An entrepreneur’s life isn't as easy or glamorous as one might imagine. A successful business owner is answerable to his employees, clients and customers, and even friends and family. There is always something to worry about, phone calls to answer, deadlines to meet, and ensuring that the business is lunging ahead without a stop gap. All these pressures can result in the entrepreneur feeling stressed out, overwhelmed and burdened.
Stress can cause a variety of problems, both physical and psychological, that result in reduced productivity, efficiency, poor planning and foolhardy decision making. To avoid jeopardizing one's business, entrepreneurs should learn to de-stress often. Here are some of the easiest ways an entrepreneur can take the load off their back, and get back in form quickly.
1. Take multiple breaks
Psychologists point out that working continuously causes stress, especially when no time is given for the body and mind to heal itself. Take short breaks in between periods of heavy duty work, and do not feel guilty about that. Multiple short breaks help to distract your mind, and when you return to your desk, you will be energized and function in a more productive manner. It is not a sign of lack of concentration if you take multiple breaks. You could simply look away from your screen, and keep your eyes closed for a minute or two, every other hour.
2. Take care of your body
A healthy body will always protect you from stress related symptoms. Stress builds up free radicals in our bodies, and is the primary reason why we suffer from blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. If you took care of your body, and eat & exercise well, you will be able to deal with stress in a much efficient manner. If you are not strong enough physically, stressors will play havoc on your mind, and you will not be able to run your business efficiently.
3. Share responsibilities
Do not hesitate to delegate work to others. After all, it is your business, and you have the right to provide extra work to people who are willing to take it up. You can reward them suitably and enjoy some downtime in your office or in the café down the street. These things may seem silly, but that coffee at the café or 15 minutes walk can help you be more productive than the latest app you might purchase on a mobile marketplace. Assign work to your teams and employees, and make sure that you are not taking it all up on yourself.
4. Spend time with family and friends
Nothing beats stress more than a few good laughs and quality time spent with loved ones. Make time for your friends and family and invite them for lunch if you are staying in the same town. Ensure that you talk about things that are not related to work, and share your joys and happiness with them instead. Happiness is infectious and when you watch your loved ones smile, you will smile too. After all, smiling is known to reduce stress too. What could be better than a bit of socializing with loved ones and also beating stress to remain productive at work?
5. Get some "me time"
Every day, designate an hour for yourself, where you will do nothing but nurture yourself. You could do anything during this time to nurture your body and mind, Get a haircut, a massage, or a face pack at a spa. Or better still, spend time reflecting on happy memories, and lose yourself in those joyous memories. Do not pick up calls or feel pressurized to respond to emails when you are in the middle of “me time.” Most importantly, do not feel guilty about making some downtime for yourself.
6. Hire help and assistants
No matter how hard it might be to afford full time employees, you will need at least some kind of help around. Consider investing in a virtual receptionist service, so that you don’t have to pick up calls all the time. It can become a little stressful if you always need to take notes and write down customer requests, instead of focusing on other things. Answering service companies, like Abby Connect, offer professional grade virtual receptionists who will be able to help you find some time for yourself.
7. Take solo vacations
One of the biggest stress busters is a good long vacation, especially if you take it alone. After all, we all know how vacations can go horribly wrong, when taken with the wrong kind of people. If you travel alone, you will be able to meet interesting people and nourish your soul, without having to abide to other people’s rules. Most importantly, a solo vacation can be a time for self discovery and introspection. When you return back to work, you will be recharged and will be able to handle stress better.
8. Nurture your hobbies and indulge in adventure
Developing a hobby or spending time on something that you enjoy doing can be a great stress buster. While your virtual receptionist handles your calls and emails, why not go take up guitar lessons or better still, go on marathons? Indulging in adventurous activities can help reduce stress too, as the associated adrenaline can prove to be a great stress buster. Psychological research shows that people who spend time on their hobbies tend to be less stressed out than those who do not.
9. Nurture and help others grow
Humans are social beings, and they always feel good when they help or nurture others. After all, nurturing and giving love and affection to others release endorphins and oxytocin, the feel-good chemicals. Endorphins are also noted for reducing stress levels in our bodies, and reducing the levels of free radicals. Train your employees, throw a party for them, or simply engage in mentoring someone that you like. All this can help you release your stress levels and feel good about yourself.
10. Learn to say "no"
One of the biggest reasons why people get stressed out is, they accept more than they can handle. If only people learned to say "no," they would be far better off, and actually do things they have already committed to, in an efficient and productive manner. Entrepreneurs aren’t immune to this problem of taking up more than they can handle. If you are one of these entrepreneurs, you better start saying “no” when you can’t take up another project, meet deadlines, or just about anything that is an extra. Learn to say "no," and develop maturity as a person and as an entrepreneur.
11. Get a furry friend
There is nothing better than a cat or a dog to beat stress, as they love us genuinely, without the negativity that accompanies human relationships. There is something very innocent and truthful about the way an animal loves you, and that can be a great stress buster. Moreover, when you take the dog out for a walk, or chase the cat up a ladder in the house, you will get some exercise and beat stress too. Certainly, there is no reason to wait. Get that cat or dog today!
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, and comes with a lot of roles and responsibilities. However, one must always know how much responsibility to take up, and ensure that one is not stretching himself or herself out. Overextending one’s capacities can make one break, quite literally, and that’s exactly what stress is. Ensure that you get enough rest, supplement your body with nutrition, find time for yourself and for others, get a pet, and focus on happiness and peace. When you do all this, you will be surprisingly calm and energized, and in a better position to run a business.