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Stress Management Tips for Business Owners

by Mike Abelson   June 14, 2021
It’s not unusual to feel stress at work, but how you manage it could impact your potential for success. Here are tips for how to feel happy and safe at work.

The stress of running a business or being an entrepreneur can be overbearing at times. Managing a hectic schedule, taking nonstop calls and meetings, and having to deal with an unexpected conflict in the workplace are all significant stressors and potentially harmful to one’s health. Unchecked, this can lead to a weakened immune system, social withdrawal, depression, insomnia, and other unpleasant health concerns.

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With that said, every business owner should figure out how to get over stress, and this article will present some options for doing so. To maintain a healthy state of mind, here are some stress management tips at work to keep in mind:

Woman who appears to be stressed.

1. Press Pause and Take a Break

Business stress lives in the brain rent-free, and getting rid of it sometimes requires a reset. Once in a while, disconnecting from the office and recharging the brain is crucial. If there are things that don’t let you sleep at night, write everything down somewhere and put them aside for some time while concentrating on other things in life. This way, you’ll know that all your thoughts are safely preserved, and you can get back to worrying about them after refreshing the brain. This should be both a daily thing, as well as during longer vacations throughout the year. A short trip over the weekend can also be enough to calm the mind and recharge. Even just planning for these trips can be a relaxing activity and help to reduce stress levels.

2. Lean on Someone

You need to be the boss of the office, but that doesn’t have to be so at home or with your friends. Lean on the support network you already have. Talk to your family about what may be upsetting you at work, or go out with friends after work to take your mind off things. Spending quality time with loved ones will remind you of what is important and take the pressure off your business. Friends and family can sometimes be the best therapy, and conversations with them are an organic support mechanism to help you make it through a tough day. 

3. Spot Your Stressors and Respond Correctly

Figure out your stress triggers and then plan healthy ways to deal with anxiety and its perpetrators. Whether it is toxic customers or irresponsible coworkers, it’s not always a good idea to turn a blind eye to and ignore things that are bothering you. Neglecting them won’t make them go away on their own. It will eventually accumulate to an even deeper level of stress and frustration. At times, confronting these issues and rooting them out is the only way out to remain productive. Remember to always be firm with your decisions as you’re only doing a good deed for yourself.

4. Get a Good Amount of Sleep

If you’re not getting eight hours, then you’re probably not enjoying the benefits of a full night of sleep. Regular sleep helps to maintain the body’s equilibrium and provides a plethora of health benefits. Depriving your body of sleep can add to your stress and lead to a host of other health issues. It’s not always easy for workaholics to ease their minds and go to sleep immediately, but this is where Tip 1 mentioned earlier about how to avoid stress comes to help. Depositing thoughts and inconveniences into a diary will actually help to soothe your brain and put you to sleep. Consider using some sleep apps, such as Headspace or Noisli, if you’re still having trouble with insomnia.

5. Exercise

Exercise

Aerobics that speed up your heart for at least 30 minutes a day gives you more energy, focus, and a better mood. If you spend the entire day in front of a computer, doing physical activities is vital for a healthy mind and a healthy body. Meditation exercises can help, too. And not just your mind — yoga has been shown to increase flexibility, strength, and oxygen consumption. Dedicate at least three times a week to exercising for best results.

6. Prioritize Tasks Based on Your Goals

Biting off more than you can chew will eventually lead to productivity loss and burning out. If you can’t accomplish everything on your to-do list, then pick the projects that are the most important to your current goals. Take a moment to rearrange your to-do list based on your competence to work right now. Or take care of the tasks that are stressing you out the most. Time management is a valuable skill to have when it comes to running your own business or company.

7. Limit Interruptions

As the owner of your company, you control when you can be interrupted. Let your employees know when you need time to focus. If you need to let your team know you will be unavailable for a few hours, a simple email will suffice.

Working from home also doesn’t guarantee you from being interrupted. Make sure to give your family a notice that you’re working on something important and ask them not to bother you for a few hours. The sooner you concentrate on what you’re doing, the sooner you’ll finish.

8. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Food is full of different nutrients, which are essential for making your brain work better. Find a nourishing, balanced diet. A healthy breakfast will provide you with sufficient energy to carry on with the day and be productive. Stay away from the food you know is bad for you. And remember that not getting enough nutrients can be harmful, too.

Staying hydrated is also vital for avoiding fuzzy thinking, a tumultuous mood, and overheating. Keep a bottle of water by your desk, limit your caffeine intake, and be sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet every day.

9. Laugh More

It’s no joke that laughter is a good form of stress relief. Laughter facilitates oxygen intake, relaxes muscles, and stimulates blood circulation. As a result, your productivity level goes up, and you start looking at things from another perspective. If you lighten the mood at work, it will be easier to take the little things less seriously. Go to a comedy show with your coworkers or organize social activities to bring people together.

10. Learn How to Say No

Establishing a new business is challenging. Entrepreneurs tend to say “yes” to every opportunity during the early stages of a startup. While saying “yes” is fundamental for pushing your business to greater heights, when this becomes a habit, it may not lead anywhere good.

If you already have a well-established clientele base, be more selective with new ventures. If the disadvantages exceed the advantages, don’t be afraid to say “no.” Evaluate every opportunity and make a decision based on long-term viability. If you’re always willing to grant favors anytime anyone asks, it’ll leave you doing all the work yourself.

11. Communicate

The CEO deserves a lot of credit for a company’s success. However, you probably wouldn’t be where you are if it wasn’t for your team. Keep constant communication at the workplace. There might be problems that you won’t have the time or the resources to dedicate to solving. If someone has the answer you’re looking for, pick up the phone and call them. Don’t waste time trying to figure it out yourself if it will take up too much time and put you in a stressful situation.

12. Don’t Always Delegate

You may think that passing the buck about everything will bring down your stress level. This is not true, though. There are things that you know how to do better and genuinely enjoy doing. If you deprive yourself of these tasks, you’ll be stressed because you’ll start worrying about the quality of the work done by other people. With that said, before assigning tasks to other people, keep a couple of the things you love about the job for yourself. Always try to remind yourself what you love about your work life.

13. Listen to the Right Kind of Music

Research shows that music can be used as a tool for therapy and can change brain functioning. Everybody has different music preferences. Some people find it easier to unwind when listening to a gentle classical piece, while others prefer heavy metal. You can use upbeat music to help motivate you while exercising. Explore new sounds and find the best tunes for your daily routine to help you relax.

14. Get a Fish

Studies show that staring at fish can lower your blood pressure and improve your mood. Install an aquarium in your common working space and take a couple of minutes to just stare at it from time to time. The concept of flowing water is known to calm the nerves. Even a tiny aquarium filled with colorful fish can help release stress and motivate you.

15. Don’t Confine Yourself to Your Office

Changing the work environment from time to time is the key to staying productive. You may not even realize that being trapped in a single room and staring at the same things may be the reason for your stress. For a revitalizing change of pace, do some of your work in a different part of your building — or, go outside. Changing your environment can do wonders for your mental health.

16. Be Your Biggest Fan

Negative self-talk is a terrible way to try to motivate yourself. You’ll be better off focusing on your successes and trying to keep a positive attitude. Always put yourself first and aim to be the best version of yourself. Remember that if you don’t love yourself first, no one else will.

These are some of the ways you can beat stress. However, finding the right solution for you might require the help of a professional. If you are suffering from anxiety and can’t seem to find relief no matter what you do, consider speaking with a therapist. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it, especially if you feel it is the best point of action.

Final Thoughts

Managing time.Living a balanced, stable life is vital when it comes to having a healthy career. Maintaining a proper sleep schedule, exercising, managing your time, and practicing mindfulness can all help you manage your work more efficiently and avoid long periods of stress. The stress of running your own business can be overwhelming at times and can impact all aspects of your life, including your relationships with family and friends.

Be mindful of how you approach your work and what you do to mitigate the stressors in your environment. The more you focus on your well-being and health, the better you will feel in the long run. It is easier said than done, but by incorporating small changes in your day-to-day routine, you can change your attitude and slowly chip away at your stress.

Mike Abelson   Editorial Director
Mike is the Editorial Director at Lendza. He enjoys helping entrepreneurs and startups succeed through smart, innovative strategies. He’s partnered with CEOs and executives to grow businesses from the ground up. Before his work at Lendza, Mike was a stock market analyst. When he’s not traveling for work, he enjoys reading adventure and science fiction novels.