take a heavy toll on our mental health and overall well-being.  Fortunately, there are some effective ways to manage stress.  Five strategies are outlined below:

1) Find a Support System
Seek professional help from a licensed therapist or life coach; join a support network or organization, such as the BOSS Network or talk to a friend or family member who is a non-judgmental good listener.

2) Take Care of the Physical You
Eat healthy, exercise and get a good night’s sleep.  Regularly, eat well-balanced meals that are low in sugar and low in salt; engage in a physical activity such as walking, running, aerobics, gardening, swimming, or tennis; and make a habit of getting 6 – 8 hours of sleep per night.   

3) Get in Touch with your Spiritual Self
I have found in my practice that our clients who have some connection to their spiritual self, show fewer symptoms of stress.  Take time daily to meditate for 5 – 10 minutes, practice yoga, or become involved in an organized religious practice, such as praying or attending a religious service.

4) Find Time to Relax
Entrepreneurs may work upwards of 70 hours per week.  Make time in your schedule to relax and do something that you find enjoyable.  Look at your calendar and schedule a weekly “break”, such as a massage, lunch date, a visit to a park or museum, a nail, hair or spa appointment, or an exercise or yoga class.

5) Practice Visualization
When you begin to feel stress coming on, stop, close your eyes, and visualize a peaceful, calm, beautiful place.  Pay attention to the colors you see and the sounds you hear.  Are you sitting, standing or lying down?  How is the weather or temperature?  Are you alone?  Remain in this peaceful place for 5 minutes.  When you open your eyes, you should feel a bit calmer.

Ladies, do what it takes to put these 5 stress management strategies to use and you will be amazed at how much better you feel.  During this season, take some time to focus on you.  As women, we have a tendency to put the needs of others before our own, but it is absolutely important that we first address our own mental health needs so that we can more effectively address the needs of our employees and family members.  I hope you have a stress-less, happy holiday season!    

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