Stress is our body’s natural reaction to danger and is an important part of being human. However, stress, especially prolonged stress, can make your work harder and make you sick. Being the owner of your business can be an amazing experience, but it’s no secret that being a business owner comes with some overwhelming stress.
The first step to managing your stress is identifying what is stressing you out. There many stressors that you can have as a business owner that others may not have. You have employees you are managing, debt to deal with, and sales to increase. Listen to how you feel in particular situations, interactions, or in doing certain tasks.
There are some physical signals your body gives you when you are feeling stressed. Watch out for rapid breathing, lightheadedness, headaches, other aches and pains, and other symptoms of stress. Once you have identified what stresses you out, you can start using the methods below to deal with those stressors, either by resolving them or by teaching your body to respond appropriately.
Take a Break
There are many reasons to incorporate breaks in your workday. They help you be more productive, help you learn faster, encourage creativity, help you regain some energy, and help you stay healthier. Breaks are also an important part of managing stress, both for you and your employees. If you start feeling some symptoms of stress, it can be important to step away to rejuvenate. This way you can address the stressor with a fresh mind.
Effective breaks look different for different people, so it may take time to find what type of breaks may be the most restful and productive for you. Here are some things to consider doing during your break:
- Get moving and go on a walk
- Do some breathing exercises
- Create something
- Eat good food
If you are unable to take a break, consider simply switching to another task that needs to be done. Sometimes this little change can provide the break that you need.
As a business owner, you have a lot of things you need to do and it’s hard to know where to start. Most of the time, you don’t have time for all of them. By setting priorities for yourself, you remove the stress of trying to figure out what to do next. Sit down with a trusted advisor and discuss what your priorities are as a business owner. Then come up with a plan. This will help you get the most important things for your company done first.
Prioritizing should not be limited to your work life. You have a home life that needs to be protected. Consider carefully what your priorities in life are, and create a plan for your work-priorities versus your life-priorities.
Don’t Do It All
It is impossible for one person to do all that is required in your business. Don’t do it all, please, for the sake of your health. Delegation can be difficult to learn, but it is one of the most important parts of reducing your stress as a small business owner.
Delegation doesn’t just reduce your stress by taking an obligation away, it helps you give the task to someone who may be better at it than you. For example, your business can benefit from outsourcing IT services to a more capable company. Think of ways that you can better delegate tasks.
Let Go of Control
Let go of control? But you’re the business owner! How are you supposed to let go of control of something you’re supposed to control? As you’ve no doubt noticed, there is still a lot that you cannot control in business, and sometimes that is very difficult to accept.
It’s impossible to control everything in our life. You’ll build up stress worrying about things that you cannot control. One way to help let go of control (and your stress) is by doing the above—delegating the tasks you cannot or should not do. Another way is by redirecting your energies into things you can control. Consider listing the things you cannot control and focusing on what you can influence.
Find Creative Solutions
There are problems, and you need solutions to those problems. That causes stress. Finding solutions is a way to alleviate stress so that the problems are no longer there. But the real stress comes when you’re not sure how to solve problems.
Do not forget that there are far more solutions for problems than often meets the eye. To find these solutions, incorporate Creative Problem Solving strategies (CPS). give yourself enough time to think about and research the problem, meet with people to brainstorm, and write down potential solutions. It helps to have specific goals as well.
Take Care of Yourself
You simply cannot take care of your business if you haven’t taken care of yourself first. Take some time to eat properly, sleep enough, and get sufficient exercise. Part of taking care of yourself is setting proper boundaries between your work and your life. There should be a space away from your job where you get to spend time with your friends and family. Take some time to unplug and take a break from your work.
Celebrate What’s Going Right
Do not forget to celebrate all the good, incredible things you accomplish. It is far too easy to only focus on the things that you’ve done wrong or the problems that need to be solved. It’s not easy to be a business owner, but guess what? You’re doing it, and you’ve done a lot of good.
Celebrating what’s going right also includes finding things to be grateful about. Creating a list of things for which you are grateful is remarkably effective at reducing stress. Make some time to sit down and create a list of things you are grateful for.
Stress is a difficult thing to deal with as a business owner. By following some of these basic stress-relieving tips, you will be able to not only manage your business but also your stress. This will help you to be a better business owner and help you have the best experience possible.
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