Fifty-six per cent of self-employed people feel as though they can never get away from their business. While this lifestyle may simply be part and parcel of small business ownership, it inevitably takes a toll on personal wellbeing. And since the main force behind small businesses are the people running them, investing time in yourself is ultimately investing in the future success of your company.
To take some of the stress out of de-stressing, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective ways to switch off and kick back.
Set aside time for meal prep
Stress eating is a vicious cycle. You get short on time, so you have a sugar or fat-loaded monstrosity for the sake of a full stomach and a quick fix. Of course, poor meal choices come back to haunt you in the form of sluggishness and guilt, hindering your performance and making you even more stressed.
Break the cycle and take your mind off things by setting aside twenty minutes or so to prep your meals for tomorrow. Doing so will help you avoid temptation, and consuming quality foods will improve your mood.
Do some light yoga
Working at a desk for extended periods of time is infamously bad for your body. Rounded shoulders, mushy abdominals and a slouched lumbar region are common symptoms of modern office work – but these can be combated with regular stretching. Not only does this have its physical benefits, but practising yoga has been proven to significantly reduce mental anxiety. Just twelve minutes a day will reportedly deliver results.
Even moderate dehydration can exacerbate feelings of stress and aggression. Sipping water throughout the day will not only reduce stress, but will also make you feel fuller and inhibit unhealthy snacking.
Swap coffee for chamomile
A flat white might be great for a momentary increase in energy and focus, but it can also leave you feeling shaky and distracted. If you’re feeling a little raw, non-caffeinated beverages like chamomile tea can have a soothing effect on the nervous system. Chamomile not only relieves stress, but can also act as a mild analgesic.
Work exercise into your agenda
Feeling like they have no time is one of the most common reasons people skip a gym session. But the stress-relieving powers of exercise are too great to ignore. Even just five minutes of aerobic exercise a day can see a decrease in anxiety, but twenty minutes is the recommended minimum.
Joel Svensson is a Melbourne-based freelance writer specialising in politics and business.