Monday, November 24, 2014

Heart Healthy Business

Often times we hear about how to make healthy food choices and exercise right so we can protect our hearts. A major problem here in America and around the world, heart disease affects millions and decreases your life span. Many people call it the silent killer, slowly choking your heart until a major event like atrial fibrillation. It can happen through body changes or it lies lurking in your DNA, taking advantage of circumstances like poor food intake and dehydration.

This is a deeply personal issue to me, it has cut short the lifespan of four of my relatives and leaves many more still closely monitored by medicines and doctor visits. As of this weekend, heart disease has struck another family member taking him and his pysicians by surprise.  That's why I would like to reach out to everyone and warn about the levels of your personal stress. Whether its a small business owner/partner or a writer, a single parent or a student...everyone has to worry about something. It's human nature. 

There are many things to do about stress, check out my older post called Funny Business, dealing with ways to be creative and stress less. Finding things to do about stress is how you manage it, but you have to know about stress to treat it. Women tend to recognize they are stressed waaaaaay before men do. (That's not just my opinion btw) That is, I am sure, at least a small contributing factor as to why men struggle with heart disease more than women. That doean't leave women off the hook, we all have to watch out for stress.

Running a heart healthy small business practice is the best way to ensure you can minimize stress for you. Heart healthy business should be mindful of many stressors including:

1. Admit you have stress (everyone experiences stress, even Jesus, so don't try and tell me you're good or ok!)  Identify what punches your buttons and deal with managing that first.

2. Overworking- if you work for "the man" you have a time card. Don't be chained to a format, but if you're putting in lots of overtime, find a way to give yourself a real break. Make time for it!

3. You're in charge- being "the man" is a great stress relief, but it comes with the burden of well, being in charge. You are the person who gets the credit and the accountability. It's tough how to treat this type of stress, but my best advice is talk to other business savy individuals. This small business community on google + is great. Ask advice, so if in the sad event you experience disappointment, you won't experience regret. You will know that the best informed choice was made at the time.

4. Connectivity- staying constantly connected to the world of your business is stressful on you and your family. If a date, vacation, or meal is on the table don't talk about business or engross yourself in your mobile devices. Disconnect and increase your endorphins (which lower stress) by enjoying special time with special people.

5. Deadlines- as the big cheese you can set and expand your expectations at will. Don't add stress to you business and your life by letting you expectations run wild. Learn to manage your deadlines, priorities and expectations.

These are just my thoughts and my ideas that I have seen work for friends, family, and myself. Don't end up on the "overly stressed and under medicated" list. If you can manage your stress you are one step closer to a healthy heart and a happier you.

This does not replace talking to your PCP and getting screened for heart disease and other heart related issues. Know where you stand and move forward informed.