Getting stressed out during the busy season makes it harder to focus and be productive, but these tips can help.

We have all had those days. The type of day where nothing seems to go your way, no matter what you do. Maybe you forgot to put an order in and now you are scrambling to catch up. Or a truck broke down and the rest of your day will be spent rearranging work and customers. Add in the summer heat, angry customers and we can all reach a breaking point.

Let’s be honest, this can be a really stressful business. If you don’t manage your work and your stress levels properly, you are no good to your business. These are some of the ways I beat stress each summer:

  1. Be sure to take lunch. It is really hard to justify even a 10-minute break some days, and I am a huge offender of eating lunch over my keyboard. But time away from your phone and your computer can help you calm down and reset your mind. You will come back to your desk focused and ready to tackle the rest of your day.
  2. Get some exercise. It can be as simple as a quick walk around the block. If you have more time, maybe a quick lunchtime run is in order. Either way, exercise can help clear your head and relieve some of the tension. 
  3. Work on your breathing. Breathe in deeply for a count of five, hold your breath for a count of seven, and then slowly exhale for a count of eight. Repeat this four or five times (with your eyes closed) and you're apt to find yourself calmer. Leading up to last year’s papal visit, I did this breathing technique on almost a daily basis.
  4. Know when to throw in the towel. When a day is really rough and you are beyond exhausted, you can start to do more harm than good. Those are the days when it is best to leave work, get a good night’s sleep and then start fresh the next day. Everything looks clearer after a great night’s sleep. 

Between customers and employees, you can sometimes feel like you are being bombarded. As your stress levels rise, it is harder and harder to focus, which leads to silly mistakes. But if you follow these four steps, you will stay calm as a cucumber and on top of your game.

Related: Money Manager: Armor Yourself

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