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Lower Your Stress Levels
(Even When You’re A Busy Side Hustler)
Raise your hand if you’re stressed out!
You can’t see me, but I totally have my hand in the air.
This summer, while at one of my physical therapy appointments, one of the medical staff members was out (on vacation in Europe, lucky!). The sub was checking the trigger points in my neck (basically, my entire neck IS a trigger point. Also, most of my upper back. It’s not fun.), The sub asked me what I did for a living.
I told him I was a professional stressed person.
It’s a common answer for people my age—and especially for side hustlers. But as we can see from the fact that I have to go to physical therapy in the first place, it’s REALLY not good for the body. I can quote you studies up one side and down the other, but the moral of the story is stress is bad.
Sure, we have a lot on our plates, but that doesn’t mean we can’t fit in some time for self-care. Make yourself a priority, it’s the only way to find success and meet your side hustle goals. You can’t do that if you’re so overworked and burnt out and not taking care of yourself.
Read on for my favorite ways to de-stress, even when you’re a busy side hustler.
Tips For Less Stress: Do Some Yoga
I mentioned yoga in my post, Top Posture For Better Posture, and I’m mentioning it here too!
Why? Because yoga is awesome.
Sure it’s exercise, but it’s also calming and centering and really takes you out of your head. That’s the key. All you do is focus on the here and now and the next position. And the biggest perk is you can do it absolutely anywhere, and with ZERO equipment or memberships or subscriptions.
I am a huge fan of Yoga With Adriene, a channel on YouTube with hours and hours and hours of FREE content. Adriene, a yoga instructor and actor based in Austin, Texas, has videos for every length and type of yoga, even break-it-down-to-basics instructional videos for fundamental postures. Adriene’s videos are fantastic for ALL levels. In the last few years she has kicked off January with an amazing 30-day challenge. It’s really for everyone.
She’s my go-to for yoga! You can (and should) learn more about her at YogaWithAdriene.com.
Tips For Less Stress: Take A Walk
Going for a walk is one of my favorite ways to de-stress. I am cooped up indoors for many, many hours a day (especially at my day job). It’s not healthy. I try to get outside as often as possible, and am very lucky to live near a series of connected parks and golf courses that cuts through the middle of my city.
And I know for a fact that it helps.
Back when I worked in sports, I worked with people I…did not like. Now, that’s going to happen at any job, but in this case, this person was one who took the cake. One day, it got VERY bad, so I decided to go on a walk after work. While it started off with a lot of thinking of angry murder thoughts, I eventually calmed down. And eventually, instead of thinking about miserable person this person is, I…accidentally thought out the plot of an entire novel. I write novels in my spare time, and even though this was years ago, I still have that plot in mind to eventually write.
Had I not gone on that walk, I probably would have sat at home and stewed in my annoyance.
And going on a walk isn’t just for calming down when you’re angry. Need some inspiration for your side hustle? Take a walk. Being out of your usual element (see: in front of your computer) will actually inspire you MORE. Now, you don’t have to worry about doing too much while you’re out. You just have to focus on your inspiration and maybe jot a couple notes out on your phone.
Tips For Less Stress: Take A Shower
I come up with some of my absolute best ideas in the shower. Full stop.
Now this is multitasking I can get behind.
Not only are you getting clean after a long day of going and doing, but in the shower, there are no distractions. It’s just you in there (unless it’s not, but that’s not the point).
Here’s proof: during a recent underwater sessh, I realized that I had something to add to my post for posture support for bloggers (linked at the top of this post). It was originally six, but then right after I posted it, I added two more points, and boom, now it’s up to eight! You’re TOTALLY allowed to go back and add things to your posts.
And not only that, but now that I’ve added on to that post not once, but twice, I realize that updating your post is something people need to know about. So, soon to come, is a post about why it’s important—and not disingenuous—to update your old blog posts.
And that all happened while I was in the shower.
Tips For Less Stress: Meditate
Meditation is great for bloggers and side hustlers, because it helps you clear your mind and all that clutter that keeps you from getting your side hustle to-do list done. It can help you reduce stress, control anxiety (that’s a big one for me!), promotes emotional health, lengthens your attention span (aka helps you focus), and more.
One of my favorite yoga for meditation videos by Adriene is Yoga For Healing and Meditation from her 30 Days of Yoga series from 2015. It’s on YouTube, and there are also a TON of other meditation videos there. All you have to do is search and find the one that suits you best.
Meditation is also a great way to start and end your day. I know people who put meditation in their morning routines and it helps them stay both centered and focused. As for the end of the day, a simple meditation will help clear away the thoughts of the day, so you’re not thinking about them when you’re trying to sleep. The body has a lot to do when you’re sleeping, so you might as well give it the best advantage you can.
Tips For Less Stress: Read for Fun
With side hustling around a full-time job, there’s not a TON of time for doing things for fun. Not if you’re serious about getting your side hustle off the ground and successful. That’s why I’m pretty much a constantly-working hermit, as proven in my post, Side Hustle Schedule: A Week In A Busy Life.
At the same time, I DO know that it’s very important to take time off. Rest, regroup, reset. That is as critical to success as working hard is. And that’s what I have my late nights and my Sundays for.
Late at night, right before I go to bed, I read to wind down. And while I do have a long list of business and personal development books, I try to squeeze in some reading for fun in there as well, because I am also a fiction writer, and need to keep that side of my brain working too!
While I’m always on the lookout for new books (seriously, my fiction TBR is insane), I tend to default to some of my favorite standbys.
Tips For Less Stress: Breathing Exercises
One thing Adriene talked about in one of her videos (no idea which one, but probably in the 30 Days of Yoga series from 2015) is that you can always come back to your breath. I’ve tried my hand at Adriene’s 30-Day yoga challenges a bunch of times, and ever since that first time, that line has stuck with me.
You can always come back to your breath.
Breathing is SO important.
Breathing exercises are tied very closely to meditation, and can improve your energy, slow your heart rate, clear out your lungs, reduce anxiety, and more. Like meditation, YouTube offers a ton of deep breathing exercises that you can follow. All it takes is a quick search.
Tips For Less Stress: Get A Massage
This is one of my favorites, even if it’s one of the options where money is a factor. Well, that’s unless you don’t already have a partner willing to help you unravel the knots in your back. But either way, I’d still choose to go to a professional, because getting a massage is an experience like no other.
No distractions, just someone focused on you and your wellbeing. A massage can help you with a ton of chronic issues, including headaches (because that muscle tension you get when your stressed can lead to some not fun brain pain), anxiety, digestive disorders, soft tissue strain or minor injuries, and more.
Find a local parlor like a Massage Envy and see what kind of massage is right for you.
Tips For Less Stress: The Ultimate Way To De-Stress Your Life
The best way to lower your stress is to add an extra income stream to live a freer life. Starting a side hustle truly does lower your stress when you start off on the right foot. It takes time and effort, but the returns are amazing!
The first thing that you need? A self-hosted website. A self-hosted website gives you credibility, and allows you to a much further reach than any Facebook page or Twitter account will ever be able to afford. A website that you own will take you higher than any other platform that changes its algorithms on a whim.
I write about hosting my websites in 6 Reasons I Host My Side Hustle On Siteground, and I also write about starting your side hustle in Start Your Side Hustle In 5 Easy Steps. You can get started with a WordPress website, hosted through Siteground for as low as $3.95/month. Not only that, but you can be up and running in less than 15 minutes. It’s that easy.
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