top of page

The Art of Stress Management: From Overloaded to Recharged

Stress is the worst counselor and the biggest cause of cardiovascular disease and other discomforts. Yet many people suffer from it, and around me especially the smaller entrepreneurs who are struggling at the moment. But even if your business or job does go well, you can experience a lot of stress.

My dishwasher broke down the other day and just the thought of washing dishes by hand every day stressed me out. The result was halfway through the week a whole pile of dirty plates, glasses, cups, and cutlery and an angry girlfriend because the dishes are my job in the household. So even more stress.

Often it is not at all due to the workload or the work itself, but to how you schedule it. In other words, time management to avoid stress.

Do what stresses you out at agreed times

Someone I mentor has a large, exclusive beauty clinic. She loves the work and most clients, but everything around it stresses her out. Clients rescheduling appointments, wanting discounts because the treatment was not up to expectations, administration, staff spontaneously calling in sick, and so on. It gives her stress throughout the day and also makes her communicate with everyone from morning to night.

This means that, except during her sleep, she faces negative stimuli all day long, and doing so for too long in a row can cause serious mental and even physical symptoms. In her case, she becomes very short-tempered and needs a lot of rest and little energy for a social life. These are signs that incipient burnout may be coming.


Now, of course, she cannot make a client who wants to reschedule an appointment wait a day. But about 80 percent of the responses she gives to clients or employees can wait. The advantage if you do all those things at a time is that you will then have mostly positive impulses the rest of the time.

In fact, the problem is that negative impulses discharge you and positive impulses charge you. But just as a positive impulse makes you resistant to a negative impulse, a negative impulse makes the positive impulse less powerful or not received at all.

Doing the thing that stresses you out within a certain time frame gives your body and mind time to recover and recharge, and you will also do the things that need to be done more efficiently.

Reframe the meaning you give to negative things

Those dishes I have to do for a while, it's only a 2-person wash, of course, doesn't represent anything. It is only the image I have of it and thus the meaning I give to it. For instance, I find it an interruption of my time that I want to spend together after dinner, the water is always too cold or too hot, I never get the glasses properly dried, and I am a mess pilot, so a glass always falls into the water in shards. Just try to get that out without cuts!

If I reframe this to how nice my girlfriend, who does most of the housework, thinks it is that I also do my bit, doing the dishes is a lot less of a problem. In addition, if I give it the meaning that I can also catch up with my friend while doing the dishes, and that it takes less than 10 minutes and then the kitchen is all tidy again because I can also clean the rest with the suds, then doing the dishes is almost a party.