How To Manage Stress

Written By Donna-Marie  |  Personal Development 

Wondering how to manage stress and regain calm when you feel you're almost at your breaking point?

Hint: You're not really superwoman.

Hey there, amazing business babe! Yes, you — juggling business, family and a myriad of commitments, all while trying to maintain that elusive balance.

In the pursuit of being superwoman, it's easy to brush aside the stress until it piles up, leaving us teetering on the brink. It's in these moments, when the overwhelm feels all-consuming, that we need gentle reminders and practical strategies on how to manage stress and find our calm.

There's so many things you can do, especially if the stress is on-going and causing health or relationship issues. This article is a starting point, with some quick and easy strategies you can use fairly easily when needed. 

Let's explore five simple, effective ways to reclaim your peace quickly, without neglecting the whirlwind of responsibilities you shoulder.

how to manage stress

1. Breathe Deep, Breathe Easy

It might sound cliché, but there's profound power in pausing to take a deep breath. When the world spins faster than we can keep up, stopping to breathe deeply can be our anchor. Engage in simple breathing exercises.

One that was recommended to me by a professional was to inhale for four counts, hold for seven, exhale for eight. However, I found it difficult to remember how many counts and where I was up to. (But maybe that was just me!) What I find works for me - and my son also uses this strategy - is to breathe in for four, hold for four, exhale for four, then hold again for four. Repeat that as many times as you need to. 

The idea of this isn’t just about getting more oxygen. It also helps signal to your body to slow down, a gentle nudge to the nervous system saying, "It's okay. We've got this."

Try incorporating these mindful breathing moments into your daily routine, not just as an SOS strategy but as a practice to cultivate presence and clarity. You can also do a little more research on effective deep breathing online. There's plenty of free information around this topic. 

2. Step Out, Step Away

Sometimes, the best thing to do is physically remove yourself from the epicentre of stress. Whether it’s a brisk walk or a light jog, the act of moving your body is a testament to your resilience. It’s not about escapism but about granting yourself the space to breathe and gain perspective. Leave your phone behind (if possible), let your surroundings engage your senses and allow yourself to be fully present in the moment.

While the exercise you get from this is good and can help reduce stress, it's also about the mindfulness. Focusing on your surroundings can help your mind to relax and start to settle all those stress chemicals rushing through your body.

I take regular 'sanity sessions'. These are my regular walks along a long, quiet beach. I walk for around an hour and engage all of my senses: what can I see? What can I feel... maybe a cool breeze or the warm sun on my skin, the sand crunching beneath my feet? I'll even close my eyes while walking and focus on what I can hear, smell and taste. Sometimes the only taste might be the saltiness in the air, but I love that taste and even if there's nothing to taste, I'm still thinking about it.

3. The Healing Power Of Tears

Society often tells us to keep a stiff upper lip, but in truth, shedding tears is a release valve for the soul. Allowing yourself the vulnerability to cry is a strength, not a weakness. It can be so cathartic. It’s a cleansing process, flushing out the stress and making room for new insights and energy. So, when the dam breaks, let it. Cry with the intention of cleansing, knowing that with each tear, you’re shedding the weight of overwhelm.

4. Find Your Soundboard

Sharing your struggles can be transformative. Confide in someone you trust, be it a friend, family member or mentor. This isn’t about offloading but about opening up a channel for connection and understanding.

Often, just the act of vocalising our challenges can lighten our load, offering new perspectives and solutions we hadn’t seen before. And remember, it’s okay to seek professional help. Therapists and counselors can offer invaluable support, guiding you through stress with strategies tailored just for you.

5. Momentary Escapes: The Art Of Tuning Out

Giving yourself permission to briefly disconnect is a form of self-compassion. Dive into a guided meditation, dance around the house for a few minutes, lose yourself in calming music or let nature sounds transport you to a serene landscape. This isn’t done as a way of ignoring your stress but to allow yourself a momentary retreat, a space where your mind can wander and rest. When you return, you’ll often find that what seemed insurmountable now feels more manageable.

In the whirlwind of trying to do it all, it’s crucial to remember that being superwoman is a myth. It’s okay not to have it all together all the time. Embrace the imperfection. 

Every day, by showing up, doing your best and navigating the tightrope of responsibilities and self-care, you’re achieving something extraordinary. So, when stress threatens to steal your peace, turn to these strategies. They’re reminders that in the midst of chaos, there’s a wellspring of calm within you, waiting to be rediscovered.

Ask For Help

You don’t have to journey through stress alone. Seeking professional help when needed is not just a sign of strength, but also an act of bravery. Whether it’s therapy, coaching or support groups, reaching out for help is a step toward healing and growth.

Remember, Lovely, you’re doing incredible things. Breathe, move, cry, share and rest. Your well-being is essential. So allow yourself time and space to find calm amidst the storm.

I hope this article serves as a comforting guide for when things get tough while navigating the pressures of entrepreneurship, family and self-expectations. You have so much to offer the world, but you can't do that effectively if you don't take care of yourself too. As one of my beautiful friends once said to me, "How full is your cup? Remember, you can't pour from an empty cup. You must do something every day to fill up your own cup." 🌿


About the author, Donna-Marie

Donna-Marie is an award-winning Entrepreneur, Author, Online Mentor and Content Marketing Specialist who's been lifting up small business owners since 1998. She's got an incredible talent for showing business owners how to build their dream business and life, teaching them systems to boost profits and enjoy more freedom, all at the same time. Don't just go with the flow... create your business - and life - by design. 💕