Let’s be honest if you have your own business or are self-employed you are probably working way more hours than you should be. Sometimes this is no bad thing, there are times in our lives when we have to put the time in if we want to see the rewards. This might be especially true if you are trying to build a business whilst also working part or full-time or if you have commitments such as childcare or caring for other dependents.
However, there does come a time when you need to close the laptop, step away from social media and just take time to BE. I promise that if you take these little breaks they will leave you much more fired up and full of creative energy than if you just always try to push through. I often find that when I take mini breaks like these, I suddenly find the perfect solution for those little problems that were niggling at me – it’s called giving your subconscious time to work on a problem while your conscious mind takes time for a little R&R.
In no particular order here are the 8 ways I find work best to relieve the pressure of building a business – even better most of them are low cost or no cost.
Ok so first up it’s time to get active. Working usually means sitting at a desk for prolonged periods so we need to get active to relieve stress, lower our blood pressure and to release those feel-good endorphins. Choose any activity that you enjoy and none that make you feel tortured. If you don’t want to spend time in the gym, then don’t! Instead go for a walk, a run or a swim. Head to a dance class, go horse-riding or do some gardening.
The key factor here is enjoyment as otherwise you simply won’t do it. The cheapest option is to go for a walk every day and it’s amazing what a positive impact this can have on your body and mind.
Pump Up the Volume
Now getting active can also mean having a little dance around your living room to your favourite tracks and this should never be overlooked as a great form of exercise. If you like the volume loud, and have neighbours who may disapprove, then invest in a great pair of headphones.
At the other end of the scale music can also be used for relaxation so you might want to put on some more chilled out tunes to wind down at the end of the day, maybe even while relaxing in a hot bath.
Water, Water Everywhere
Which brings me straight on to another great form of relaxion – water. Wind down baths or invigorating showers can help us run better businesses. Don’t believe me? There is actually hard science behind why we have the best ideas in the shower. It’s all to do with the release of dopamine in our brains as we carry out relaxing and habitual tasks such as showering. Just make sure you note down that brilliant idea as soon as you are on dry land again ☺
Nature Lovers Unite
For me time spent in nature is always relaxing. That’s why when I walk I tend to head out into the country, along a beach if I have one nearby or if I am in a city I head to the nearest park. Rather than pounding the busy pavements it helps to more fully relax if you are surrounded by trees, those mischevious squirrels and birds flying free.
You may also want to take your best friend along, your pup of course, as this leads to quality time for both of you. Great exercise, fun time away from your desk and lots of fresh air.
Reading is another love of mine but if you truly want to chill out I would suggest picking up fiction rather than the latest business book. Alternatively, many people find they can switch off if they browse recipe, crafting or other hobby based books.
The main point of this is not to be actively thinking about your business, instead it’s time for your brain to get creative input of a different kind.
It’s Time to Chat
When we are self-employed we often spend a great deal of time alone. Therefore, for a complete break, call up a friend and arrange to meet for coffee, lunch or a cheeky glass of wine. After all there have to be some perks to the job and taking time off when you really need it is one of them. Meeting friends in a similar situation to you, where you can both vent about business, can be helpful. However, it’s also a good idea to meet up with people who have a completely different working background to you and then just talk about life in general.
Bring The Popcorn
Movie or TV time is great for giving your brain space to switch off completely and just be taken along for the ride, wherever the plot takes you. It doesn’t really matter what the film or programme is about, more important is that you don’t think about work the whole way through, so make sure it’s something that interests and entertains you.
Remember when you were a kid and your parents used to say being bored is good for you, well that still applies as an adult. Take time to do absolutely nothing but daydream. My favourite way is to lie down on the floor and watch the clouds whizzing by, yours may be to sit on a bench in the park or lie on your bed and just let your mind wander.
Daydreaming is a wonderful thing as it gives us space to check in with ourselves and make sure we are still heading where we want to be in our lives but without any pressure attached. Don’t use this time to stress or worry, instead give your imagination free reign and you may be amazed at what new ideas come to you.
Do any of these de-stressing ideas appeal to you? What’s your favourite way to relax when you need time away from your business? Leave a comment below as I would love to find out more.