01 Nov When Worries About Your Business Affect Your Sleep
When worries about your business affect your sleep
It’s a common thing amongst business owners to experience worries about business affecting their sleep. Sometimes, we might just have too much work on and we wake up feeling overwhelmed and under stress. At other times, it’s worry and anxiety that wakes us up, whether that’s anxiety about money, staff or decisions we have to make. The odd night here and there won’t do much harm, but if this becomes a regular thing, the impact on our business can be worrying.
Too much to do
If we are feeling overwhelmed by tasks, then sometimes waking up early and getting stuck in can be the best thing to do. It can help bring back a sense of control and make a dent in that to-do list. It may give us that quiet time to focus and deal with a difficult task. Of course, this is only a short-term solution. If you are continuously having to do this then you need to look at exactly what’s on your plate and what you can drop, diarise or delegate.
Waking up worried about your business
There’s a certain stage of sleep, REM sleep, where our mind works on discharging worries and anxieties via our dreams. It’s necessary to help us mentally recharge and set the slate clean for the next day. However, if our anxiety levels are too high our REM sleep may not be able to cope with the sheer weight of it. We may sleep for longer but still feel fatigued (REM sleep can be draining in excess). Or, our minds may wake our bodies up early to avoid this. Either way, we need to look at dealing with our worries about our business to be able to sleep.
Tools for business anxiety
There are two useful tools that can help you here. The first is the worry hour, where you dedicate an hour a day to what’s troubling you. So, if your worry hour is 4pm to 5pm and you start worrying about where your next client might come from at 11am, you tell yourself to put that worry away until 4pm. At 4pm you may find you’ve forgotten about that worry, or that your subconscious has been to work in the meantime and come up with some ideas. If not, you can choose to spend that time worrying, or work on problem solving that worry. Alternatively, you could talk to a friend or trusted advisor about it. This is about containing those anxieties, not pushing them away. You give them some space, but don’t let them rule your head.
Journaling for your business
In a similar way, journaling can contain those worries, but also give you a space to think them through. If you hate writing, a voice note whilst you take yourself off for a walk also works well.
There are no rules there, just write or talk about whatever is bothering you. Our brains are naturally a problem solving machine and this may be enough to help them start working on a solution. However, at the least, you are getting those worries and thoughts out of your head and onto paper or a voice note.
As a psychotherapist for business, I often work with business owners who are feeling stressed and anxious about their business. Or, perhaps, other things in their life are impacting their business. Sometimes, some small and subtle tweaks are all that’s needed. Occasionally, we are looking at bigger decisions around where you want your life and time to go. If you’d like to chat about whether therapy might help you with anxiety around your business you can book in a zoom call here, or email me here.