Too often in today’s world, a successful professional life requires sacrifices in your personal life. However, over time, this can be dangerous to your mental health, leading to various negative conditions that may even manifest physically. It is very important for business owners to learn to manage their stress so that they can channel their natural energy into achieving new goals. Here are some tips to help you start dealing with stress in a healthy way.
In order to relieve your stress, you need to know why you are stressed in the first place. By far, the most common stressor for business owners is a lack of control. Even though you may be able to influence people and events in your work life, you may not feel like you have complete control. Recent studies have even shown that a lack of control is a main contributing factor to poor health, even at a young age.
In order to alleviate a lack of control, it is important to try to let go of the idea that you need to control every event in the first place. Some things are completely beyond your control, no matter how much influence you have. Many people have found that they can control their levels of tension by listening to their preferred style of music or cuddling with a beloved animal companion. You may also find success through the practice of mindfulness (that is, becoming more in tune with yourself and the world around you). Meditation, along with deep breathing exercises, helps to slow your heart rate and lower the levels of stress hormones in your body. As a bonus, it also heightens your general awareness and creativity, allowing you to make better choices for your mental well-being and for your job. However, it’s important to point out that work stress often leads to substance abuse, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself in a healthy way.
One of the best choices you can make is to take breaks. While this may seem counterintuitive, rest — even a short five-minute break — allows your body and mind to recharge. This boosts your ability to make decisions and get things done while reducing the amount of burnout and fatigue you may feel. Similarly, you should also learn to refuse projects if you don’t feel like you can put your full effort behind them. Taking on too much too rapidly increases your stress levels while draining your productivity, energy, and positive outlook.
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Try outsourcing projects — at work and at home — to relieve some stress. In the office, say no to projects that don’t align with your strengths or require your level of expertise. At home, hire someone to clean your house, do your yard work, or walk your dog. By reducing your workload in both places, you’ll have more time to take breaks and recharge.
Another part of good mental health is knowing how to set realistic goals for yourself at each stage of your career. As a business owner, many of your goals are difficult to quantify. Goals like “increase efficacy” or “double clientele” are excellent to aim for, but they are nonspecific enough that you may let them slip away. Instead, come up with subgoals that can be measured, like “attract a new demographic through an updated website.” This will allow you to follow through with your goals while keeping track of your current status.
As a business owner, stress may seem like a constant presence in your life. However, the only way to really hit the ground running to achieve your goals is to work hard at reducing stress. Take time for yourself and you’ll find that your work will flow much more easily.
This guest post was written by Julie Morris, creator of juliemorris.org
Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small business and rebuilding Main Street. She helps small and local business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients/patients, MORE sales, and MORE money. Stacey is the founder of Small Biz Marketing Specialist, THE go-to place for marketing tips, techniques and strategies that get results. She's also the author of "Small Business Marketing Made EZ" where she shares the 6-simple-step plan to get your marketing into ACTION - literally and figuratively. Stacey is also the creator of the Daily Deals for Massive Profits, an online video training program that teaches small and local business owners how to use daily deal sites like Groupon to skyrocket their business growth and get massive profits. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.
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