Stress is no stranger to the life of a young business mogul or entrepreneur. It can come in a healthy form—the type that motivates you to push towards your goals—as well as a more harmful type, which can lead to a plethora of health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure and depression. According to the American Psychological Association’s 2010 Stress in America survey conducted by Harris Interactive, Americans are managing their stress in unhealthy ways. “Year after year nearly three-quarters of Americans say they experience stress at levels that exceed what they define as healthy,” said psychologist Norman B. Anderson, PhD, APA’s chief executive officer and executive vice president, in the press release. “People are also saying they have difficulty implementing the changes they know will decrease their stress and improve their health.”
Tina Wells, CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, BlackEnterprise.com weekly columnist and author of Chasing Youth Culture and Getting It Right, set for release in April 2011, spoke with BlackEnterprise.com about ways Be Nexters can remain collected in the midst of stress, how you can optimize your work schedule and why taking your lunch hour is essential to staying composed during the workday.
Don’t work 24/7
“I own a business so I’m never going to be able to fully clock out, but it definitely gives me the ability to say after 5 o’clock or 6 o’clock, I’m leaving the office,” says Wells. The 30-year-old makes it a habit not to speak to clients after work hours and, whenever possible, reserves the weekends for relaxation or creative writing.
Make time to do what you love
Your job might be fulfilling, but work can’t be your only source of enjoyment. Having a life outside of your job will keep you refreshed and ready to tackle your responsibilities during the workday. The marketing and research strategist suggests surrounding yourself with friends and family as a morale booster. She also finds attending spinning class as a way for her to work out any built up stress.
Work smarter, not harder
The trend spotter puts it plain and simple: “you’ve got to be efficient with your time.”
Enforce the lunch hour
The young business maven has implemented an office-wide, mandatory lunch break. She says even if you’re not going to take your break to eat, it should be used to take a walk, grab a cup of Joe or just get some fresh air. “Do something because you have to get away from your work,” advises Wells.
Keep communication to a minimum when stressed
Be mindful of the messages you send when you’re on the job and coping with stress. “Anything you’re sending, edit it, re-read it and make sure it’s exactly how you want it to be communicated. If it’s not, don’t send it.”
Don’t confuse healthy stress with negative stress
Don’t fret over healthy stress; it’s the bad stress you should keep at bay. “My most stressful times in business have been my most financially successful times,” says Wells.
“We think of stress and we think you can only be stressed out when something bad is happening but you can definitely be very stressed when really good things are happening in your business life.”
Tina Wells will join Black Enterprise at our annual Women of Power Summit February 23-February 26. Not able to join us? Then tune in to our live stream of some of our Women of Power events starting at 8am on Thursday, February 24th. Just log on to blackenterprise.com/wps.
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