Keep Calm & Close Deals: An Agent’s Guide to Managing Anxiety in a High Stress Industry

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If you work in the real estate industry, it’s probably no surprise for you to hear that our careers come with a lot of stress and anxiety. With clients, the local and national economy, business building, and lots of other interpersonal relationships to contend with, it’s important to pause and take care of yourself and your own mental well-being.
Mary Siems is an Assistant Team Leader in Oklahoma City. She’s been part of the real estate world in some capacity or another since 2015, so she has first-hand experience in all of the overwhelm it can bring. Between this and her pre-real estate journey, she’s self-discovered how much anxiety can impact each and every one of us both physically and mentally. As a result of her experiences, she tries to help others to navigate a path through their own anxiety.
Strategies to live with anxiety
Mary has found the following behaviors and actions have helped her to cope with the anxiety she faces both personally and professionally.
  1. Have a morning routine
    If you are just rolling out of bed and thinking that you’re immediately ready to take on the day, unfortunately, you are setting yourself up for failure. Instead, figure out what activities help you to start your day at your best. For Mary, this means using time in the morning to sit in silence and jot down all of the thoughts in her head.
  2. Take care of your body
    It’s important not to underestimate how taking care of your body can have a real impact on your mental state. Exercise, eat well, and drink water.
  3. Seek out community
    When you find people that you can depend on and who can depend on you, it’s a safe place. Consistency through community can be incredibly grounding.
  4. Meditate and journal
    Sometimes our brains just need time to relax, unwind and settle. Meditating and journaling are both tools that can help us to calm ourselves and focus on something aside from the stress we may be feeling.
  5. Talk to a health professional
    Depending upon the season of life you may be experiencing, it may be useful to talk to a doctor or therapist to see what they suggest can help to quell the anxiety. Whether it’s therapy, medication, or a combination of the two, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for help when it’s needed.
Steps to reduce anxiety
There are things that can be done to help you to make the most out of your days, especially when anxiety threatens to take over. Consider the following things that Mary has found to work for her:
  1. Smart small
    Don’t think that you have to solve all the world’s problems at one time. Choose one small thing to focus on first and work on coping with it and improving it.
  2. Habit stacking
    Build on the habits you already have by adding one small habit to another. For instance, consider adding small habits to your morning routine to help anchor your day. Maybe you decide to drink your first glass of water the moment you get out of bed. Or maybe you choose to make your bed each day. When you succeed with a small habit, over time you can feel this success and add to it.
  3. Recognize you aren’t alone
    Take a look around and realize that you aren’t the only one to struggle with anxiety. The more you are open and honest about your struggles, the more you can normalize it. Almost everyone feels some level of anxiety at some point in their lives. You are not alone.
Things don’t always go according to plan
Even with the best laid plans, things don’t always go right. Sometimes, we enter into a moment that we think we planned for, but it just doesn’t happen the way we expect. Anxiety and stress are a natural result. Then what?
First and foremost, breathe. Try not react. That’s not to say you shouldn’t feel your feelings, but ask yourself: is this event going to matter a year from now? Five years from now? By asking yourself these questions, you can anchor yourself and help to move yourself away from an emotional state and toward a state of logic.
Mary also suggests implementing systems in your day-to-day work. While they don’t fix everything if things go awry, the right systems and processes can help to ensure that your business stays up and running when a bad mental health day arises.
While all too often we expect that the people around us always have it all together, anxiety is a lot more common than we think. As soon as we start to accept that we are not alone in our feelings of anxiety, we can realize that it doesn’t define us or keep us from becoming who we want to be. What behaviors have you implemented that help you to handle stress and anxiety when it arises for you in your life and work?
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