Top five tips on how to deal with stress as an adviser

Cropped shot of a mature businesswoman looking stressed out while working in her office at home, menopause at work

By Rebecca Mattingley, Wealth Planner at Kingswood

Everyone feels stressed at one time or another, it’s part of life. As an adviser, appropriately managing your stress levels is crucial both for your client’s and your own wellbeing.

Here we share a few tips that can help you to deal with stressful situations and ensure you maintain a healthy work-life balance.

1. Manage expectations

Make sure you manage expectations within your own team internally but also with clients externally. If you are having a stressful week and the workload is piling up, you may end up rushing and making mistakes. Communicate with your colleagues that there is a lot going on and that you may need a few extra days to meet deadlines. Also communicate with your clients, give them a call to let them know you’ll be getting back to them in a few days. Allow yourself extra time, more often than not, people will appreciate if you let them know in advance rather than overpromising and underdelivering. It will also help manage your clients’ stress levels too as it will keep them in the loop rather than leaving them waiting.

2. Nourish your body

Try to ensure you are eating well and appropriately. It is easy to sit at a desk all day and reach for snack food, however this is not going to give you the brain fuel you need. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, make yourself some lunch the night before full of leafy greens and ensure you get outside for fresh air and sunlight. It sounds obvious but as advisers, it is easy for us to not think about food, and if we do, it’s not always the best options. Fuelling your body with nutritious food will help brain power, stress levels, and give you energy.

3. Get up and out and exercising

Set time for yourself to move your body and exercise. Again, it is easy for us to stay behind a desk all day and not move, often making us feel lethargic, more tired and no doubt give us a foggy head. I try to set aside at least 30 minutes a day to move around. Whether that is a walk outside or going to the gym for a class. Sitting all day until late at night does not help our stress levels. Make sure you give yourself time to unwind and find a balance with work and movement.

4. Set clear boundaries and switch off time

The pandemic has made it easy for us to be available 24/7. Microsoft teams and other chat functions on our phones mean we can easily be working until late or at the weekends. It is essential we set ourselves clear switch off times. When we log off on a Friday, that should be it until Monday morning. Leave the weekend for yourself. Set your Teams on do not disturb. Turn your PC off. Sometimes, we will need to work extra hours, like during end of tax year, however, this should be a one off. Even during those times, still set yourself down time and switch off hours. Stop working past 6pm and give yourself time off. If you are feeling like you need to work nights and weekends to get work done, then something isn’t right, and you should consider sharing your workload. Downtime will allow you to get the job done better when you are switched on.

5. Set rewards for yourself

If you have a challenging client or are going through a difficult period at work, book yourself a spa day, a facial, game of tennis, golf, a massage, a hiking trip or a weekend away. Ensure you reward your hard work with time off to relax and switch off. Even down to the smallest rewards like the cinema or Netflix, similar to what parents do with their kids when they complete their homework… If I am studying, when I am done, I will give myself an hour of Netflix to switch off. These small things make it more manageable. Again allow yourself time to breath, clear your mind and switch off. It is all about balance with work and enjoyment.

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