Managing Stress as an Entrepreneur

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

Entrepreneurs wear many different hats. From leadership and management to client satisfaction, to growing your clients, you are pulled in many directions, often simultaneously. Therefore, it’s no surprise that you might feel stressed while trying to balance all your roles. While your business is important, it is also imperative to take care of yourself and manage your stress. So, today, let’s chat about some tips to help keep your stress levels low as you navigate the life of an entrepreneur. 

What is stress? 

The American Psychological Association defines stress as a “normal reaction to everyday pressures but can become unhealthy when it upsets your day-to-day functioning. Stress involves changes affecting nearly every system of the body, influencing how people feel and behave.”  

Since stress impacts both psychologically and physiologically, it can affect mental and physical health negatively.  

Some of the signs and symptoms of stress include

  • Aches and pains 
  • Chest pain/heart racing 
  • Exhaustion or trouble sleeping 
  • Headaches, dizziness or shaking 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Muscle tension or jaw clenching 
  • Stomach or digestive problems 
  • Anxiety or irritability 
  • Depression 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Sadness 

Stress can manifest itself in many ways, and it is important to listen to your body and recognize when it begins to impact your personal or professional life. Your best line of defence against the negative impact of stress is to seek ways that help you manage it appropriately.  

Create healthy boundaries  

Running a business can take up a significant amount of time and energy. Establishing boundaries is key to your mental health. Set specific times for your working hours, and when that time has ended, prioritize your life outside of your business.   

It is also important to ensure you aren’t overworking yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no to things that will drain you of your energy or detrimental to your well-being. 

Remember, you are only one person, and you can’t be expected to do everything and anything! Rally your trustworthy team members and build a team that you can rely on. Delegate tasks to others and trust that you have surrounded yourself with the right people to get the job done.  

“45 percent of entrepreneurs said they were stressed, 3 percentage points more than other workers.”

Inc.

Rely on your network 

Tap into your network resources as a source of support and encouragement. When you are feeling stressed, reach out to a trusted friend, colleague, or connection and ask for their guidance and advice. Chances are, they have been in a similar situation and can offer suggestions, or simply be a listening ear.  

Develop relationships with like-minded people and build a safe environment where you can have meaningful conversations to help prevent and relieve stress.  

Maintain a healthy lifestyle 

It can be challenging to carve out time for yourself as an entrepreneur, but self-care should be a priority. Eating a well-balanced diet, moving your body in some way, and getting enough sleep can help your body effectively manage stress.  

Consider what you are passionate about outside of work. Whether reading or mountain biking, find time to do more of the things that fill your cup and bring you joy outside of your business. You might consider incorporating techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga into your everyday routine. These exercises are excellent ways to help minimize stress and improve focus. 

Managing stress is an ongoing process, and it is normal to experience ebbs and flows along the way. However, if you notice that your stress is becoming overwhelming or you are struggling to manage it successfully, reach out for support. Prioritizing yourself will make you a better leader, business owner, and entrepreneur. 

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