Running a renovation company in 11 states can be demanding and stressful. I am faced with making tough decisions from 5am through the late evening regarding someone’s home. As our business grows it’s more and more critical to prioritize self-care and find ways to unwind among the chaos. Fortunately, there are fun and creative ways to reduce stress without breaking the budget. Here are a few things I’ve been doing to keep my sanity.
Take a hike. Nothing crazy, step outside during your breaks. Observe the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Pay attention to the sensation of your feet hitting the ground. This simple act of mindfulness can help clear your mind and bring a sense of calm.
Art Therapy. Engage in artistic endeavors such as drawing, painting, or coloring. I’m fortunate to have a job that allows me to explore artistically through interior design. It’s incredibly therapeutic and provides an outlet for self-expression. Set aside a few minutes each day to let your creativity flow, and you’ll be amazed at how it eases your stress levels. This can even include (in my humble opinion the greatest artistic expression man has created), music
Turn up the music. Create a playlist of your favorite songs whenever you need to shake off stress. Music has always been a big part of my life.
Start a Journal. Take a few moments each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Write down three things you appreciate, whether it’s a supportive colleague, a successful project, or a moment of tranquility. Focusing on gratitude and success helps shift your mindset towards positivity. I have a whiteboard where I can track progress and job completion. It’s gratifying and a daily visual reminder of my win column.
Practice Deep Breathing. Deep breathing exercises are simple yet powerful stress-relief tools. I first discovered this learning Isshinryu and Krav Maga. Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and take slow, deep breaths. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
Sometimes, when the world gets to be too much, I’ll take 20 minutes of my morning and do stretching, yoga and low level meditation.
Engage in Mindful Eating. People will always ask why I love Italy so much and I will always reply It’s the only place that reminds me to be human. Meaning: meals, drinks are an event. Instead of rushing through meals, you engage socially with those around you and take time to enjoy each bite mindfully. Pay attention to the flavors, textures, and aromas. Eat slowly and be present in the moment. Mindful eating not only enhances your enjoyment of meals but also helps you manage stress by bringing your focus to the present. In Italy a server will never bring you a check unless you ask for it. Il conto per favore.
We tend to rush through meals to get back to work. Enjoy it for what it is.
Exercise. My buddy Clif would’ve had me put this first but hey, I’m still working on it.
I recently bought a bike. My first time on a bike in over twenty years and I rode twenty miles. It. Was. Amazing. Sure, I was a little sore but felt great the next day and was ready to go again. If you have the means, hire a professional trainer and life coach. Remember, there will never be a greater investment than one you make in yourself.
Engage in a Hobby. Dedicate time to a hobby you love, such as reading, playing a musical instrument, camping, gardening, or photography. Having a creative outlet allows you to recharge and escape from work-related stress.
Laugh and Socialize. I try to make happy hour a priority in my life. Not to drink but to be social. (Ok ok maybe an occasional drink) but laughter truly is the best medicine and how can you go wrong with something called “happy hour”… Last night I had wings at Bushwallers during Trivia Night. It was fun and I wasn’t even playing.
Connect with friends, family, or colleagues who bring happiness and comfort to your life. Share a funny story, watch a comedian or play a game together. Most days have a happy hour of some sort and there are some great comedy clubs in our area.
Self-care should be a priority, even amidst the demands of your daily hustle bustle.
I hope you can help promote a healthier, happier you. Take small steps. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. You’ll gradually and incrementally notice a difference in your well-being.