4 foolproof ways to manage business stress

Young woman does yoga outside

1. Remember your passion

The reason many of us embark on self-employment is that we have passion for our profession. That can get lost in the rush to meet deadlines, pitch for new projects and file tax statements.

‘It’s part of me,’ says Terry Bahat, a certified personal trainer and health coach. It’s hard to fake enthusiasm meeting clients several times a week for months or years at a time. ‘It’s important to do what I like, it keeps me going,’ she says. ‘You can’t fake that.’

2. Phone a friend

Despite training others, Terry sees her own personal trainer every week and will also consult with a health coach every month or so to discuss her coaching methods and get feedback. ‘You have to be accountable to someone.’

And despite years in the fashion industry, Jody Kahlon isn’t immune to the creative self-doubt that can plague designers. She admits there are days when she questions herself, but she keeps it in check with weekly catch-ups with a friend who has been in fashion for decades. ‘I call her my muse,’ says Jody. ‘She knows me really well, she knows my style. She tells me I’m not crazy and to keep going!’

3. Work (it) out

Jody walks her dog once or twice a day and rides her bike to run errands.

‘I see a personal trainer twice a week at a local park, regardless of the weather. There are times when I stress about finding the time, but I feel mentally sharper after a workout. I also have the Time Out app that fades my screen at set times to prompt me to step away from the computer for a few minutes.’

4. Take a catnap

‘When there’s work to do but the mind isn’t willing, the siren’s call of the television can be strong,’ says Terry. ‘But I’ve made a pact with myself to never turn it on during the work day.’

But breaks are essential. ‘If I’m really struggling I’ll do the one thing I could never do in an office – take a 30-minute power nap. I always feel supercharged afterwards and even smug that there’s no one to lecture me on being indulgent.’

Business Victoria

Business Victoria

Business Victoria