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Category: Brand · 4 min read

Putting the “Rest” in “Stress”

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on June 13, 2019

author profile photo

on June 13, 2019

Two professional co-workers giving each other a high-five

Do you stress out easily? 

Running a business can get stressful very quickly. Expectations, tasks, and goals can stack up and seem overwhelming. Things can go wrong, and budgets can get off track. There are more things to get done than there are hours to do them. When it gets tough, what do you do? How do you handle your stress?  

It can be tempting to shut down or give up, right? But that doesn’t solve anything. It’s essential that you stay sane while you grow your business and keep succeeding through the stress. To help you stay sane, I want to show how you can effectively manage your stress level and put some “rest” in “stress.”  


Keep a Little Bit of Pressure 

First, I want to clarify something. Some stress can be helpful and healthy. In fact, I find that a little bit of pressure helps me focus and stay concentrated on what needs to get done. When the pressure’s on, so am I. How about you? Use that pressure to your advantage, and turn it into a motivator to work even harder and better. Without it, it may be difficult to be as motivated to get things done (at least it is for me).  

To keep the pressure on or to stay organized under pressure, consider setting deadlines for yourself, or have daily goals that you have to hit. Keep yourself accountable by having specific tasks you need to accomplish to stay on schedule.  

Use that pressure to your advantage, and turn it into a motivator to work even harder and better.

Take Breaks 

When the stress threatens to take over, take a break. It may not seem like you have time to take a lunch break, but it can do wonders for your stress level. Having a scheduled time to get a change of scenery and eat is a good way to refresh your brain and regroup. 

Another way to make good use of your lunch time is to meet up with friends, colleagues, or mentors. Lunch is always a good opportunity to network and maintain the relationships that are important to you, no matter how stressful things get at your business. However you spend your lunch, the important part is that you’re getting a breather. 

Along the same lines as scheduling lunch, you should also schedule downtime every now and then. Many successful people, such as Bill Gates, adhere to making time for downtime every day, to think, strategize, or learn.  

Downtime doesn’t mean you aren’t doing anything, but it does mean you’re taking a break from your usual daily tasks and taking the time to reflect and think through things. This can be beneficial for your mental health, and keep you energized (especially in the afternoon). Some examples of downtime include: taking a walk, reading, watching training videos, taking an online course, exercising, or reflecting. 


Get Some Exercise 

Speaking of exercising, it’s important to focus on it for a moment. A recent Australian study found that aerobic exercise can lead to improved memory function and help maintain a healthy brain as you age.1 Not to mention, it can be a great way to relieve stress and think through complex work issues as you work out.  


Make Time to Rest 

This is different than downtime. This is intentionally resting and sleeping, and not working or straining yourself at all. When the stress rises, make sure you still take time to relax and give your brain a rest by getting a good amount of sleep. 

The way many people deal with stress is to work more and work harder. But, if you’re not careful, that can quickly lead to burnout and fatigue. That’s why rest and sleep is so important. It keeps you energized and able to keep attacking that stress. Sleep is critical to making sense of new information and problem-solving effectively. Don’t feel bad about getting a full night’s sleep. It’s good for you and your stress level.  


Figure Out What Recharges You 

How do you relax and reset effectively? It depends on what recharges and refuels you. For some, it may be time alone in peace and quiet. For others, it could be time with family or friends and noise. The important part is that you find what recharges you and makes you happy. What makes you destress, relax, or let off some steam? Do that, and see what it does for your stress level.  

Sleep is critical to making sense of new information and problem-solving effectively.

Stress is part of work, and sometimes it’s inevitable. But managing it and making sure that you stay sane as you run and grow your business is what matters. Don’t let stress overwhelm you. Don’t let it overtake your life. Fight it. Overcome it with rest and a motivation to get things done, one thing at a time. 



1. Science Daily. “Exercise increases brain size, new research finds.” Nov. 13, 2017. 


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Written By

Mark Williams

President and CEO

Mark Williams is the President/CEO of Brokers International. Over his more than 25 years of financial services experience, Mark has been both a producing independent agent in the field and a home office leader consulting to agencies and field marketing organizations. Currently, Mark is focused on the future of the insurance industry, from the disruptions of InsurTech and robo-advisors to the changing demographics and needs of customers. He also is an avid mentor, helping financial professionals navigate the industry.

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