A small business owner’s mind never turns off. When you’re in charge, you get the perks of being your own boss, but you also know that no one else is as invested as you. You think about the ins and outs of your company whether it’s during the standard workday or not.
From worrying about protecting your business with things like S corporation life insurance to mulling over your company’s profit margins, your plate is full and there’s no clocking out as a small business owner. This reality of always feeling “on” can cause some unintended and disturbing side effects.
Left unattended, a stressful professional life can cause burnout and easily bleed into your personal life, as well.
Finding healthy ways to manage work-related stress should be something at the forefront of business owners’ minds. After all, you have to fill up your own cup before you can pour out to others, so here are some of the best ways you can make sure you’re taking care of you so you can keep working at full capacity for your business.
Method #1: Assess the Situation
The first step in addressing a problem is identifying it specifically. So what are your stress triggers? Identify them and know them well—where they lurk, how they’re sparked, and most importantly, how and why they come about.
Notice how you respond when stressful situations arise. Maybe you can’t do anything to completely impede stressors, but you can certainly work toward adapting your response to them.
Method #2: Intentional Distractions
No matter the problem that arises within your business, you’re the go-to guy or gal who has to have the answers. Potential interruptions are rocketing at you all day long.
Since you already know you’ll be distracted from your tasks at hand, why not build in some intentional, purposeful distractions that will lead to you feeling recharged? Plan a 5-minute burst of distraction for every hour of work.
The activity you choose can vary, but don’t cheat yourself of the benefits by multitasking. (Squats while answering emails on your phone may give you the physical benefits, but you can forget that recharged feeling you would get if you left your phone back on the desk).
If taking five minutes away will lead to 55 minutes of higher quality work, that’s a sliver of time you can afford to dedicate to stress relief.
Method #3: Bullet Journaling
If you haven’t heard of bullet journaling yet, we’re not suggesting you set aside time to pour out feelings into a diary.
Instead, the bullet journal, named so because of the abbreviated format with which one writes, offers a way to organize and analyze both obligations and long term goals you have for your company. Think of it as a blend between journal, calendar, and to-do list.
“The busiest amongst us will love the ease and speed with which you can capture and log information. “
The best payout, though, is the natural decluttering of the mind that happens when you “offload” your mental burden.
The next time your thoughts are swimming and a wave of stress threatens to overtake you, grab a bullet journal and pick up your pen. You’ll feel like you have a better grasp on your to-do list and a clearer vision for your future.
Method #4: Yoga
Don’t worry–you don’t have to run out to your local yoga studio for this one. Yoga can just as easily be something done right from your desk, and there’s a reason it made our list and lifting weights or running didn’t.
When you’re combining mindful breathwork with physical movement as you do in yoga, the benefits soar, including a lowered heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and a heightened ability to refocus.
Check out this option, which can be done right at your desk. You’ll feel the burden of stress lighten almost immediately.
Method #5: Sleep
This one’s not flashy, and because it seems busyness has become a badge of honor and waking hours a sign of passion and dedication, this may be one you don’t want to hear.
But enough research has come out about the power of sleep (and the dangers of not having enough) that we should permanently ban the saying, “I’ll sleep when I die.”
View your sleep as an investment in the next day’s opportunities. Guard your bedtime routine and hours dedicated to shut-eye as if they were your business’s most valuable benefactor because some would argue they are.
Certainly, one of these activities alone won’t serve as a panacea for a business owner’s stress-filled life. It’s more about bringing balance to the chaos, and finding healthy ways to reduce stress and recharge could be the difference in your business’s success or failure.
Reducing your stress will impact your health and well-being.
So put down your phone, step away from your desk, and choose to see your stress-reducing activities for what they are: an investment in yourself and your business.