Move your body. Whether it’s working out before/after work, on a lunch break or getting up to move. You need movement and you’ll be glad to do it. There are so many options to stay moving while working: treadmill desks, squat breaks, biking during phones, etc. Have a physical outlet to eliminate stress.
With all that’s going on in our country, in our economy, in the world, and on social media, it feels like so many of us are under a great deal of stress. We know that chronic stress can be as unhealthy as smoking a quarter of a pack a day. For many of us, our work, our livelihood, is a particular cause of stress. Of course, a bit of stress is just fine, but what are stress management strategies that leaders use to become “Stress-Proof” at work? What are some great tweaks, hacks, and tips that help to reduce or even eliminate stress from work? As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jessica Wright.
Jessica is an entrepreneur, real estate investor, mom, and wife of an entrepreneur. She loves traveling, reading, baking with her kids, and hiking. Jessica’s life tends to stay busy running her company, Dream Team Fundraising, but she has worked hard to not be overwhelmed and let stress take over.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to know how you got from “there to here.” Inspire us with your backstory!
Well one thing I didn’t realize when I married an entrepreneur is that I would one day turn into one. I was very comfortable with my stable job as a registered nurse for about 12 years. Then slowly started helping my husband with side hustles. Eventually I took over the fundraising company full time and continue to help as part of the real estate investing team as well. It’s been a wild and unexpected ride!
What lessons would you share with yourself if you had the opportunity to meet your younger self?
Be willing to take the risk and try something new. Also voice your ideas because even if you can’t imagine it happening someone else can help you get there- accept the Help!
None of us are able to experience success without support along the way. Is there a particular person for whom you are grateful because of the support they gave you to grow you from “there to here?” Can you share that story and why you are grateful for them?
My husband Erik has always encouraged me to pursue more than a 9–5. We love traveling and owning our schedule/time. He opened up ways for me to be a part and do so at a pace I was comfortable with. Then when the time was right I took ownership and continue to add my own creativity to our companies.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think it might help people?
Dream Team Fundraising is working to increase our client list this year and get in the top ranking position on Google. We love helping groups and teams reach their fundraising goals. Last year I had a group reach out which was raising money for a school therapy dog. That was a first for me and I loved getting to help them get closer to their goal.
Ok, thank you for sharing your inspired life. Let’s now talk about stress. How would you define stress?
I would define stress as when circumstances in life change and this new pressure becomes our main focus.
In the Western world, humans typically have their shelter, food, and survival needs met. So what has led to this chronic stress? Why are so many of us always stressed out?
In today’s world everything is changing, literally by the second. There is so much information that can affect our circumstances and is out of our control. I think when our minds are overloaded with negative emotions from problems they can’t fix, people tend to stay stressed out.
What are some of the physical manifestations of being under a lot of stress? How does the human body react to stress?
Physical manifestations from poorly managed stress can include sleep disturbances, illness, and bad eating habits.
Is stress necessarily a bad thing? Can stress ever be good for us?
I don’t think all stress is bad. Working towards a deadline and goal might increase stress but give the motivation needed to focus and finish strong. Another example is having kids can be really really stressful, full of lack of sleep and exhaustion but also full of so much joy and love.
Is there a difference between being in a short term stressful situation versus an ongoing stress? Are there long term ramifications to living in a constant state of stress?
Short term stress seems to be less intense/overwhelming because we know it’s temporary. But when stress remains ongoing and unmanaged it can pour over to negatively affect our relationships, jobs, or health as previously discussed.
Is it even possible to eliminate stress?
Stress can’t be eliminated but it can be managed. And should be. Managing stress is most effective when you take care of your physical and mental health. Make sure you take the best care of what you can control: get some sunshine, meditate, drink lots of water, make good eating choices, go for a long walk with a friend.
In your opinion, is this something that we should be raising more awareness about, or is it a relatively small issue? Please explain what you mean.
Even though awareness has been raised in recent years about mental health it’s not enough. People still feel overwhelmed, isolated, and unsupported throughout so many things that happen in life. Having outlets for stress management is a big issue that all people could benefit from increased awareness. No one is immune to stress.
Let’s talk about stress at work. Numerous studies show that job stress is the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades. For you personally, if you are feeling that overall, work is going well, do you feel calm and peaceful, or is there always an underlying feeling of stress? Can you explain what you mean?
Yes I feel calm when I know I’m on top of everything going on at work. Even when things get busier than normal I can feel peaceful as long as I have things organized and know what’s coming next. When there is more to do then hours I have in the day I can get overwhelmed and stay feeling stressed until I get control of the workload.
Okay, fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview: Can you share with our readers your “5 stress management strategies that busy leaders can use to become “Stress-Proof” at Work?” Please share a story or example for each.
- Prepare. Don’t spend Friday afternoon’s counting down the hours. Plan ahead for the next week. Set schedules/meetings/daily goals or to-do lists so you are ahead of the coming week.
- Drink Water. Your body needs you to stay hydrated. I don’t care if you have to run off to the bathroom to pee a ton. Your brain needs water so drink up.
- Move your body. Whether it’s working out before/after work, on a lunch break or getting up to move. You need movement and you’ll be glad to do it. There are so many options to stay moving while working: treadmill desks, squat breaks, biking during phones, etc. Have a physical outlet to eliminate stress.
- Deep breathing. Learn some new deep breathing techniques. This can be so helpful to reset your perspective and clear your thoughts before you have to respond to a coworker, boss, or customer.
- Prioritize. Make sure you are doing what’s most important. I make a list of the top 5 most important things I need to do everyday. This way I can feel productive and focus my time on what matters most.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that have inspired you to live with more joy in life?
I love to read. Two books I’ve enjoyed so far this year are “When Striving Cease” by Ruth Chou Simons and “I Guess I Haven’t Learned that Yet” by Shauna Niequist. I’m not committed to any podcasts but I have enjoyed tons of episodes from “The Goal Digger” Podcast by Jenna Kutcher over the last few years.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
If I started a movement I would try to help two groups of underserved people: Elderly and Foster Kids/at risk children. I would partner them together to make community groups so that they would be able to build relationships. Often these forgotten groups are lonely and desire connection. They each have so much purpose and joy that can be shared even though circumstances of life are difficult.
What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?
I don’t have any social media for the fundraising company. So the best way to keep up is through following our blog, Real Life Investor Couple.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.