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Victoria Munro of Make-it-FlyHow to Survive and Thrive in a Stressful World
By Victoria Munro

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Owning and running a business can be stressful—after all, the buck stops with you. But in an uncertain economy, the challenges of entrepreneurship can be doubly stressful.

When ignored over time, stress takes a serious toll on your physical health, your ability to concentrate and on your relationships, and can ultimately lead to burnout. If you’re to be successful in the long run, you must take care of yourself and learn to handle stress in a healthy way

10 Tips to Help You Thrive in a Stressful World:

1. Take time daily to reflect on your life—look at the big picture. (This seems counterintuitive when you’re busy, but stress results in tunnel vision.)
2. Exercise regularly—it relieves tension. Asking a friend to exercise with you will provide accountability and make it more fun.
3. Don’t fly solo—surround yourself with positive and supportive people who’ll share their ‘been-there-done-that-wisdom.’ Talk difficult issues over with a trusted friend or board of advisors.
4. Take time out for yourself—meditate, journal, pray or go for a walk and observe nature—the trees and flowers, listen to the birds, watch the ever-changing cloud formations. Spend time with people, get to know them and develop deeper relationships. Encourage someone.
5. Get adequate rest and sleep at night
6. Plan time for fun—laughter is good medicine. Taking time out to relax and play shouldn’t be considered a luxury.
7. Focus on what is positive and see the glass as half full. Turn your attention to things that have gone well and praise yourself. Make a list of things you’re grateful for. Instead of watching the news, read or listen to inspiring books.
8. See stressful situations as opportunities to learn. Stop, step back and think about ways you could benefit from them. Velcro® and Post-It® notes were invented as solutions to frustrating problems.
9. Take five-minute vacations. Stop work for five minutes, relax, breathe deeply and think about something fun and pleasant. This can refresh your mind and you’ll return to the project with new clarity.
10. When you’ve completed a stressful task, reward yourself with something you enjoy.

Stress is generally a reaction to events, and we may have a choice of how we respond. List the things that cause you stress and ask yourself if eliminating, or at least minimizing, each of these stressors is even within your control. If it is, then brainstorm and write down possible solutions, making note of how you’ll handle them differently in the future. If the stressor is beyond your control—you just can’t do anything about it—remind yourself that getting upset over it is a waste of your energy and let it go. Take action that will lead to peace of mind.

(559 words)
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.

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About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at:, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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