How Leaders Deal with Stress
Stress is Part of Leadership; Coping is Essential
Stress is a killer. When left to its devices it can lead to high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, heart attacks, and more. It can destroy good sleep habits, mess up relationships, and create havoc in the workplace. Stress, when handled inappropriately, will cause a lot of problems. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
When you’re in a leadership position, you are going to encounter stress. You will have hard decisions to make, and you will have to make decisions that are the best choice, but not the perfect choice. So how do you bust the stress and make sure that everything continues to run smoothly? Here are 6 healthy ways that leaders deal with stress.
Face the Issues and Eliminate Them
Stress is caused by events that we seemingly cannot control. But the reality is that stress is entirely made up; it’s all in our heads. There are two types of events: controllable and partially controllable. Trying to control the partially controllable will lead to destruction. What we can control is our attitude toward anything that happens.
Adopt a new attitude, one of determination to get done what needs to be done, and tackle the stressing events head on. Even just the simple act of developing a plan will lower the stress levels, and then you can watch them disappear when your plan is carried out.
Break Away and Take a Break
This is what you should be doing anyway. True leaders take breaks. When stress rears its ugly head, and you have to make hard decisions, step away from the desk. Step away from the office. Get to your happy place. Turn off all the distractions, and meditate on what’s important. Clear your mind of the stress and everything else so that you can focus.
While you’re still taking a break, consider the stressing event. Consider what needs to be done, and what the options are to tackle them. Develop a plan, and then see the first stress buster on the list: tackle the issue.
Sleep it Off
There are a lot of theories around sleep. Some say you don’t need as much as you’re getting; some say you need more. The truth is that nobody can tell you how much sleep you need except for yourself. 8 hours is a guideline, but in reality you may only need 6 or 7 or even 9. You know when you feel tired; listen to your body.
When you are stressed, sleep may not come easily. But when you are stressed, get the sleep you need. It will recharge your body, refresh your mind, and ultimately help you make better decisions on how you can eliminate the issues and reduce your stress.
Become More Active
Physical activity helps with a variety of issues. It’s necessary to keep us physically healthy, but it is also necessary to keep us mentally healthy. There’s a good reason why the gym membership industry is huge business in the US; people want to feel good!
When you have big decisions to make, don’t skip the gym. Carve extra time out of your schedule to break a sweat. It’s a good time to consider possibilities and a good time to clear your mind. With the release of endorphins you will feel better, think clearer, and be able to create a sound plan to eliminate the stress that is causing you problems.
Seek Counsel with Others
A cord of three strands is not easily broken. Two heads are better than one. A wise man seeks counsel. These proverbs don’t become proverbs because they’re untrue. There’s a reason that no man is an island and it’s unwise to go it alone.
Do you have a mentor? Everyone needs at least one. When big decisions, problems, or stressors come up, seek counsel with those who have been there before. Their problems may not be the same as what you’re facing, but they can provide valuable insight.
Eliminate Future Stressors
Most of the time stress is predictable. Plumbing issues with the house? You may not have known that would be the issue, but you should have a plan of attack for things like that when they arise. Employees not showing up for work? Have a plan of attack for when that happens. The first time, stress comes up. The next time, a sound plan wipes the stress before it happens.
Creating a plan, a guideline, a how-to book, a system, is the only way to wipe out stress before it happens. When something not in your plan occurs, it’s an opportunity to get better and revise your system.
Big Sky Collision Center Trains Leaders and Fixes Vehicles
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we train leaders. As we grow to become the best auto body repair shop in Montana, we start at the fundamental base level: those who do the repairs. When leaders are built from the ground up, they learn how to handle the stresses of life in a way so they can continue to provide top notch repairs on your vehicle. The result is better service, a better product, and a safer vehicle for you and your family.