Reducing stress at work, in business and in life

It’s been a heck of a year. If owning and operating a business isn’t already stressful enough, 2020 moved anxiety to a whole new level, with business owners worrying about keeping their doors open for the long term or keeping their staff – or themselves – employed. Throw in some, often, confusing government restrictions and the fact that no one knows how long the pandemic will go on…and, well, even the most grizzled no-nonsense leaders are locking themselves in their offices to stare at baby-goats-in-pajamas videos on YouTube. For hours.

Everyone needs help sometimes. Whether it’s taking a much-needed break from the craziness or finding ways to cope with the curveballs the world keeps throwing, learning to manage your stress will help you gain more control over your life, provide some balance and may even help you come out stronger on the other side. Need a break? Here are some suggestions for reducing the stress in your life.

Don’t go it alone . Reduce your workload by delegating tasks that others can do. And don’t underestimate their abilities. Hand over responsibility as well as tasks, don’t micro-manage and leave employees alone to get the job done.

Pay attention to your financial health. Money often tops the list as a source of stress, so make sure your finances are in a good place and your cash flow is under control. That may seem easier said than done, especially these days, but take charge of what you can. Keep an eye on your revenue and expenses, take stock and eliminate or at least reduce what you can.

Talk it out. Stress can feel lonely, but you’re definitely not alone in feeling anxious right now. Find people you trust – at your workplace or through a network of other people in your industry and share your anxiety about the challenges you’re facing. You will likely discover that you’re all facing similar issues. Chances are you won’t be the only one who will benefit from airing your concerns.

Acknowledge your stress . It’s important to recognize your body’s reaction to stress so you can address it and get it under control. Typical signals of stress can include trouble sleeping, agitation, a short temper, sweating and an increased heart rate. Once you identify the signs, take steps to alleviate the symptoms – take a break, go for a walk, breathe deeply.

Stress relief can come in many forms, and for many, it’s through exercise. Some people escape their anxieties through inward practices, like yoga. Others need to pump it out by running, taking a spin class or other activities that get the adrenalin going.

Exercise not your thing? There’s an app for that! Here are a few ways you can download more calm into your life.

Calm It’s right there in the name. Calm is a popular mindfulness app that offers guided meditation in varying lengths as well as sounds and stories designed to help lull you to sleep.

Colorfly Yes, adult coloring books are still in style and they’re digital. Choose from a variety of images and mandalas to colour or upload your own sketches. It’s meditative, distracting and tried and true. (Millions of children can’t be wrong!)

Breathwrk Breathing: the most natural thing in the world, right? If you’ve ever been anxious, someone has probably reminded you to “just breathe”. The Breathwrk app takes breathing a few steps further by using science to guide you through breathing exercises to help you achieve your goal, whether it’s falling asleep, getting relaxed, becoming energized or alleviating stress.

Antistress Anxiety Relief Game Two words: bubble wrap. Who hasn’t been more excited about this addictive plastic wrap than the package it’s wrapped around? This AntiStress app has all sorts of tools and thingamajigs that are both fun and soothing – like fidget spinners, pen clickers and other gadgets that can distract you from your worries, even for a little while.

Of course, if deciding on stress relief is causing more anxiety, you can’t go wrong with this.


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