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Executive stress

There have been a lot of mental health issues being brought to the forefront and I have spoken about ensuring that staff is helped through anything emotional or mental they are going through. The truth however is that everybody can be liable to mental health issues and very high-stress levels that impact completely on health, the ability to work, and eventually the bottom line and or business continuity.

What does this look like? On the plane, we are always advised to put on our own masks before trying to help anybody else with theirs. There was a write-up recently that many senior pastors are dying suddenly and this might be as a result of very high stress levels. Just to say executive stress knows no boundaries.

In many instances contrary to what staff believes, the adage that says uneasy lies the head that wears the crown is true. Some people have thoughts speeding up or slowing down sharply depending on what is going on or not going on in the business. Many have difficulty sleeping, some have difficulty eating or difficulty with too much drink and so many other things.

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Please do not think I am saying there should be no stress. There is good stress that we must be under to enable us to perform sometimes at optimum levels. We go to use the bathroom because there is pressure, without which we would embarrass ourselves. However, even good stress can be stressful beyond reason. Sometimes we find it difficult to realize when the good stress goes bad.

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Stress good or bad, in executives is related to productivity and wellness. A lot of this is going undiagnosed and untreated in our environment but not in a place like America where stress is apparently costing almost three hundred billion dollars to address. I almost wrote treat but very little stress is actually treated and cured. Many teach coping mechanisms.

Stress can lead to work disengagement, chronic diseases that impact work, work-related injuries from not paying attention or rushing to deliver, poor family connections, or no family connection at all.

One of the results is poor nutrition. Stress makes you, believe it or not, choose meals based on how convenient and easy it is to make or buy. Not on its nutritional value.

These convenient foods are laden with bad things that make you sick even if the actual stress does not get to you.

Many executives need to put things in perspective. Yes, you are trying to run a business, and especially in Nigeria, many things do not work as they should.

The cost of medical attention or even a total lack of medical care depending on where you live adds to the stress.

Some of the possible ailments are irreversible blood pressure which some people do not even know they have because it is known as the silent killer. Everybody should have a means of checking their blood pressure. It is literally the difference between life and death.

Today’s article is short and it is only to say the executives need to sleep to stave off low productivity, some cancers, early onset of dementia, and various chronic ailments.

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Please pay attention to delegation, using the tool often and correctly. Ensure realistic deadlines are set and there is a clear and distinct process map drawn up for all projects.

Eat nutritiously not junk. Eat sensibly not carelessly eating all the bad foods that contain flour and sugar. Be conscious of weight gain or loss. Pay attention to how you feel. Do not wait until you collapse to have yourself checked out.

Practice self-care in terms of your looks and your relationships. Disentangle yourself from any toxic relationships. Know what sets you off, anger wise and avoid it when you see it coming.

Practice spirituality because only God keeps you properly anchored to reality. Finally, remember that the grass appearing greener on the other side is actually an optical illusion that is not real.

Many times, the executives say ‘if you snooze you lose’. However, there is no point in not snoozing but being unwell. Unfortunately, many executives are actually unwell but have just decided to live like that. Thinking their bodies will just right themselves without deliberate help.

Many executives need to put things in perspective. Yes, you are trying to run a business, and especially in Nigeria, many things do not work as they should.

It is time to plan for the unexpected. If the unexpected happens then you are prepared and if it does not happen then you have more time and energy.

Also, some of our desires may need changing. Some of the material things we are ready to put ourselves under tremendous stress for may not be worth it when we put them side by side with our wellness and sanity.

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This is to wish you a restful weekend.

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