Boss Lady

5 tips to stay mentally fit under pressure


Entrepreneur life – and any career or business path — is a rollercoaster. It’s filled with extreme highs and successes, followed by stress and disappointment, then all the way back up to being on top of the world. This of course isn’t a healthy way to live, which is why since co-founding Diverse City Careers (DCC), my co-founder and I have focussed on practical ways to stay both mentally and physically fit.

Mindfulness and wellness are key components to success, as they regulate the stress we may feel on a day to day basis. Below are some of tips that I’ve picked over the years that help me stay focussed, in control and performing at my optimum:

1. Don’t skip on the 8 hours

Getting enough sleep is probably one of the most important, yet most challenging things we can do to ensure we have a clear and focussed mind the next day. I’ve struggled a lot with sleep- it’s hard to lie in bed, filled with adrenalin from an exciting day and unable to switch off. However, recently I was introduced to the mobile application Calm. This app is fantastic — it helps with meditation and winding down before bed.

2. Get your heart rate up

Every morning when I wake up at 4.30am, I do 45 minutes of cardio. This includes either going for a run or doing a cardio box class. I absolutely LOVE boxing. It’s an amazing stress relief and allows me to clear my mind for the day ahead.

3. Turn it off

How many of us are tempted to drop everything and respond straight away every time we hear the beep of our phones or email alert flashing up on our computers? I’d say it’s 99% of us and I am probably the guiltiest. I recently introduced the concept of “screen free Sunday” to my week. During a 3 hour period every Sunday, I turn off my phone and laptop and take time out to just reconnect with myself and relax.

4. Talk to someone

I’m so lucky with DCC to have Valeria Ignatieva as my co-founder. Valeria is not only a business partner, but a best friend and support system. If ever I’m feeling pressure, one of the best things I can do is speak to Valeria about those pressures. It’s good just to have someone to speak to and help put things into perspective when needed.

5. Don’t be so hard on yourself

It’s important to realise that stress is perfectly normal, particularly if it’s because of something you’re very passionate about. When you get stressed, sometimes it can be exacerbated by feelings that you’re not supposed to be having those emotions and coping better. If you find that you’re beating yourself up every time you become stressed, just stop! Take a step back, go for a walk, talk to someone or turn off that phone for 20 minutes and relax.

About Gemma Lloyd

Gemma Lloyd is co-founder of Diverse City Careers (DCC), Company Secretary for the Diversity Practitioners Association (DPA) and has served on two not-for-profit Boards including IT Queensland and Females in Technology and Telecommunications (FITT). Through years of working in an industry under-represented by females, Gemma co-founded DCC with the goal of making a difference. It is now seen as one of Australia's leading ambassadors of gender diversity. DCC helps organisations embed diversity to drive outstanding results within teams and build better workplaces. Gemma is passionate about helping women achieve career goals and is a regular speaker at events focused on women’s confidence, personal branding and gender diversity. Such events include DCC's Better Ways of Working meetups, Women in Digital, XX in Tech, Griffith University’s “Leadership Engaging Diversity” and the keynote at SOPAC 2016.

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