Welcome to 2012-Are you feeling stressed yet?

While this may seem like a strange title, it really makes a lot of sense when you get below the surface.  January is the first month of the year and it is a time to make new plans and measure the effectiveness of old ones, both at the same time.  For those of us in the world of small business, the stress never goes away and part of that is good.  It is hard to coast when you have to continually find ways to feed and improve your business and when the business is both new and small you get a double whammy to consider.

In dealing with stress the most effective strategies include both doing some things and not doing others.  This article from Business Week gives some good suggestions as laid out by their president, John Ryan (not a relative).

Here are a few things on my list that you should do more of when dealing with stress:

  1. exercise more-getting regular exercise is one of the best methods for combatting and dealing with stress that I have read about and also personally experienced; you cannot get too much exercise (unless you take this to the obsessive-compulsive level)
  2. get more rest-it may seem strange to say get more rest when I have just suggested you get more exercise-we all have the same amount of time, but your rest time is very important and it will be enhanced if you do #1 more often; exercise on a regular basis will make you rest better
  3. work in intervals-we all know the story of the hare and the tortoise, but the moral of that story is not necessarily the best when it comes to work and to dealing with stress-taking time away from work; even in short intervals, will make your work more productive and much less stressful-you can read more on this in the book “Power of Full Engagement”
  4. talk to someone about issues that bother you-this is really a man issue in most cases and it is perfectly acceptable to talk about what you like and dislike, even about feelings; you can do it-get over it

Here are some things you should do less:

  1. smoking and tobacco use of any type-you don’t have to be the surgeon general to know that smoking is not good for you; the move toward smokeless tobacco is not a good alternative and minimizing or eliminating both of these is highly suggested
  2. working in a job you hate-many of us are afraid to give up a sure thing in this economy, but you are exposing yourself to high stress when you work in a role you don’t like or even hate-life is too short; do what you like before it kills you for not doing so

So there you have a quick list of 4 things to do and 2 to not do if you want to minimize stress in your life.      January and the new year are stressful enough.  Take action now.