Business Owners- Self Care and Stress Management

Owning a small business can be one of the most challenging and stressful things you’ll ever take on. Of course there are many rewards that go along with ownership, but if managing the stress that comes with it hasn’t been a part of your routine, the tension and anxiety can get the best of you.

Here are 7 techniques to help manage the stress of owning a business:    

1. Make Self-Care a Priority

When you own a business it can easily take over your life.  Even when you’re away from the business, it’s difficult to let go. As a small business owner, self-care is a priority.  While self-care can mean different things to different people, start with getting enough sleep, eating well, healthy amounts of fresh air and exercise.

2. Relax with Music

Listening to music for relaxation can actually reduce cortisol production.  Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone.  It works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation and fear. Listening to Music can provide both mental and physical benefits related to stress relief.

3. Schedule time with your Pet

Taking the dog for a walk can be good for your health.  Research has shown that having pets close to you or even just thinking about pets has the effect of lowering stress and reducing anxiety.

4. Learn to Say ‘No’

Taking on more than you can handle is the fastest way to overwhelm. Set boundaries to safeguard your time. Ask yourself, Do I have time for this?  Is this important to me or my business? If I take this on, how will it impact my overall schedule? Having boundaries is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health.

5. Unplug During Your Off-time

Feeling tied to your phone or email, having to continually check-in on the business is one way sure fire way to overwhelm. It’s essential to unplug and step away. Read, go for a walk, meet up with friends, find ways to engage a different part of your brain to help combat stress and feel restored.

6. Delegate or Outsource Tasks

As the biz owner, you know it’s difficult to let go and give up control. But you also know that you can’t do it all. If you’re trying to, then you’re probably not doing a good job at every single thing. Learn to delegate. Determine how you want to spend your time and where you need or want help.

7. Identify Your Stressors

You’re constantly working and adapting to changing circumstances when you run a business. Being in that intense mindset all day can be stressful and it can also tend to blur your overall perspective. Step back to see the big picture and identify the stressors that are causing you problems. Stress comes from a issue you haven’t solved or are having trouble solving. By stepping back, you can identify what the issues actually are. At that point you’re in a position tackle it, delegate it or change your response to it.

Ask any business owner and they’ll tell you that stress comes with owning a business.  While that’s true, in order to manage the stress, it’s important to remind yourself of what’s going well in the business. Keep a list of the areas where you’re coping and managing well. By looking for the positive, in what can sometimes feel like chaos, you’ll to put yourself in a positive mindset and make any stress that you are dealing with easier to manage.