How to Manage Stress as an Entrepreneur

Business blogs are packed to the brim with helpful tips about managing cashflow, maximizing marketing spend and a myriad of other topics. Unfortunately, one vital area of business life is often neglected, despite the critical importance it plays in all our lives.

Thanks to Let’s Talk Day and other mental health initiatives, the conversation around mental health has shifted to a healthier place in recent years. We all go periods of doubt, stress and anxiety, with the unique demands of life as an entrepreneur placing a magnifying lens on these emotions. How you traverse these periods is vital to your long-term health and the viability of your business.

Here are some simple tips you can employ to help manage stress as an entrepreneur.

A Problem Shared is a Problem Halved

Internalizing your doubts and worries is a one-way ticket to feeling worse about things. While it may sound glib, discussing your problems with a trusted friend is one of the quickest and easiest ways to decompress. Whether that person can provide useful feedback doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you’re verbalizing your worries and sometimes this is enough to give you a fresh perspective.

Are You Working Out?

Exercise isn’t just a great way to improve your fitness, it’s also scientifically proven to aid with the release of endorphins, the body’s pleasure hormone. The good news is that you don’t have to become the next bodybuilder at your local gym. Small positive changes can make a huge impact on your mental health. Consider increasing the amount of walking you do; cycle instead of driving when you can. Introducing yoga to your life is a guaranteed stress buster thanks to its relaxed pace, beginner friendly nature and slow breathing work. The main takeaway is to increase how much you move your body – there’s no right or wrong path to follow.

Plan Accordingly

Stress has an ability to creep up on you one day at a time as little tasks pile up. A lot of entrepreneurs possess fantastic organizational skills that help them to fend off this worry. Even if you don’t, consider dedicating one day per week to attacking those little tasks and responding to emails you’ve left unanswered. Dedicating one day as an “Admin Day” can help stave off feelings of anxiety about that pile of work you’ve left to the side. The more you can plan out your week, the more successful you’ll be in attaining your business goals.

Lean on Your Team

If you’re lucky enough to possess a team around you, don’t be afraid to lean on them. There aren’t enough hours in the day for you to do everything yourself. You hired the team around you because you trust them and their competency. Empower them to take on roles and perform tasks you’ve previously done yourself. This will instantly free up time for you to attack other work and free you from one of the stresses most entrepreneurs face.

Learn to Say NO

As an entrepreneur you’ve likely been conditioned to want to say yes. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this; yes is usually good for business. But why do we say yes when internally we want to say no? Learning to respect this “no” and become comfortable with it is a liberating skill to learn. If you’ve reached capacity and can’t take on any more work, it’s totally fine to say no. If a client or partner is difficult to deal with, it’s ok to say no. Stop saying yes to things that stress you out.

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