Considering its debilitating long-term effects, it’s not too much of a stretch to think of stress as a kind of communicable disease, a toxic byproduct of the unreasonable expectations we place on ourselves and those around us. It’s worse for people with ultra-busy lives, people who wear the burden of responsibility like layers of skin. If you’re a female business owner with kids at home, you know what stress can do, especially if you lack coping strategies. With no way to manage the strain, it becomes too easy to take frustrations out on friends, employees and family. If you’re feeling the strain at both ends of your life and struggling to maintain a balanced life, finding ways to deal with stress is essential.
Organization is a valuable skill; for busy working mothers organization is a matter of survival. There’s more to it than keeping track of meetings at work and conferences with the kids’ teachers. You need to anticipate everyday situations, like the ones that are apt to lead to a fight between your kids in the morning so you’re not late for staff meetings (a bad look for a business owner). Take time the night before to make sure your children are ready for school so there’s no frantic, anxiety-producing scramble in the morning. Also, try to avoid scheduling early-morning meetings with staff or clients so you’re not frazzled and distracted.
Draw the line As a business executive and parent, downtime is probably hard to come by. It’s a precious personal resource that you should guard carefully. That can be difficult for a person who’s accustomed to intervening in the lives of family members and meeting the needs of employees and colleagues at work. If you’re to reap the benefits of a healthy work-life balance, it’s important to learn to say “no” sometimes. So when you’ve set aside time for a stress-relieving workout at the gym, don’t give in and do a favor for someone who’s advantage of your good nature. Your time is just as valuable. If it helps, think of leisure time as something you can’t do without, like sleep and a healthy, energizing diet.
There’s nothing wrong with streamlining things at work, too, especially if it’ll help take the edge off and drive profitability. If it’s time to shake things up a bit or you’re ready to experiment, consider adding a dropshipping model with a unique and appealing product your customers will love. It gives you the option to test a new method and you won’t have to deal with the extra overhead of new inventory. While you’re at it, why not take the stress out of the customer payment process with a credit card machine or point-of-sale system that streamlines this essential business function? You could be doing yourself — and your employees and customers — a huge favor by tightening up your payment process. Just don’t forget to do your research first since charges vary depending on the machine you purchase.
Every stressed-out business owner needs to master the skill of delegating. It can be hard to let go and trust others when your business and personal investment is on the line, but you have to accept the fact that you can’t do it all. Learn to trust the people you’ve hired as skilled and dedicated employees who know what they’re doing and won’t let you down. And remember that delegating doesn’t just happen at work. Reach out to your partner when you don’t have the energy to cook dinner or when you’ve had a rough day at the office and need someone else to pick the kids up from soccer practice.
There’s no need to feel guilty about protecting your work-life balance, especially if you’re a business owner and parent. Being productive at work and nurturing at home is hard to pull off if there’s no “you” time. Your work and personal relationships will benefit if you’re able to enjoy people instead of using them to vent pent-up stress.
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