Four stress management strategies for female business leaders
Do you often find yourself running on empty? Does it feel like you are giving too much? Discover four stress management strategies for female business leaders.
Too often, stress is considered part and parcel of life as a business leader. Yes, there are few professions that don’t have some form of pressure. However, this doesn’t mean you should simply accept being overloaded or burned out.
As a woman in business, you have vital perspectives and skills that enrich your company and influence your personal success. The last thing you want is for stress to derail your efforts or – worse – impact your health. So, let’s explore four of the stress management strategies you can adopt that empower you to thrive in business.
1) Prioritize safety
Many women who are business leaders find they have to navigate the expectation to work harder and longer to gain the same respect as their male-identifying counterparts. Indeed, your commitment to thriving in business can also make it easy to prioritize work over personal well-being.
However, it’s vital to recognize that your experiences of stress can negatively impact safety. Putting yourself under too much pressure may lead to distracted behavior or mistakes that lead to accidents. It could also influence your decision-making, which may be dangerous when your choices surround risky activities. It is, therefore, important to consider stress management an essential way to prioritize your safety and that of everyone around you.
By simply acknowledging that safety through mental wellness should come first, you can start making adjustments that benefit everyone.
2) Aim for a solid balance
Putting too much focus on your business duties tends to result in a skewed work-life balance. At times, this can feel like it’s just a commitment to your company’s success. However, when your overworking behavior becomes the norm, serious mental wellness problems, such as burnout, are likely to follow. Not to mention it can put strain on personal relationships, which also contributes to stress.
So, start making changes that empower you to redress the balance. Setting work-life boundaries plays an important role. Set relatively strict limits on your engagement with your business activities. For instance, identify hard start and finish times for your work. Communicate to colleagues and clients that you aren’t available outside of these hours, except in emergencies.
In addition, actively start using your non-work hours to personally enrich yourself. Yes, rest is important. But also attend to your hobbies and connect with your friends. These are also invaluable tools to manage the stress of your working life.
3) Invest in effective resources
Stress is a challenge. Just like every other challenge you face as a woman in business, addressing it requires effective resources. You’ll also find that investment of time, energy, and attention to maintaining them is equally important for reducing your stress levels.
Some of the resources to invest in here include:
- Exercise: Regular exercise is vital for maintaining your mental wellness, as well as being a coping mechanism for stress. This could be as simple as taking a walk among nature a few times a week. Though, if you work from home, you may find it useful to invest in turning your garage into a gym. Take a little time to create a floor plan that maps out how you can arrange your exercise equipment and your car in the same space. Make sure there’s sufficient heating and cooling in the area to keep you comfortable. With a few adjustments, you can create a gym that is convenient enough to incorporate exercise into your busy schedule.
- Therapy: Sometimes, you may not have a solid understanding of stress, its influences, or the steps you can take to mitigate it. This is where an experienced therapist can be a good resource to invest in. Indeed, online therapy may be a good way to conveniently incorporate this resource into your routine. In particular, look for a professional with experience in the unique challenges women in business face. They can help you explore your relationship to stress and its triggers. You’ll also collaborate on developing psychological tools to navigate it effectively.
Different resources are impactful for different people. After all, not everybody has the same experiences of stress. Don’t be discouraged if your resources are not immediately effective. Be open to exploring different options to identify what fits your needs.
4) Build your support network
The people you surround yourself with are vital to your success in business. The same applies to managing your stress. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is a burden you have to bear alone. Build a support network that’s relevant to your experiences and challenges.
This could include connecting with other women in business. After all, they’re likely to have a good understanding of the contributing factors that make navigating the business landscape stressful. Don’t just seek out groups purely as networking opportunities. Rather, look for people you could develop genuine and mutually beneficial relationships with. This helps to ensure you have someone to talk to during the tough times.
There are certainly a growing number of support networks online, particularly through professional platforms, such as LinkedIn Groups. However, it’s also worth looking for female entrepreneur groups in your local area. This enables you to reach out and forge in-person bonds with businesswomen nearby. You may find this is more impactful and practical for your stress management.
Learn the signs of stress and how to manage it
With a commitment to solid stress management, you can continue to make an impact as a leader. Identify the strategies and resources that help you manage the mental load as well as address the unique stress influencers of being a woman in business.
Remember, though, that this begins with being honest with yourself about the challenges. Commit to learning to recognize the signs of stress and being open to talking about them. This relatively simple step can set you on the path to a healthier relationship with your career.