scentered de stress therapy balm

April is Stress Awareness Month. As someone who has dealt with – and in fact continues to lead what many refer to as a “stressful life” I thought I would use this opportunity to share some ways that I keep stress at bay.

  • I delegate as much as possible. I know what I am good at, and that is sales. I don’t waste my time doing a bad job of something I could delegate to someone else who can do it better, faster and probably enjoy doing it.
  • I start early in the mornings with calls and emails; this puts the ball in the other person’s court and allows me to get on with my day. Some people say you shouldn’t look at your email until later in the day, but that doesn’t work for me. I look first thing, then again in the middle and at the end of the day, and on and off if in transit and not making calls.
  • I book “grey” time into my diary every day: important appointments with myself, where I have no meetings or calls scheduled. This time allows me to collect my thoughts and make important decisions without pressure.

scentered de stress therapy balm

  • I use Scentered De-stress aromatherapy balm while I am out and about. The scent is fantastic for lowering stress levels, but also the ritual of stop – inhale – reset helps me to take a moment and re-centre myself and my thoughts before I head into the next meeting or event.
  • I constantly review what I’m doing and what I need to do. The discipline of time management is something I practise relentlessly; I refuse to waste time on the things that don’t need my attention and I prioritise by profit I expect to gain from time spent.
  • I eat well, and know that when I’m knackered a sugar high will make things worse, not better. I don’t drink soft drinks, and avoid eating rubbish in general. You might wonder what this has to do with stress, but I live a very busy lifestyle and need to keep my body fit and functioning well at all times.
  • I avoid the consumerism trap. It’s easy to get hooked on buying endless “things” but that can just cause more stress over both money and space for storing said things. Rather than owning fifty pairs of beautiful shoes, I have five pairs that are good quality and will last me a long time. I’m not bothered about belongings; this means that I can travel light and don’t panic when things are lost. I am boringly happy with a kind of uniform approach to work kit but simple in my tastes and comfortable with that simplicity. I wonder in all these years how many hours I save because I very rarely wear makeup.
  • That said, I do buy things when I need to, if it will save me time that can be spent doing more important things. Time is money and I don’t waste either.

Gate 8 Luggage

  • I use Gate 8 Luggage which means I never have to queue to check hold baggage, and everything I need is right with me in the plane. I never have to wait for the plane to be unloaded at the other end; I can hit the ground running and am never worried about lost luggage. It sounds simple and it is; it has eliminated a lot of stress from the life of this busy traveller! Always exiting the airport like a race and hoping to get home for treasured family time.
  • Although I don’t waste money on shopping for the sake of shopping, I do ensure I have a good quality, lightweight laptop that is easily transported. I also try to keep up to date with the best tech available as this can save precious time and really help with stressful situations.
  • I set timers on my phone for the critical events each day, which allows me to always be on time. I hate to be late; it stresses me to arrive late for a meeting or appointment so a reminder on my phone allows me to ensure I am always on time and stress free.
  • I do not have time for ironing, so I buy clothes that don’t need to be ironed. I never, ever iron.
  • I work hard on my communication skills to ensure I can give my team clear guidance on what is expected of them. We plan meetings to an agenda which we stick to religiously to ensure we’re not wasting time.
  • As a team, we constantly review and refine what we’re doing. That might sound stressful, but it is nowhere near as stressful as finding yourself completely off-target with no idea how to get back.
  • I always aim for a culture where team members are aware and considerate of each other, as well as understanding that we focus on key things, constantly aiming to improve and generally understand that you cannot have or do it all. This helps balance the madness of constant demand.
  • I hire the A grade players, and surround myself with people I can rely on to work things out. I have rarely been let down, if ever, by great people. Knowing that what I ask for will be done removes so much stress from my life.
  • In each business I have been a part of over the years, I’ve made culture a priority. If your staff feel valued and cared for, they will work hard for you and go above and beyond any job description. By making the effort to care for your team, you can remove a lot of stress from your life.
  • Make an effort! In my experience, I always get more out of life when I put effort in – so I always make an effort, in whatever I do. I take comfort in the fact I can never look back and think I should have tried harder at something.
  • Make other people smile as much as possible. It’s free, it’s easy, and it makes you feel good. Being polite and friendly to the people we encounter is one of the easiest things we can do. I really believe that what goes around comes around, and it’s important to make that effort with others.
  • Find ways to make your admin easier; don’t waste time ploughing through paperwork if there’s a cost-effective alternative. Use something like QuickBooks for your accounts, or hire a virtual assistant to help you keep your desk clear.
  • If you’re doing something scary, wear black so that nobody can see you sweat. You don’t need to be worrying about sweat patches on top of everything else.
  • I will move heaven and earth to be present at one of my children’s school plays/hockey matches/netball tournaments. It’s more stressful to feel that you’re missing out on a child’s important moments than it is to travel for two hours to watch hockey in the rain, and then back again for a dinner.
  • I make it a rule to never, ever sweat the small stuff. It can be really easy to get caught up and bothered by small things, especially if we are already feeling stressed or tired. Sometimes something does happen and I do need to be somewhat firm or direct but as long as I am fair, and consistent and have set expectations then things seem to turn out alright. Sometimes I am wrong and then I will admit, apologise and be happy to put things right – diffusing or taking the blame for perhaps not communicating accurately can massively protect culture and climate.

In my years in business I have seen some people suffering the effects of stress. I have had times myself where I was so fed up I would happily have given it all away and walked. Luckily for me, those times have not been often. I have dealt with some immensely stressful times, and this was part of the reason for setting up Scentered: to restore lifestyle balance. I go by the principle of work hard, play hard and my down time is very much my down time; I guard it fiercely because I know I still have so many things I want to accomplish and I can’t do that if I’m sick with stress.

Written by Lara Morgan
Lara Morgan is best known for growing Pacific Direct, from start-up to successful exit, 23 years later. She now invests her time in fast growth companies and represents UKTI as an Export Ambassador, having previously exported to 110 countries. Her vast experience and business knowledge includes specialisms in licensing luxury brands, manufacturing toiletries and selling to the hospitality environment through complex global distribution chains. She's also an expert in leadership and developing talent having learnt through her own experiences of employing 500 employees in an open fast growth sales culture.

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