Being an entrepreneur has always been a difficult path, but 2020 has been an especially difficult year. This can create chronic stressors that affect you as a businesswoman, as well as personally. Amanda Wetegrove-Romine, Psy.D. hosted a series of workshops aimed to help small business owners combat everyday stressors. five sessions focused on common issues that female small business owners struggle with.
At the heart of the series is an understanding of stress. In general, we have come to understand the word as a negative one, but in an evolutionary sense, it has served an important purpose. The stress response is intended, however, for the short term. With the pandemic, there has been no relief, no resolution, so the stress response just keeps triggering.
Many believe that true mindfulness can only be achieved with extreme measures – like taking a two-week vacation and heading out for a mountain retreat. Dr. Wetegrove-Romine challenges that notion and encourages small business owners to find ways to be mindful in their everyday life. Deep breathing, practicing gratitude, getting outdoors and eliminating clutter are great ways to incorporate intentionality into your routine.
Screens as Stressors
So many times during the day, business owners are called to be in front of a screen. Answering email, communicating with vendors, and posting to social media are necessary parts of a business owner’s daily responsibilities that contribute to excessive blue-light exposure. Taking steps to limit screen time is a key to maintaining a healthy mental space.
Your brain simply thrives in nature. Now, as mentioned before, you likely cannot head out for two weeks in the mountains, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience nature on a daily basis. Schedule breaks for yourself and instead of heading to the coffee pot, walk outside and grab some sunshine. These breaks can calm you in the moment but are also proven to aid in less disturbed sleep.
So many of us are working from home. While the convenience factor cannot be overestimated, it also merges our two worlds in uncomfortable ways. You don’t have the commute to unwind from work before entering your home life. Zoom fatigue has taken over as we are meeting our coworkers and our children’s teachers through more and more screens, too often sitting next to the unfolded laundry. Finding a way to distinguish between the two is more important now than ever.
All of these things and more work toward a more relaxed you and that creates a more powerful businesswoman. Because when you are stressed, you don’t make the best decisions. You can’t make 2020 go away but you can strengthen your ability to face it and greatly lessen its effect on you. This work is about more than feeling good – it’s about doing better, and making your business the best it can be.
Dr. Amanda Wetegrove-Romine has incorporated her work in psychology to encourage outdoor encounters with her company, Psych Hike. Her belief that getting outdoors is healing is at the heart of much of her work and made her a proponent of hiking (including urban hiking in a city setting), as mindfulness work.