April is Stress Awareness Month, although a frequently used expression, it has a uniquely individualised, definition and impact for us all. As female entrepreneurs, we are acutely aware that the world of work is always on 24/7. There are advantages, a degree of flexibility to our working week. The ease of access to our mobile phones results in being connected in an already overconnected world. However, this can result in us always doing for others and not looking after ourselves. We can so busy doing that we forget to eat and take breaks and when we do make that holiday we end of being sick. We can look back and realise how stressed we are feeling.
What is Stress?
Stress is an evolutionary, biological mechanism to protect you continually. We have grown and developed, from living in the Caves to running our own business today. I want to share with you, briefly my interpretation of stress.
Do you remember when you first sat in the driving seat of a car and learnt about controlling the clutch? Did you become aware of:-
- Your heart beating faster
- A sinking feeling in your stomach
- Mouth becoming dry
Your stress response activated to protect you. It comes from a place of fear which subconsciously tells you that you are in danger. A consequence of your stress response because you are sitting a hazardous piece of metal which can be harmful. You may have had associated thoughts.
- I’m clumsy
- I’ll never get this
If you drive your car today, do you feel awkward or do you drive without thinking? You are no longer stressed driving a car because you feel confident and competent. Chronic stress is different.
What is Chronic Stress?
- Always being switched on
- Difficulty in relaxing
Symptoms of Chronic Stress
- Sleeping poorly (wakening during the night)
- Always doing
- Finding it difficult to switch off
- Always tell yourself you should do this
How do you know when you are chronically stressed?
- Feeling tired all the time
- Your sense of humour has disappeared
- You say yes, even when you want to say no.
- A small mistake feels like an enormous mistake.
The above is not an exhaustive list you might find the following tips useful:
If you are struggling in your business speak with a colleague in WIBN
Have a separate phone for work and switch it off when you finish work (If someone has phoned you, they want you)
Take time for you this could include a walk in nature, listening to favourite music
When we have reacted to a stressful event, our body will return to normal. When we are chronically stressed we are in a perpetual cycle, the result you are always preparing for an attack. In this state, we are rushing around, not thinking clearly and being creative. Counselling helps you to recognise chronic stress and understand yourself and find new ways to increase your ability to reduce your stress levels. The result a happier, creative you who has a growing, profitable business.