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Managing Stress

As your company faces challenges, it is important to let off steam.

Someone asked how I was feeling this week. “Between periods of excellence,” I replied. Like many of you, my company, Livewire, hasn’t hit our sales numbers for Q1. There are myriad reasons why and we all cling to them like barnacles on a boat. Whatever the reason, falling short can bring on feelings of disillusionment, stress, and frustration. I’ve seen this movie a few times over the past 20 years and thought I’d share a few of my “hacks” for dealing with the inevitable stresses arising from the shark’s teeth of the financial feast/famine cycle. If we all committed to relieving stress proactively, that could mean a less volatile work environment and happier employees. Easier said than done.

Stress from Work
Getty Images

Exercise: If you’ve read any of my blogs, it might not come as a surprise that I’m a big fan of the free and socially acceptable drugs available from daily exercise. Endorphin highs are very real and feel amazing. The trouble is, exercising routinely can be hard. I find myself staring off into space during early morning workouts and musing that I can understand why most people have trouble sticking to a workout routine. It’s hard. Really hard. I usually workout early in the morning or “own the pre-dawn” as dedicated fitness gurus like to say. That means going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up at 4 or 5:00 AM most days. After about six weeks, this becomes routine. While it doesn’t get any easier to get out of bed, the feelings of exhilaration and feeling you have a leg up on the rest of the world more than make up for it.

Adrenaline: I love the feeling of adrenaline coursing through my veins. I get it from going fast in cars, airplanes, or roller coasters. Everyone’s different, but make no mistake, dumping adrenalin into your system can be a great stress reliever.

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Talking: My wife asks me, “How was your day?” every evening. Periods of stress are the times I’m least likely to share, but paradoxically precisely when I should share and gain maximum benefit from “unburdening my soul.” It’s therapeutic to verbalize frustrations and I’m always glad when I end up sharing how I feel with her. I always listen back and try not to solve her issues (I learned that from watching this video).

Bliss: Our industry rocks for this one. Everyone has their own form of bliss transportation, but I can get there through amazing sound. I have a killer 2-channel setup in my office with two Polk Audio SDA tower speakers driven by an NAD M10 streamer. A little lossless MQA “Pigs: Three Different Ones” by Pink Floyd always does the trick, especially paired with a frosty beverage.

Whatever you do to relieve stress, consider becoming more intentional in the days and weeks ahead as we navigate through another financial downturn together. There are a ton of reasons to not make time for proactively venting frustrations, but consider the singular advantage of being a better friend, colleague, parent, or mentor as a result.

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What do you do to blow off steam?

Stay frosty, and see you in the field.