Today (2nd November 2020) begins National Stress Awareness Week in Britain so we wanted to take this opportunity to share some tips to help you stay as stress free as possible today and every day. 
 
Stress, the leprechaun that sits in the back of our mind and can be very fickle, however according to tradition they respond to your kindness in a good way. 
 
One legend mentions a down-on-his-luck nobleman with a crumbling castle who offered a leprechaun a ride on his horse. In return, the man returned to his crumbling castle to find it filled with gold. 
 
I haven’t got a castle of gold coins to help you but here are ten little Hippo Tips to avoid too much stress and ultimately a burn out. 
 
 
Take a Break 
To quote Jason Statham “Don’t be a salmon”. You can’t swim upstream all the time. Timekeeping and happiness can be split into three main sections, 
 
Workload vs Time - Focus on priority issues and get them out of the way, don’t let them simmer. 
 
Negative communication and emotional response. “If you have to talk about a fight it’s not worth having”. If you can, walk away and take ten deep breaths. 
 
Motivation, you don’t always need to have it, you just need you, breathe. Take your time. 
 
 
Holidays Throughout the Year 
All work and no play… Now we think of holidays as a flight to somewhere for two weeks in the sun, why not just book a long weekend, one day off on a Friday once a month will not ruin your business, but it could help you turn off for some important recuperation. Go to a spa, book a cottage, visit a friend, just always have something to look forward to. 
 
(This is 2020 so please follow government guidelines for COVID related travel and actions) 
 
 
Planning Ahead 
As a disorganised person, when I started dating my wonderful fiancé, you know her as Head Hippo or Dee, I would invite her over and then leave tidying the flat until the last minute, which would result in the inevitable text of “bit delayed, any chance you can wait 30 minutes.” It’s stressful, a rush and most of all changes your mood. If you, like me, can achieve 17 tasks at once at the last hour, learn to sit down and focus beforehand. 
 
 
Only Work with People Who Make You Smile 
Open communication from the start of any relationship will change everything. Let your customers and clients know who you are and find out about them. If you don’t click at the beginning, likelihood is the relationship will be strained. You don’t need to work with everyone that wants to work with you. The money isn’t worth it either. Find your pod. 
 
 
Create Systems and Processing 
Everything we do internally here at MMIH has a system and/or a process. Learn your own processes and how to put them in practice. 
 
If you are a stickler for organisation take time to organise your week, if you are more a creative understand you need to abide by the deadlines and take time to make sure you give yourself a framework for your responsibilities. 
 
 
Automate Things Where Possible 
You aren’t a robot, but you can let them help. Schedule your social media, have templates saved for generic requests, set up your calendar immediately with prompts for meetings. Get used to using systems like Zapier to help a process run smoothly and automatically without you being involved in every stage. 
 
 
Create a 'Work Only' Space 
If you work from home, this one is extremely important. We all know the term of escapism, reading a book, watching awful tv... You need a space where you cannot see anything to do with work. You don’t need a whole room, but you need an area where you’re safe from outside influence, noise and other people. 
 
Move electronics out of your bedroom if that’s where you work during the day, this will help you sleep better and avoid being reminded of your emails. The last thing you need is to have easy access to your computer at 3am. 
 
Remember – Hustle and Grind in the office. Bump and Grind in the bedroom. 
 
 
Don't Let Work Creep into Your Down Time 
“Fire gazing” is essential. We were literally designed to do it as human beings. I used to cycle to work and back, so I had 20 minutes of “me” time. Communicate with yourself and anyone else that you need to have some YOU time. Routine can be good, but you have a soul, relax for a minute on your own. 
 
Dee often drills this point into her clients. She knows first-hand how important this is and if someone isn’t making time for themselves, she gets a bit nervous for them. 
 
 
Mental and Physical Health is Important 
STOP! Recognising your own patterns of ups and downs is incredibly important and being open about them is as well. The stigma is finally breaking now and being comfortable with saying “I need a break” is implicitly important. Whether your back hurts or your mind does, it can wait. Whatever that IT may be. 
 
If you’re struggling, we really recommend you talk to someone. Ideally a professional but a friend or stranger will do to start with. Hey, if you need help and don’t know where to turn, get in touch with us. We have a ‘No Hippo gets left behind’ policy. 
 
 
Build a Team 
Employees, freelancers, suppliers, peers and customers. They are your pod, your kin. Open communication with all will help you build your own pod, build the team that you want. Respect, forgive and only accept people who like you for what you do and who you are. 
 
“Promote, Demote and Fire Accordingly”. 
 
 
That’s enough for now. If you need any help, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Pod. 
 
Until next time, 
Mike, 
The Man Hippo. 
MMIH. 
 
 
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