There’s no denying it: Stress will always be a part of our day-to-day lives, but it can take a toll on our long-term health. So here are some ways to improve your life as an entrepreneur or a career woman
- Declutter your space.
Let’s face it: decluttering can be a daunting task, but organizing a space where you spend a majority of your time—whether it’s at work or home—has countless aesthetic, emotional, and mental benefits. Dedicate one morning this weekend to sorting through your clothes, books, shoes, or papers to determine what you want to keep. Get rid of anything you don’t love or use on a regular basis. Keeping only the items that bring joy and ease to your life will make your closet, desk, or home so much more inviting and accessible. Plus, you’ll have a renewed sense of energy after discarding the items that weighed you down both literally and figuratively.
- Only complain when you can offer a solution to the problem.
We all need our vent sessions, but complaining for complaining’s sake is actually counter-productive: you’re feeding your thoughts with negative attention, instead of looking for a solution. Is your internet connection too slow? Make a quick phone call to your provider to get it sorted out. Is traffic on the way to work terrible? Leave earlier or take a different route. Most problems can be easily remedied. If you can’t find a solution, then the situation is likely out of your control and complaining won’t do anything to fix the problem.
- Break a sweat every day.
However you want to do it — running, walking to work, playing basketball, gym training, furniture rearranging, —make sure you get in a sweat every single day. Staying active has infinite physical benefits, and beyond those, it spikes endorphins, making you feel happier post-sweat session.
- Check your bank statement every two weeks and choose one thing you can cut out.
Can you deactivate that auto-subscription service? Can you eliminate your monthly pedicure? Do your best to find one thing, however small or seemingly insignificant it may be, and get rid of it. Chances are you won’t notice the loss, but even if you do, the extra money you’ll be saving will offset the pain of sacrificing your daily latte. Have you read the book “smart money woman” you should read it.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
The best way to pull yourself out of a funk is to actively focus on the good in your life. If you have a few minutes on the bus in the a.m., pull out a notebook or the Notes app on your phone and jot down three things you’re grateful for, big or small. It doesn’t have to be extensive: a bullet-point list will do. Taking the time to thoughtfully consider what you’re thankful for puts your life in perspective—and allows you to focus on what you’re lucky to have, instead of what you don’t have.
- Make your bed when you wake up.
It takes less than two minutes (if it takes longer, get rid of your throw pillows) and starts your day on a productive note. Plus, crawling into a freshly made bed at night yields a sounder sleep than plopping on top of your wrinkled, tangled sheets.
- 7. Try a new activity.
Sometimes you feel most energized when you test the limits of your comfort zone. Maybe you’ve wanted to visit the cool coffee shop down the street, learn to play guitar, plan a trip out of the country, or try Zumba for the first time—whatever piques your interest, go for it. Experiencing new things leads to increased productivity, renewed creativity, newfound perspectives, fun memories, and—at the very least—an interesting story.
- Practice self-kindness.
Observe your habits, behaviors, and thought processes—are you gentle with yourself? If not, try to pinpoint why and when this occurs, then do your best to actively offer yourself compassion and grace. It could be as simple as taking the time to pay yourself a compliment when you wake up in the morning (try a positive sticky-note on the mirror in your bedroom), or saying “no” to hang out plans with friends so you can unwind with a book and glass of wine on your couch. Or maybe it means writing down one thing you did each day that made you feel proud, whether it was as big as tackling a new project at work or as small as finally remembering to floss.
- 9. Read a book instead of browsing your phone.
The next time you find yourself sitting around with a half hour to kill, pick up a book or your e-Reader instead of defaulting to your smart phone and scrolling through social media. Engaging with one story or idea, rather than bouncing between hundreds of little pieces of trivial, often irrelevant news, helps your mind stay calm, focused, and present.
A simple trick to ensure you make the time to read? Carry a book or your Kindle in your car, purse, or briefcase, and open it up whenever you’re standing in line, waiting to meet a friend, or twiddling your thumbs before a dentist appointment.
- Tackle your most daunting task first.
When you reprioritize your to-do list and place your most dreaded task at the top, its power no longer looms over you all day. Maybe this means getting through your flooded inbox, putting together a proposal, or having that call you’ve been putting off all week. Whatever it is, once you check this major box off your list, you’ll feel so accomplished and ready to take on the more trivial tasks thrown your way.
- Write down your goals and ambitions.
Invest in a small journal to record your life plans and goals. Don’t censor yourself. Simply write down whatever feels exciting and interesting to you. Taking the time to write down your greatest wants, many of which may have only existed in your mind, is a cathartic and empowering process. Plus, studies have shown that spelling out your dreams in ink can make them feel less intimidating and more attainable.
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up.
Hydrate. Whether it’s cold, hot, with lemon, with honey, drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning invigorates you, jumpstarts your metabolism, helps your body flush out toxins, and makes it easier to continue drinking water throughout the day.
- Give praise freely.
The old adage that doling out compliments only gives people an inflated sense of self-worth is ridiculous. Human beings need positive reinforcement and words of affirmation to feel connected and cared about. We need to feel appreciated, valued, and respected.
Be generous with your compliments and praise.
- Make more time for the things you love.
Make time and space in your life for activities you enjoy. Give yourself permission to pursue your interests and cultivate your passions without guilt or fear.
It could be as simple as spending thirty minutes every Saturday morning reading the paper at your favorite cafe, or as time-intensive as setting aside an entire afternoon to work on your latest fiction novel. Maybe it means hosting a monthly dinner party with friends, taking a language course, or spending more time at the park with your loved one.
Carving out time to experience the things you love doesn’t just bring you more joy, it also gives you more purpose and a greater sense of fulfillment. Plus, doing things that bring value and meaning to your life makes it easier to deal with whatever setbacks and difficulties come your way.