Can The Stress of Running a Business Cause Me to Drink?
Running a business can be exhilarating and fulfilling, but it can also be overwhelming. Being the boss brings its share of expectations and time constraints, and each of these stressors has a cost. Unfortunately, the impact of stress is surprising and extensive. One common behavior of coping with stress is drinking alcohol.
Drinking is costly. Alcoholism can cost relationships, professionalism, health, and even life expectancy. Can a DUI get your car insurance canceled? Depending on the state and severity, yes. So, drinking is a potential threat to your business, but the stress of running a business does not have to lead to alcoholism.
Read on to learn more about the risks of stress, the importance of goals, and healthy ways to manage your stress.
Evaluate the Risks of Stress
Stress can build so gradually that by the time you realize its impact, you’re already stuck in bad habits. Stress alone can affect your immune system. Compound that with the harmful effects of addiction on your body, and you might be brewing a perfect storm. Early intervention is critical to prevent those bad habits from taking root.
The rate of alcoholism among those that consume alcohol is alarming. Check your perception of your drinking and look into what defines alcoholism. In addition, educate yourself on the dangers of unhealthy stress management. It can alert you to specific warning signs.
Even if you think your drinking is under control, you might already be flagged for alcoholism by your life insurance provider. Schedule a visit with your primary care provider to discuss stress and addiction health risks. Be aware of warning signs and be honest about recognizing your coping habits.
Consider the consequences of alcohol addiction: you could end up in the hospital, you could end up with a DWI, and you could end up losing your business. When you truly evaluate the potential risks, it will make prioritizing healthy habits worth it.
Examine Your Goals
While in the thick of running a business, it’s hard to pause for reflection. It may help to schedule regular check-ins with yourself to compare your goals to your work-life balance. Being the boss can be rewarding, but it also means you might be the only one looking out for your well-being.
Purposefully evaluating your goals offers an opportunity to run a cost-benefit analysis of your own health.
Goal planning makes lofty goals attainable, reduces feelings of being overwhelmed, and finally reduces stress. In addition, making monthly goals can encourage better time management and limit opportunities for bad habits.
Scheduling self-reflection gives you a pause to decide whether your stress is managing you or you are managing your stress.
Ask yourself what makes what you do worth doing? Are the risks being managed? Are your goals being fulfilled at a reasonable cost? Alcoholism is one of those costs that can creep up without you knowing before it’s too late.
Develop Healthy Stress Management Techniques
Developing healthy stress management habits can reduce the risk of falling into alcoholism. The following practices are proven to reduce stress:
- Healthy eating
- Physical activity
Start by swapping bad habits for good habits. Instead of reaching for alcohol or that terrible snack, read the trigger and opt for a healthier pattern. Consider hiring a life counselor to help you find your triggers and develop healthy coping strategies.
What works for someone else might not work for you: try healthy habits for a defined period of time, then be willing to try new ones until you find a good fit. If you have a hard time practicing your techniques, schedule the time into your calendar. For example, include stress management with your monthly goals.
Carve out time for beneficial habits now; it will save time in the long run. Bad stress management can land you in the hospital, in court, or out of a business: and all those outcomes take a considerable amount of time.
Running a business can be rewarding and healthy if you take the time to take care of yourself in the process.
Be honest with yourself about the toll stress takes on you. Be aware of common pitfalls of unhealthy stress management like alcoholism. In addition, be proactive about managing the stress you know comes with the territory of being a boss. Remember that taking care of yourself will benefit your business in the long run.
Maria Hanson writes and researches for the life insurance site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. She’s passionate about helping others understand how their health impacts their life insurance and how to optimize their coverage.