Imagine you are going on a road trip. You pack your snacks (a must for me!), make sure you have your music or book downloaded to listen while driving. You have weather appropriate clothes and you know when and you will stop for lunch. You put the destination address into your satnav and you are off. As you enjoy your drive in the deep countryside, you notice that the road ahead is closed. You stop to check google maps to find and alternative route but the signal is so week that the map does not load. At this point you suddenly remember you packed a road map. You are prepared! You check the map, have a snack and continue your trip. Now imagine your frustration if you did not have a map!
Being stress resilient when life is full of uncertainties and events outside of our control is  what helps us to adapt to situations. Building stress resilience is the difference between having or not having the map that helps us out of difficult situations. Becoming stress resilient does not mean we won’t feel stressed. What it means is that we are able to better navigate when we find ourselves in a stressful situation.
As stress awareness month is coming to an end, I would like to share some tips about how to build resilience to stress. This is especially relevant to business owners who often work hard to build and develop their own business at the cost of their own wellbeing. As business owners they are strongly affected by ever changing rules and goalposts. Sometimes survival of their businesses depend on the owners stress resilience. Here are five rules to build stress resilience.

1)     Look after your physical health
·       Eat healthy. When we build our business or work to take it to the next level, they often eat on the go, have unhealthy snack. As long as it does not become a habit, it is OK to do that from time to time. It is important to remember that what we eat affects our mood and our reaction to stress. By including foods packed with vitamins, by having healthier snacks and by drinking enough water, we help our body (and brain) to become more resilient. But don’t try to change the diet at once. A small change made daily or, even, weekly, will make a huge difference.
·       Exercise. Integrating exercise in daily routine will significantly improve resilience to stress. Entrepreneurs and business owners stay at their desks stuck in meetings or preparing reports, business plans etc. By making sure taking small periods of time for exercising will bring change. A walk to shops or a quick yoga routine (even at your desk. Yes, there are exercises we can do while sitting at the desk!) are some of the ways to introduce exercises to our busy lives

2)     Less nicotine, alcohol and other substances.
Some of the most common and least helpful reactions to stress in business world is increase in smoking, use of alcohol and other substances. Quite often in an attempt to get a quick stress release, we may reach for alcohol, cigarette or other substances. Studies show that while they offer a short-term reduction of stress, they make us more anxious in the long term. They also reduce our ability to cope with stress in the future. By reducing their use (or completely removing them from our lives) we can learn to cope with stress better.

3)     Take time out.
When we start a business we spend a lot more time working on it. It eats into our own free time, steals time from family time. We spend less time with friends. It may cause frictions with family and friends and leave us with sense of dissatisfaction. The best way to deal with it is to plan time off when we can recharge as well as meet with people we care about. This helps us to recover our mental and physical energy. As a result, we improve our concentration levels, take better decisions, improve performance and productivity.

4)     Develop a good sleep routine. And make sure you stick to it and get enough sleep.
Everyone is different when it comes to the amount of sleep we need. However, no one can argue with one fact: we all need good restful sleep to recharge. Stressed people do not sleep well. And when we do not sleep well, we get easily stressed. This is specially true when we talk about entrepreneurs who often sacrifice sleep to work or catch up with everything else they missed during their busy day. To establish a good sleep routine, drink mint tea (or something that has calming effect on brain), remove devices from the bedroom, do breathing exercises before you go to sleep, practice mindfulness. Stress resilience requires us to have a rested brain.

5)     Be kind to yourself.
Everyone makes mistakes. What we learn from them is what matters. Don’t beat yourself up. We wouldn’t talk harshly with our friends if they make mistakes. Why can we not be friends to ourselves and talk to ourselves kindly? It is a good practice to remind ourselves on a regular basis how far we have come and how much we have achieved so far. By making ourselves feel good about who we are, we become more stress ready and can cope with it better when things are tense.
Using these strategies will help to build up stress resilience. But at times we feel stick and need support in order to make progress. You do not have to do this on your own. I can help you to develop your own healthy coping strategies that will help you long after our sessions are over. Get in touch and let’s work on creating your own stress resilience toolbox.
You deserve to be able to cope with stress when things are difficult. You deserve to feel free from stress.
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