There’s no denying that owning your own business isn’t for the faint of heart. Between dealing with the financial feast or famine cycles, trying to keep your clients satisfied, working relentlessly to find new clients, and still aiming toward having some type of a personal life, it can sometimes feel like too much. It’s like you can physically feel the weight as it is pressing on your shoulders, causing you to wonder, “Is this what owning your own small business is about? Why am I doing this again?”
The truth of the matter is that we do this in life all of the time. One minute things are going great and we’re on top of the world and the next we’re sitting on the ground feeling like we’ve been sucker punched and the wind has gotten knocked out of us. And while most of the time we’re able to work out of these types of negative moods on our own, sometimes we just need a little pick-me-up to help. Fortunately, there are several options to consider.
Plan Something Fun
When my work life feels too heavy, it’s often because I feel like I don’t have anything to look forward to. Not that I don’t have a lot of blessings in my life, because I do. I have a lot of wonderful clients and I make more than enough money to pay my bills.
But it’s just nice sometimes to have an upcoming event or activity on your calendar that makes you smile. It’s kind of like when you tell your kids that you’re taking them to Disney and their energy and excitement seems to triple. Plus, research shows that people who spend their hard-earned money on experiences versus things tend to be happier, adding one more reason to get out there and do something.
It doesn’t have to be something major either. Just a nice night out with your spouse or some catch-up time with your friends over drinks may be all that you need to start feeling a little more chipper. You can also check local venues to see if they have any shows or events coming up that you’d like to attend.
When you do book something, hang the confirmation on your wall so you can see it when you feel like you’re ready to break. Speaking of breaks…
Take Frequent Breaks
If you’re feeling down because you have so much to do, a break may be the last thing on your to-do list. However, working continuously without taking a few minutes every so often is not only bad for your mood, but it can also hinder your ability to focus.
In fact, one study published in Cognition found that those who worked without taking breaks had “performance [that] declined significantly over the course of the task.” On the flip side, those who took frequent breaks were able to maintain their concentration the entire time with no problems at all.
One way to ensure that you take frequent breaks is to set the timer on your smartphone so it goes off in 30 or 45 minutes to remind you to get up and step away for a few minutes. Another option is to make a deal with someone at work to take breaks together, that way you have another person always pushing you to take time off so that you’ll be more clear headed when you return.
Let Media Inspire You
Some people turn to friends or therapists when they’re feeling blue; I turn to media. For instance, I have my iPod loaded with songs that make me want to push through the down times and emerge victorious on the other side. One of the newest ones that resonate with me most at the moment is Rachel Platten’s Fight Song. I also subscribe to MulliganBrothers YouTube channel as I find their videos completely motivational.
The goal is to find whatever motivates and inspires you and spend time with it when you need that little (or big) push in the right direction. For some people that means reading books or inspirational blogs. For others it involves talking to someone that they look up to; someone that always seems to help them see the good things in life.
Surround Yourself With People Who Are Happy
You know those people that always have a smile on their face no matter what is going on in their life? The ones that you wouldn’t think they had a care in the world because they don’t show it? These are the people that you want to spend a lot of time with. Why? Because research has proven that good moods are actually contagious.
Of course, so are bad, which is why you want to be very choosey who you keep company with. So, if there is someone that tends to make you feel even worse, you’re better off limiting your time with them – at least until you feel stronger and better able to not let their negative vibes bring yours down too.
Certainly, you can’t expect to be up and high on life all of the time. That’s just unrealistic. But when you feel as if you’ve been down long enough, doing these four things can often help.
What do you do when your business (or life in general) has you feeling down? I’d love to know so share your comments and ideas below!
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