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Entrepreneurship and Managing Stress: Healthy Tips for Recharging
  • 11 July 2018
  • Rebecca Delaney

Entrepreneurship and Managing Stress: Healthy Tips for Recharging

As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you undoubtedly have a lot on your plate. Entrepreneurs often take on all the responsibilities of their business - from HR, business development, operations and marketing. And many business owners are a one-man or -woman show, which can lead to isolation and loneliness. Studies on entrepreneurship indicate an increased risk of burnout and related stress and anxiety for small business owners. Mental health is just as important as your physical health, and is key to enjoying the business you’ve built. Try out some of these tips for managing stress the next time you feel overwhelmed or close to burnout.

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Exercise

Move your body for 20 or 30 minutes. Run, walk, bike, or take a yoga class—whatever gets you out the door. If you can exercise with a friend, even better. Even the smallest amount of exercise has been shown to decrease levels of anxiety and depression—after about five minutes you can begin to feel effects on your mood and anxiety levels.

Try to take your workout outdoors. Researchers have found that people who exercise outside reported higher levels of revitalization and energy afterward, and less anger and depression.

Ask for help

Entrepreneurs think they can go it alone but this isolation can quickly lead to burnout. Take some time to identify what the biggest stressors are in your business. Can you outsource these responsibilities to an independent contractor so you can focus on the parts of the business you love? There are other solopreneurs who love to dive into accounting, human resources, marketing or advertising. Ask for their help and free yourself up for the aspects of your business that make you excited to go to work each day.

Look into hiring additional help at home too. If an extra hour of childcare would help you feel less crunched at the end of the day, the additional money spent could be well worth the reduced stress and anxiety.

Set boundaries

As the owner of your own business, you set the ground rules for your company and employees. Manage your stress levels at home by setting ground rules and boundaries for yourself as well. For example, turn your phone off when you walk in the door, or at dinnertime. Don't check emails until after the kids go to bed. Don't send emails to co-workers or clients after 6pm. This sets the tone for you, your staff and clients and signals to them that you value work-life balance and taking time to recharge outside of the office.

Sleep

Entrepreneurs are notorious for not getting enough sleep, yet this is what you may need most to help you manage your company. A lack of sleep can lead to depression and anxiety, so be sure to get enough shut eye to help you feel recharged to take on the next day. Set an alarm on your phone to alert you when it's time to shut off your devices and start getting ready for bed.

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Establish a nighttime routine that relaxes you and signals to your brain that you are winding down. Take a bath, read a book, write in a journal—just stay off your laptop and phone. The blue light from the screens suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your body's natural sleep rhythms. Turn off your screens two to three hours before you plan to go to bed.

Running your own company and answering only to yourself is exhilarating but can also be terrifying at times. Allow yourself to set parameters around your work so that you have a clearly defined time and space to recharge and exercise, spend time with family, and sleep so that the next morning you are ready to take on whatever challenges arise.

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