Stress Management: How to Manage Stress as an Entrepreneur
People tend to think of fast cars, luxury vacations, and designer clothes when they hear the word “entrepreneur”, but for many, this is far from the reality. The life of many entrepreneurs is filled with hard work, long hours, and stress – the sacrifices they make to achieve their goals.
Stress management is an essential skill for entrepreneurs. Why? Running a business is tough, and you’re bound to run into some issues on your journey.
Perhaps some of your orders are delivered late and you need to deal with upset customers. Maybe you’re struggling to find new products to sell in your online store. Whatever the issues are, it’s important that you understand how to manage stress so you can continue moving forward with your business.
We’re here to help you succeed as an entrepreneur, so we’ve created this article to provide you with our top stress management tips. At the end of this article, you’ll be armed with the information you need to turn your stress into positive energy.
Let’s jump into it.
- What is Stress?
- The Benefits of Stress Management
- How to Manage Stress
- Stress Management in Business
- Turn Stress Into Positive Energy
- Want to Learn More?
What is Stress?
Stress is a natural response from your body when things start to get tough.
Stress is that frustration that you feel after an especially hard day at work. It’s the anxiety that you feel if you’re worried about your job security. It’s that sinking feeling that you get if you’ve taken too much work on.
But, it can also be the cause of that extra burst of energy that you get when you really need to perform.
Stress can come in different forms, and it’s essential that you understand how your body reacts to stress. Once you gain an understanding of how your body handles stress, you can take the necessary steps to build a stress management routine that works for you.
The Benefits of Stress Management
Stress management is essential for the longevity of your career, no matter the industry you’re involved in. We all face issues and pressures, but when you’re building a long-term career for yourself, you need to think and act for the long-term too – that includes looking after yourself. There will always be bumps in the road, but effective stress management will help you to overcome them, and power through at full-speed. The benefits of stress management are many but the most important thing is that it helps alleviate the symptoms of stress which can have a detrimental effect on our health even in the short term.
How to Manage Stress
Now that we’ve quickly covered what stress is, and why stress management is important, it’s time to dive into our list of actionable tips that’ll help you to manage stress.
Remember, there isn’t an exact science to this list – it’s important that you find what works best for you, as everybody is different. Try out as many or as little of the stress management tips from this list and try to settle on a routine that works best for you.
Alright, let’s get started.
1. Break Down the Problem
First things first, try to break down the problem that is actually causing you stress.
You might already know, but take some time and think about what it is exactly that’s making you feel stressed. Grab a pen and paper (or your laptop) and just start writing.
Maybe it’s the tight deadline that you’ve got coming up, or perhaps you’re struggling to land your first sale with your new business. Whatever it is, try to break it down. Be critical with yourself.
If you’re facing a task which looks impossible at first, we guarantee it’ll look much more manageable if you break it down, and face the task in smaller segments.
Start off by noting down the first thing that you need to tackle your issue, and think about how you’ll achieve success. Once you’ve got that down, move onto the next task you’ll need to complete, and so on. Soon you’ll have a list of micro-tasks that you’ll need to tackle, and you’ve already listed down a clear path to success.
We guarantee that you’ll be spurred on to succeed when the problem seems smaller, and easier to manage.
2. Yoga for Stress Management
Yoga is one of the oldest stress management techniques in the world, and for a good reason too. Yoga provides many different health benefits to those who regularly hit the mat.
Reduced stress levels, lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and reduced anxiety are but a few of the benefits that you’ll receive if you use yoga as a stress management technique.
Yoga might seem daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before, but you can always join a beginner’s class, or try out a tutorial on YouTube. Give it a try, and see if it works for you!
3. Take a Break
If you’re starting off your day with a huge list of tasks that you need to complete, your natural reaction might be to try and power through and complete them as quickly as possible.
This might work for some, but others might become flustered and fatigued. And if you’re fatigued it’s likely that you won’t be performing at your peak.
Don’t be afraid to take a break – it’s actually an effective stress management technique.
And don’t rush your break either, take as long as you need before you feel ready to continue tackling your tasks.
It might seem counterproductive at first – especially if you have other plans later on in the day – but taking the time for a break can actually help you to clear your mind, and finish your tasks even faster.
4. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is truly one of the best stress management tactics.
You’ve undoubtedly heard how important it is for your overall health to make sure that you get some exercise multiple times every week, and this sentiment remains true when it comes to managing stress.
If you want to use exercise as a way to manage your stress levels, make sure that you stay consistent. If you’re hitting the gym, set aside specific evenings (or mornings) of the week which you’ll dedicate to your workouts.
If you’re looking to engage with team sports do some research and enquire into local sports clubs – they’ll likely have multiple practice sessions every week which you can fit into your schedule.
Our best advice is to pick something that you like doing – you’ll find much more success if you’re going into your workout excited, rather than dreading it.
5. Watch Your Diet
When you’re looking for stress management tips, your diet is always a good starting point.
Your diet is so important for your overall health, but it’s one of the things that the majority of us let slip when we’re under stress. After all, there are so many fast food and delivery options around nowadays which make junk food the easier option, instead of a healthy, balanced diet.
But, you’re going to need a lot of energy if you want to tackle your daily tasks, and you’ll feel much more energized after eating healthy food.
Treat your body like a sports car – you wouldn’t put cheap fuel in a Ferrari, so why would you put cheap, unhealthy food in your body?
6. Spend Time Socializing
When it comes to stress management, socializing can be so effective.
We’ve all been there: your friend has asked you to come and grab a drink after work, but you turn them down because you’re too tired, or you need to work on your business after work.
All of those excuses are valid, but when it comes to stress management, socializing can benefit some much more than an early night.
If you’re the type of person who feels energized after hanging out with some friends, try to do it more often – it can help you to wind down and come back to work feeling refreshed.
7. Try Out Meditation
Many entrepreneurs have already experienced the benefits that meditation can bring to those who are looking for stress relief. Research suggests that meditation helps to lower your stress levels, helps to aid anxiety and depression, and decreases your blood pressure.
Meditation is a great stress management technique that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. It doesn’t matter if you choose to meditate in the morning before you tackle your daily tasks, or in the evening after a hard day’s work.
If you’re looking to try meditation, try using Headspace, there are plenty of guided sessions on the app that’ll help you to test out this stress management technique.
8. Get an Early Night
If you’re stressed because of your workload you could be tempted to work late into the evening hours to complete your tasks.
Yes, this shows your dedication to your craft, and will probably help you to achieve your short-term goals, but you’re building for the long-term, and it’s important that you look after yourself.
Sleep is essential for recovery, so try to get an early night most days of the week. If you get enough sleep it’s likely that you’ll be energized for the next day.
Also, try to ensure that you have high-quality sleep too – switch off all the devices in your bedroom which emit light, and wake up on the first alarm. No snoozing!
9. Learn to Say “No”
Our final stress management tip is a simple one, but you’d be surprised how effective it can be.
Simply put, learn to say “no” more often.
If you’re the type of person who loves to help others out, you can fall into the trap of putting others before yourself. And this won’t help you to manage your stress levels.
When you’re under stress, put yourself first. Politely decline if somebody asks you for help – they’ll understand completely, and you’ll feel relieved that you haven’t taken more work on.
Then you’ll be able to use that extra time to finish your tasks early, rest, cook yourself a nice meal, or anything else that helps you to wind down.
Stress Management in Business
As entrepreneurs, there will be a time when you will hire employees to join your team. By that time it is important for you to understand how to deal with your own stress, in order to help them deal with their stress. It is beneficial as a manager or leader that you create an environment that staff can thrive in, and one where if they are stressed they can vent in a healthy way. There are also small things you can do regularly to make employees feel more valued. Here are eight ways to make your office stress free for workers.
- Give them a quiet area in the office to relax: Having a small corner where people can go to chill can be beneficial especially for introverts who need time for themselves. The quiet area could be to take a nap, to reflect on your day, or to write down everything that is going on. It is important that this area is relaxing and quiet so people can feel at ease there. Another idea of how to manage stress would be to include a visual aid with stress management exercises people can do in this area to release a bit of stress quickly. Small stretches can be beneficial to get the blood flowing around the body and to chill for a bit.
- Provide healthy snacks in the kitchen: Healthy eating is important when stressed so make it easy to grab fruit by having it in a fruit bowl in the kitchen. It is good to have snacks of all sorts for the team but if it is not healthy, like chocolate or chips, placing it in a draw will divert people’s attention to something else like an apple instead.
- Flexible working hours: When staff are expected to be in the office from nine until five it can be stressful just trying to get in on-time without thinking about the stresses of your job. Allowing people to choose their own working hours means that there is one less thing to worry about when traffic is heavy and your bus has not moved at all in the past ten minutes.
- Yoga as a Stress Management Technique: Whether it is hot yoga, cold yoga, yoga with dogs, or hell it doesn’t even need to be yoga, assigning time out of the day where people feel it is okay not to work will push them to relax and take their mind off what is stressing them. It is astonishing how clearly you can think about a problem after not thinking about it for a bit. This can be a great problem-solving solution.
- Exercise as a Stress Management Activity: Exercise is a wonderful activity to de-stress as we mentioned above so give your employees a push by paying for their gym membership. There is no reason for them not to exercise for half an hour a day when it isn’t costing them anything. You don’t need to pay big money for gym membership these days. There are basic gyms that provide lots of different classes and machines that will suit your staff just perfectly.
- Schedule time for people to socialize: Another great stress management activity is organizing time for people to socialize with others in the office. Employees not only relax with others but they will get to know more people around them making the office a friendly place. By simply organizing a movie or bingo night in the office or taking the team out to dinner you can foster a friendly atmosphere which will lead to more collaboration and creativity.
- Talk about more than role performance: Most companies have quarterly or annual reviews where they talk about how employees are performing in their jobs. Very few companies ask employees how they feel in their role and ask about mental health. It may be a hard subject to talk about but ensuring employees are happy, listening to their concerns and discussing stress management strategies will help to keep them happy in the long run. This can, in turn, decrease unhappiness and minimize employee churn.
- Having an open door policy: Employees cannot always be happy in their roles and talking to management is the only way to alleviate these issues. It can be stressful for an employee to work up the courage to talk to their manager about an issue they may have. Having an open door policy alleviate some of these bad feelings so staff can talk to their managers about anything without feeling like they will be penalized for being truthful.
Turn Stress Into Positive Energy
That’s it – that was our list of stress management techniques that you can start using today.
Remember, stress isn’t always a bad thing. Try to think of stress as energy. Energy which you can use to propel your business to success. Minimizing stress by staying productive and keeping on top of your work is hugely important. If you struggle to keep focused try a productivity app to keep your motivation up.
If you’ve got any questions about stress management, or ecommerce in general, let us know in the comments section – we read every comment!