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Big moves can stress you out. From solving critical problems to making impactful decisions, the anxiety brought about by striking those big swings is completely normal. This is especially true for leaders who carry the weight of the entire organization on their shoulders. Every micro detail in every business facet can be riddled with stressors.
You’re a leader, but you’re also human. The reality is that you’re not bulletproof — but the good news? Stress is manageable. The biggest gamble a leader could make is to shrug it off and pretend it doesn’t exist. Look at it in the eye, and deal with it. From compartmentalizing to meditating, there are things you can do to relieve it. Here are five things you can do to let go of stress and enjoy your work:
Related: 5 Ways to Reduce Work-Related Stress
1. Accept the stress
you know what they say: The best way out of it is through it. There are no shortcuts to overcoming stress. It’s not a tangible obstacle where you can simply reroute your direction onto a smoother, more convenient path. The first step to letting it go is accepting it. Ironic, isn’t it? But by accepting, you are releasing yourself from its attack. It’s no longer a threat if you’ve fully embraced it and treated it as a part of the territory.
I know what you’re thinking: It’s easier said than done. To a certain degree, it is; but there are ways to make it doable. Start with the fact that stress is abstract. So, how do you deal with something intangible? You concretize it. Understand where the stress is coming from. Ask yourself these questions:
Where is the stress coming from?
What caused this problem?
What action plans can I set to resolve this problem?
When can I expect results after applying these solutions to the problem?
Once you figure it out, it will be much easier for you to release it. And by giving yourself a timeline, the overwhelming dread of feeling like it’s a never-ending problem will go away.
2. Focus on one thing at a time
The challenge for leaders is that no department is invincible to hiccups. And as captain of the ship, looking at the countless problems rising from one component to the next can be immensely overwhelming. The key here is to prioritize — focus on one thing at a time. Determine which should be done first, assess the problem, strategize, execute, and on to the next. Keep in mind that as long as you know your next move, that’s all that it takes.
3. Organize a strategy, and be present with each tactic
Planning for a solution is all about strategizing. However, a strategy without tactics is as good as driving a state-of-the-art engine without fuel. Craft an effective plan, create your long-term goals, and ensure to put those into motion.
Make sure to be present with each tactic. It’s paramount that you’re hands-on in directing the strategic implementations for two reasons: 1) You get to see firsthand if your plans are executed correctly, and 2) You get to witness how problems are slowly diminishing. The best stress reliever is seeing positive results through your own eyes.
Related: How Leaders Can Reduce Stress and Boost Productivity
4. Exercise and meditation
Don’t forget to take care of your physical and mental well-being by exercising and meditating. You don’t have to sign up for a gym membership — simple exercises like brisk walks, jogging, or dance classes can help your body release endorphins (or feel-good hormones). Sometimes, all you need to do is break a sweat to clear your mind.
On the other hand, meditation helps in re-centering your energy, improving your focus and increasing your patience. Not only will it enhance your stress tolerance, but it’ll also help you build a stronger attitude toward problem-solving.
5. Remember to enjoy every minute
You need to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. More often than not, stress makes us forget why we love what we do. A simple self-reiteration of your passion is a good enough reason to put yourself at ease. And making big moves is a reminder that you excel in your craft: You’re stressing out because you care about what you do.
Related: The 4-Step Process to Conquering Stress for the Rest of Your Life
Step back, relax, and give yourself a break. You’re doing big things, and it’s not easy! Give yourself time to navigate the curve, and be adaptive to any stressors that may come your way.