How to Manage Stress as a Coffee Shop Employer

It can be difficult to manage stress as a coffee shop employer. You have staff members counting on you, big decisions to make, people to hire, hard conversations to have, and multiple questions and suggestions coming at you simultaneously. You may spend your days putting out fires and wondering if you will be able to take a vacation this year. It is possible that you are exhausted, stressed, stuck in a rut, and discouraged. If any of this resonates with you, we adapted the following stress management tips from a trusted friend at Buscad Primero to assist employers as they seek a healthy work-life balance.

First, it is important to understand what stress is and what types of stress exist. Stress is any kind of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain or tension. Everyone experiences stress in some way, and it can be both negative and positive. An example of positive stress is muscle growth or recovery. This does not occur without the necessary stress or tension placed on your muscles. Similarly, developing character and new skills requires some stress or tension placed on us. Stress becomes negative when it is excessive and without recovery time. In these cases, it becomes physically, emotionally and spiritually harmful. Therefore, it is vital to learn how to manage stress levels so they can have a positive rather than negative impact on both your personal and professional life.

Below are 9 stress management tips to assist employers as they seek a healthy work-life balance. We recommend trying one or two at first to avoid being overwhelmed by multiple new changes at once.

Limit Communication Channels

In order to consolidate the number of questions and messages you receive from employees and partners, have your staff members communicate with you through no more than two communication channels (ex. your scheduling system and email). This will reduce confusion and declutter your notifications. In addition, only allow staff to contact your personal number for emergencies, or you may choose not to share it at all. Without these personal phone boundaries, it becomes easy to unintentionally prioritize work on the same level as family and personal responsibilities. 

Invest in Quality Products for Yourself

If you work an active job where you spend a lot of your time on your feet, purchase comfortable shoes. If you work at a desk job, purchase a comfortable desk chair. Pain often increases stress physically and mentally. Thus, it is important to invest in products that relieve physical pain. 

Fuel Yourself Properly

Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, sluggishness, and headaches. If you drink coffee (we recommend HOPE Coffee), drink it after a glass of water and with food to prevent unhelpful jitters. It is also important to avoid excess sugar both in soda and in food. Instead, bring pre-prepped, healthy, protein-heavy snacks and meals to work. Filling your diet with healthy protein rather than sugar stabilizes your blood sugar, which in turn reduces anxiety and physically calms your body. Your ability to focus also increases along with your productivity. In short, when you feel better, you work better. 

Use your PTO

Whether or not you choose to use all your days off, it is important to set aside time for focused rest without work-related interruptions. Vacations reset your mind, body, perspective on what is most important, and your work boundaries. After the initial “withdrawal” from the rush of work, time away can break unhealthy phone habits, minimize constant thoughts about work, decrease the knots in your shoulders, and remind you of the world outside the workplace. Before returning to work, consider adjusting work and phone boundaries to prevent falling into old habits.

Communicate Your Work Schedule and Habits with Friends and Family

It is not healthy to be in isolation on a personal level, and it is especially important to avoid isolation when you are in a position of authority over others. When you invite trusted individuals into your work life (to discuss topics like schedule, fears, difficult decisions, etc.), they can help you spot any unhealthy habits or need for boundaries that you may overlook. They can also encourage you as you navigate difficult situations. Lastly, it is important to keep others in the loop regarding the way you manage others for accountability. If you are stressed, it is easier to lose your temper or not consider others’ needs or feelings. Outside perspectives from wise individuals are helpful because they can provide sound judgment without being clouded by the emotion of the situation. 

Explore New Places on Your Off Days or Evenings

Escaping the management world and finding a change of scenery provides a fresh perspective, rest, and excitement. Change up your routine and try something new! Even something as small as trying a new restaurant or walking at a different park can make a difference in your week.

Delegate Tasks and Learn to Say No

It can be difficult to delegate tasks when you desire perfection. However, it is important to realize that delegation does not mean the task is always done incorrectly. It is often simply done differently, which is not bad. As difficult as it is to imagine, delegation is the perfect opportunity to grow in humility and for your employees to grow in skill. In fact, delegation is often the breeding ground for company growth. When you pass tasks off to others, they can improve in skill and you can give time and attention to more important things. Lastly, remember that for every “no” you say, you are saying “yes” to something else. Saying “no” is simply boundary-keeping and a prioritization of values. It is better to give more time to a few things than to stretch yourself thin while doing too many things.

Exercise and Get Outside

Physically exerting your body helps to clear your mind, boost your energy, and relax your body. If it sounds intimidating or undesirable to begin an exercise routine, find something active you enjoy doing. Exercising does not need to look like lifting weights at a gym or going for a ten-mile run. Instead, it may look like jump roping, dance class, yoga, swimming, rock climbing, ice skating, basketball, or karate. Simply getting active reduces stress significantly! In addition, spending at least a few minutes outside each day reduces stress. On days you do not have the time to take a walk outside, consider eating dinner outside or parking further from work or the store to lengthen your walk inside. Little things add up!

Journal Your Thoughts

Putting your thoughts into words and prayers brings perspective and relief. The more you write down, the fewer thoughts will race through your mind. Journaling provides clarity and can help you verbally articulate your thoughts clearly to others. It is a guide that forces you to slow down and process your decisions, conversations, and thought patterns. It can be uncomfortable, but an easy way to begin is to take 2-3 minutes and write down some thoughts on your phone. Anything is helpful! If you are a Christian, it is especially encouraging to have a written account of God’s faithfulness and provision for you.

As we mentioned before, not all stress is negative. It is a normal part of being human, and it can lead to personal and professional growth. If you follow even one of the above steps, your stress levels will begin to reduce, leaving room for growth rather than burnout. Remember, you need people in your corner to encourage you and challenge you as you pursue work-life balance. Once you share your needs with a trusted friend, begin taking small steps toward healthy stress in your personal and professional life. Once you do this, you may notice that new challenges in the workplace lead to new, fruitful solutions for your company rather than panic. You may notice that problems with employees lead to improved training procedures rather than a headache. Healthy stress leads to growth and improvement in your company (over time, of course). Listen to the warning signs of excess stress and begin the baby steps toward healthy stress management. Over time, both you and your company will experience growth.

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