You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;  you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you,  not doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.   — Max Ehrmann

Starting a new virtual assistant biz is stressful. No way around that. With little effort, you can double, and sometimes even triple the amount of stress in your life. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to handle it, or make it more manageable and reduce the impact on your life.

Rather than adding caffeine or a cupcake, consider looking at your whole life, and managing stress from the inside out.

Here are some ways we love to share to make that happen.

Thou Shalt Manage Thyself

Most people talk about managing time in order to have more of what life has to offer, or to make time for what they need to do in business, yet it’s only in managing ourselves that we really see a difference in our lives and are able to handle any stress life throws at us.

Manage yourself and other things will fall into place.

Thou Shalt Control Thy Environment By Controlling Who And What Is Surrounding You

Life is like a teacup.  There’s only so much “stuff” that will fit into it.  If you fill your cup with the wrong things and the wrong people, you won’t have time for the right things and right people. This includes clients.

The wrong things and people bring stress. The right people and things bring joy and contentment.

Choose who and what gets your time and attention.

Thou Shalt Love Thyself 

Acknowledge yourself for the good you do! Be gentle with yourself when things don’t go as you might have wanted them to.  There are just some things that you can’t control, no matter how much you want to.

Love yourself for who you are right now—at this very moment.

Thou Shalt Reward Thyself 

Leisure activities are otherwise known as recreational activities. When you do things that bring you joy, you are re-creating your spirit.  Nurturing your spirit is a great way to help you reduce stress.  Taking time away from your business to do things that nurture you will, in fact, make your more productive and successful in your work.

Take time to do things that reward you, every day.

Thou Shalt Exercise Thy Body

Health and vitality depend on your body’s ability to use oxygen and food effectively.  One of the ways to help that happen is through exercise.

Exercise also releases endorphins, which have been shown to improve one’s mood, making it a great way to deal with stress!

Move your body every day!

Thou Shalt Relax and Quiet Thyself

What do you do to really relax and be quiet?  Do you even take the time, or know how to?

Meditation, listening to soothing music, spending time with friends and people you love,  conscious breathing… these are all ways to really relax and add quiet to your life.

If your mind is pulled to the things that stress you, you aren’t really relaxed and your mind certainly isn’t quiet!

Take time to be absolutely relaxed and quiet every day.

Thou Shalt Rest Thyself 

It’s important to take breaks.  Employers give employees several during the day. Just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get the same, and, in fact, as the boss, you can take more of them!

Taking time for yourself during the workday is critical to your success.  Get away from your desk if you feel stressed, take naps if you’re feeling nappish!

It’s also important to get sufficient sleep.  Most people need at least seven hours each night.  Good sleep habits and hygiene include having a set bedtime and a set waking time. Did you know that if you don’t get the amount of sleep you need, you can be off (in your ability to think, respond and judge) by as much as 50% the next day?  Following a pattern and establishing a rhythm for yourself and your body with regard to rest help you be more relaxed and less stressed during the day.

Go to bed!  Don’t apologize for wanting to “turn in” early or what might need to wait until tomorrow so that you can get the rest you need.

Thou Shalt Be Aware of Thyself

Pay attention to your body.  It gives you clues as to what it needs, and when something is wrong with it.  Also, know what makes you feel great, and what makes you feel lousy.  Being able to recognize them will help you make great decisions for yourself.

Also, listen to your intuition.  Your wise self (your heart) never gives you the wrong answers.  Your head, on the other hand, will almost always try to talk you out of what you know, inside to be right or true.

Wake up and pay attention.  You learn all sorts of things this way!

Thou Shalt Feed Thyself And Thou Shalt Not Poison Thy Body

Our minds have really been polluted with ideas of what a “healthy” diet looks like, and what “proper” nutrition is.  Learn about what things like “low fat” prepared foods, sugar, fat, caffeine and tap water are really doing to your body.  Improper nutrition causes stress in the body. It’s not hard to get the right information and make great choices for yourself.

Eat good stuff!!  Your body will thank you!

Thou Shalt Enjoy Thyself

We’ve all seen stories of people who are diagnosed with some horrible disease and given six months to live who have, in those last months, really developed a love of life, and a huge desire to enjoy it all.

Well, forget about the person with only six months…. what about you, today? If the pandemic taught us nothing it’s that life can change in the blink of an eye. Shouldn’t each moment of your life be utterly succulent right now?

There’s only so much time in this life.  Every moment of it is precious.  Make it all count.

When you do, you’ll find you have less stress, fewer physical problems, and that you’re more productive. Look for the good/sweet/fun/joyous in every situation, even when life seems less than fair.

In closing, recognize that you deserve the very best that your life and work have to offer, and your life and work deserve the very best you have to give. Manage your stress by doing good things for yourself and watch what happens, personally and professionally!