In today’s fast paced society, stress can be a powerful factor in both the health and productivity of anyone working in the retail automotive industry.  Long hours and the sometimes feast or famine nature of this business are not for everyone. Learning to manage the stress that is often part of the job is critical if you want to avoid some of the common problems that can occur if you don’t recognize them and cut them off at the pass.

So, what can we do to decrease our level of stress?  What simple actions can minimize our stress level and create both a better working environment for ourselves and a better career for the long haul?

The following are just a few ideas to guide you on the way to a more stress-free way of life.

Inconsistent eating habits are something that seems almost unavoidable to people working in our business.  The work day often begins with coffee and donuts eaten in a rush, followed by pizza, fast food eaten on the run and a variety of sugared drinks and sodas to wash it all down in between customers.  The fear of losing out on the next opportunity keeps many from taking time away for a decent meal and the much-needed breaks that can make a big difference in handling the stresses of a career in retail automotive.

Properly managing your diet can reduce stress levels and help empower your body, mind and spirit for greater and more enduring success.  A diet dependent on caffeine, sugar and high fat content is a sure way to sap your energy and puts you on the path to heart disease, weight problems and a host of other issues like diabetes, digestive ailments and other things that are detrimental to your health.

Smoking and over consumption of alcoholic beverages can play a massive part in creating stress and anxiety.  They may seem to bring a temporary benefit, but the long-term detriment to health and well-being is undeniable.  Life is too important to risk such dangerous things. If you need assistance curtailing such problems in your life, you should take advantage of whatever help is available to you as soon as possible. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose that is really valuable to you, and to those who care about you in this life.

Setting manageable goals is a big part of balancing your day and making it the most productive it can be for you, the dealership and your customers.  Start every day with a clear plan and do your best to follow it through to completion. If you don’t have a good idea where you are going, you will end up going wherever the day takes you.

The stress of winging it every day is much higher than what you will experience when you have an organized plan.  Clear planning will help you avoid things like procrastination, poor appointment setting and bad customer follow-up habits that lead to a loss of long term revenue in your business.

Stopping to smell the roses is more important than you might think for managing your daily stress levels.  It is easy to get so busy every day that you lose sight of what you are working for and why. Taking just a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the day to organize your thoughts, listen to a little music or just think about things that make you happy in life can really benefit your personal well-being.  All work and no play not only make Jack a dull boy, it will also make him lose sight of the really important things in life if he isn’t careful.

Are you getting enough sleep to be able to function well when you come to work?  Regular sleep and rest are required for effective stress management, and nothing can replace what you lose by giving them up.  Sometimes just leaving your work at the dealership can make a big difference in the kind of rest you get when you are away from the job.

Don’t worry about things you have no control over and don’t fill your mind with all of the things that happened that day on the job when you are supposed to be home enjoying time away from work.  There is enough anxiety in your work day as it is. There is no need taking it home with you where you can’t effectively do anything about it anyway.

Life is far too important to ignore the problems that come with letting stress and anxiety have their way in your life and career.  It is, however, up to you to decide how to handle your job stress on a daily basis. Hopefully, some of the suggestions I have made will make sense to you if you have a problem enjoying your work because of stress. It is definitely something we all have to deal with, but dealing with it is absolutely worth the effort and can bring lasting benefit to you if you take workplace stress seriously enough to do something about it.

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