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Solutions to Reduce Stress for Entrepreneurs

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As many of you know, the life of an entrepreneur can be really stressful. And although we wish we could tell you it gets easier, with more success comes even more stress and obstacles. Many business owners started their company because they were tired of the 9-5 life, but didn’t fully anticipate owning a business could become a non-stop career. However, there are solutions and tools you could use to avoid the added stress… And today, we’re going to discuss just that.

A lot of the stress you face as a business owner stems from situations you can’t control. Your job is filled with many routines, daily mundane tasks and even headaches that could have been avoided. These tend to cause anxiety and stress, and as fellow business owners, we want you to stay successful and healthy. So, let’s look at the 6 best strategies to help manage and prevent stress as a startup founder or entrepreneur.

Recognize you are stressed, and identify what’s causing it

Stress can be defined as a mental or emotional strain you get when you are in a demanding situation or when things become challenging. Another way of thinking about it is feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope/adequately express your emotions. 

Unfortunately, small business owners know this feeling all too well. Studies have shown that 45% of entrepreneurs report being stressed compared to 42% of workers in other industries in a year alone. Along with this study, some have found they also exhibit changes when going through stressful situations, such as weight gain, poor sleep habits, and other health issues.

Most entrepreneurs live life as high-functioning anxiety for fear of seeming weak or unable to “handle it all.” We often find things stressful because of lack of knowledge, fear of the unknown result and even fear of succeeding.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What about my current role is making me so nervous?
  • Am I putting off deadlines and procrastinating more?
  • Could family matters be spilling over to my work life?
  • How have I handled balancing both of them?
  • Am I sleeping less than I was before? If so, what has changed in the last 30 days?

Many other questions could be asked and looked into, but these are some basics that hopefully start to help you unravel what may be going on. The next step would be to accept it and plan to deal with it healthily. That could look like several things for you but what it doesn’t look like is:

  • Decreased exercise 
  • Bad or worsening eating habits
  • Lashing out or deflecting on those around you 
  • Making rash decisions on essential factors in your business 

As we look forward to the rest of the first quarter of 2022, you don’t have to make yourself miserable to be successful as a business owner. Take a look at our blog on 6 Ways to Avoid Burnout as a Business Owner to gain some hope! We know it’s tough, but once you find where it started, you’re one step closer to decreasing the downward spiral of stress & anxiety. And when times get really hard, Bookmark is here to relieve the stress of building & maintaining your website. Just click this link, and we’ll get you set up with one of our experts right now!

Sleep, exercise, and diet is crucial

Ensuring that you have enough sleep, exercise & a healthy diet are just a few more strategic ways to reduce stress as a business owner. Let’s start with exercise! Studies have noted that running for about 15 minutes a day may reduce depression by 26%. Imagine if all small business owners made it their mission to implement this in their personal lives and their employees?

Physical activity keeps the brain focused, as we know very well! It will help your overall health, but it’s one of the best ways to relieve stress! Consider working out for your lunch breaks, or even right after work! Not sure you can squeeze it in by then? No problem, set your alarm for 5am or even just an hour earlier than what you currently wake up for and get even a 30-minute workout in and with determination, you’ll start seeing and feeling the difference.

For all our service-based entrepreneurs who may be at desks all day, try working out small areas of yourself behind the desk-for example, leg raises, often stretching, standing every 35 minutes, and some deep breathing. It all will add up and make a difference in your attitude and stress level. What you want to strive for is a clearer mind while working.

Have a proper sleeping schedule

Having a proper sleeping schedule will also help with your daily routines and work schedules. Most business owners tend to work late because of their workload or cover irrational people who are less focused on the company mission. Ensuring a healthy balance of sleep throughout the night is an excellent remedy to long-term success. We’ve done some research, and through many sleep charts, we see that 7-9 hours of sleep per night is the perfect amount of rest. 

With just the proper sleep, some exercise throughout the day leads us to a great diet. They say you are what you eat, and though it’s not literal, it does speak to how you feel and your productivity levels. Your diet, good or bad, will always play a significant role in your overall health, including mentally handling situations and working as a business owner.

Business owners can have unhealthy habits like working late, skipping meals such as breakfast, having more junk food than healthy home-cooked meals, and never drinking enough water. Our body is 75% water, yet we drink more sugared liquids than anything else. As we’ve mentioned earlier, being a business owner requires a lot of mental and physical energy. The healthier you eat, the more brainpower you receive, the less stressed you feel. 

The best way we can put it is thinking of your body as a luxury car-it takes specific gas (if not electric), and anything cheap or lower than its standards can ruin the engine, which is the most critical part of the car! How else would you get around if the engine is busted? It’s the same as your body; without proper vitamins, greens, & fruits at peak hours of the day, you risk getting sick and burning out faster than you’d hope for.

Take breaks and don’t feel bad about it

Taking breaks is a controversial topic for most entrepreneurs, especially in this day & age. Why? Because someone has told us we need to be available at all times or our business will fail. Well, we’re here to debunk that myth. 

A great way to reduce stress is to use your time wisely. That saying “work smarter, not harder” has some truth. Think about it this way: for every moment you’re glued to that screen, you can potentially be harming your eyesight, which could cut your sight shorter and decrease your success as a business owner. You can even play games like Solitaire to help yourself relax as well!

Walking away from the computer screen or the meeting room for a few minutes can give your mind a chance to rest and help minimize whatever problem you’re dealing with. Do your best to eliminate distractions while on break. If this sounds tricky, check out our blog on 5 Health and Wellness Tips to Improve Your Businesswhere we go into the 20-20-20 rule for keeping your mind at ease and focused at/during work settings! 

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Have a schedule or routine

Having a routine is the best strategy to keep you on the road to reducing your stress levels at and during working hours to become the successful business owner we know you can be! Routines give you a sense of stability and discipline that thrives on lasting results. Here are a couple ideas of what a routined life may look like:

  • Waking up every day at 6am
  • Filling out a calendar/schedule per day
  • Eating a healthy breakfast 
  • Having a to-do-list throughout the day for smaller tasks

It’s important to note that you don’t have to take on the whole day all at once; breaking things down into smaller tasks gives you a sense of ease in any stressful situation. A great benefit of routines is that it gives you time to connect with the people you love and do things that still excite you while being a successful boss! As a business owner, we at Bookmark want you to know that we’re here to lighten the load. Bookmark allows you to save more time working on your website to spend it doing what matters most: growing your business and focusing on your personal life.

Do the things you love doing

This is a fun strategy! Reducing your stress levels through something you find enjoyable is really up to you! Below we have some creative & fun things that can positively distract you when work gets too overwhelming:

Listening to new or your favourite music

Music stimulates oxytocin which releases a hormone related to positive, happy feelings! We recently did a blog on the happy hormones and others you can find under How Physical Wellness Impacts Your ProductivityConsider having a playlist of optimistic or upbeat songs to listen to throughout the day to keep your smile on your face!

Talking to a loved one

If this Pandemic has taught us anything; it’s how important it is for us as humans to keep in contact with one another. By nature, we are social and enjoy the leisure of talking and fun banter. Studies have shown 86% of customers prefer humans to chatbots. This is no coincidence because we are always looking for that authentic side of companies. Ever hear “every psychologist needs a psychologist”? Talking to another person, especially one you can relate to, will ease your mind and help you realize you’re not alone. This week, take the time to reach out to someone you care about and see how light you feel after opening up to them.

Try meditation

As many excellent business owners feel in control, there are certain things you can’t anticipate emotionally that may happen to you, but you can control how you respond to them. Practicing meditation regularly can help you clear your mind quickly and provide more emotional control. So when you’re running late to the office, and you’re stuck in traffic, it takes the edge off significantly on your mental wellbeing. This is the most common tool many suggest when reducing stress for a couple more reasons.

Meditation done with the proper technique will enhance your breathing patterns and body sensations, ultimately removing distracting thoughts and emotions? Well, believe it! This method focuses on channelling the “now” and regulating the way and style in which we react to daily thoughts and feelings. You can control how you handle it because you can’t control how others feel about you or why one coworker keeps coming in late. 

This goes for our mental stability as well. Business owners juggling thoughts, ideas, and meetings can lead to an overwhelming feeling – this is where mindful meditation comes into play. Consider taking just 10 minutes out of your day, whether right before work or on a lunch break, to sit somewhere quiet and be with your thoughts or clear your mind completely.

Avoid taking loans from family and friends

Ever heard the phrase “don’t mix business and family”?

Now, don’t get confused. Family members and loved ones could be important and sometimes necessary to start a business or endeavour. However, what’s even more necessary is their utmost support. Failure is unavoidable, and sometimes setbacks will be faced. So make sure the people and income you are working with understand the risks of funding a business.

Imagine how much stress can be piled up if you owe your family or friends money you hoped to make but hadn’t yet? Failure is a significant part of learning, but not at the expense of your family. 

Always consider external investments and or loans as a means to provide assets if the business deal goes under. This way, you avoid the chances of added anxiety to you and your loved ones!

In Conclusion

Reducing stress as you start up and or continue to thrive as a business owner this year is imperative. We want you to get there by identifying any strains in your life and implementing a plan to get to the root cause. Ditch the bad habits to try and hide your stress levels and get into a routine of proper sleep, eating well and exercise.

As a business owner, it’s not okay to be everywhere at once to the point it’s harming your mental health, so start taking more breaks and putting your needs first! Work smarter, not harder, by setting a routine for your work life! With a work routine, you will be able to better balance your family and work-life and find comfort in doing the things you love! Take more time throughout your week to listen to upbeat music and talk to those you love!

It can be challenging but controlling how you react to everything around you is a significant key to reducing stress-meditating will get you there. And above all, we at Bookmark have everything you need to reduce your stress as you build your websites. We are a one-stop-shop for your business solutions with quick responders. Just click the link and let us take care of the rest.

Catch us here next week for more tips & tricks to your online business and how best to grow as a business owner! Bye for now!