Managing Stress: An Entrepreneur’s Guide

Owning your own business is not easy. Each day, new challenges arise that can cause tons of stress. Add on personal stressors, and life can sometimes seem overwhelming. Learning to manage stress is the key to getting through the really tough times. Once this is mastered, you’ll learn to enjoy every aspect of life, including the challenges.

The first step to reducing stress is taking the physical strain off of your body. By exercising and eating healthy, you ensure your body is prepared to take on all the challenges life presents. This should not be yet another stress though – find fun activities you enjoy that get your blood moving and elevate your heart rate. In addition to exercise, eating healthy is intrinsic to keeping a positive outlook. Your body needs a well-balanced diet, full of essential vitamins, proteins and even carbs! Food should fuel your body, so by eating well – you’ll set yourself up for success.

Give yourself a break, or two. Find ways to relax at work and home. Do yoga, look out the window, watch funny videos on YouTube or squeeze in a power nap. Whatever it is, give your brain a break on and off the job. Studies have shown taking time throughout the workday to reset your brain actually leads to higher productivity. Once you have completed a necessary task, take a few minutes for a mental break. After, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to master the next task.

Beyond physical measures, being organized can keep stress at a more manageable level. Even if it doesn’t come naturally to you, try keeping a calendar or a to-do list. Remember to write down everything. Even the smallest of tasks should make the cut since missing just one could lead to an avalanche of others. Plan enough time to do things throughout the day including meetings, phone calls, responding to emails – even eating. Create a public calendar for your office to ensure you and your employees are on the same page. A calendar can allow you to delegate tasks to your employees as well. You have hired them for a reason so let them help. New employees should be trained to take over tasks you would like to hand off, they can then be encouraged to grow into these new positions. Hiring employees you can count on and planning ahead means much less stress, especially when you’re out of the office.

Lastly, allow yourself a weekend off! Entrepreneurs seem to be constantly checking emails and touching base with clients – but it’s vital to unplug. Start with just a few hours of “me time”. Once you get used to this, you’ll see that taking an entire weekend to yourself is a possibility, even a necessity once in a while. Relieving stress as an entrepreneur is just as important as any other job, but it can be much more difficult since you are the at epicenter of your business. Taking time to prioritize stress relief can lead to a happier, healthier and more successful life and business.