It has been reported 1 in 5 of the working population is affected by stress. Stress has become one of the biggest causes of sickness in the UK and it is a major problem for many businesses. Organisations are now recognising stress in the workplace and are being more proactive to ensure employees are being protected and educated about the symptoms and how to deal with stress. However, what about those entrepreneurs out there who do not have a support network or colleagues to turn to when things sometimes get too much to deal with?
As an entrepreneur, you have to multi-task various jobs on a daily basis. Juggling all of these tasks, such as customers, marketing, finance, suppliers, product research, product launches, networking and more can sometimes feel like too much to handle. On top of that, you also have your personal life, family, mortgage, loan repayments and many other commitments to fulfil.
Here are our 6 tips to help entrepreneurs to combat stress and keep you on top of your goals:
1. Take a break, rest and unwind
The amount of sleep we all need at night will vary per person, but those who get between 6 – 8 hours of sleep each night tend to have more energy, better moods and higher concentration levels, which results in less stress over time.
Although the days of taking a lunch break seems to be over for most entrepreneurs, taking short breaks throughout the day will make you more productive and less stressed, as you will come back each time feeling refreshed and more focused. It has been said your energy runs out every 90-120 minutes so aim to take a short walk, make yourself a drink, or go and have a chat with friend or colleague.
All entrepreneurs find it extremely difficult to juggle the work/life balance and to switch off from work when at home in the evenings. The temptation to check emails and respond to customers late at night and on weekends is often too much a temptation to resist. Prioritise your working day and try to stick to the hours you schedule for work and leisure, you will find you will worry less!
2. Eat healthily and exercise
We all know that exercise releases endorphins, which have a positive impact on your mood, reduces depression, anxiety and stress. If the thought of exercise makes you groan, you are not alone, but it does not need to be a mad cardio session in the gym. A brisk 10 minute walk each day is all that it would take to clear your head and lift your spirits.
Exercise and eating healthily goes hand in hand. With the long hours you put into your business as an entrepreneur, often meals get skipped or wrong foods are picked up as a quick energy fix to keep you going throughout the day. Doing this plays havoc with your energy levels and can leave you tired, stressed and overweight. Try cutting down on caffeine and junk food, choosing instead food with low sugar content. Eating healthy meals and snacks throughout the day will keep your energy levels and productivity going.
3. Have a positive mental attitude
Try and focus on the positive things in life and in your business. If you have failed trying something new, then take the positives out of it. What did you learn from that experience and what will you do differently next time to ensure the outcome is a more positive one? Don’t dwell on the past or fear failure, as that will stop you from moving forward and build up anxiety. Focus on what you want to achieve and be realistic with your vision and goals.
They say laughter is a great way to boost you mood and mental attitude as it actually decreases stress hormones and boosts the immune system. Take time out to smile and laugh at things, even if it is your past failures, you will feel much better for it!
4. Know your limitations
Being an entrepreneur, when things are getting busy and going well you can often find yourself falling into the trap of taking too many things on-board. You get into the habit of saying yes to everything as you believe all of the extra work will do your business good, but you often forget to factor in what it will do to your own performance and increasing stress levels.
Question everything you are being asked to do and only take on jobs that really matter to your business. Work out your own abilities and stick to them. Saying no does not have to be a detriment to your own business, as you need to ensure everything is being done to your best ability and without you burning out.
Being an entrepreneur can be very lonely at times, especially when you are the only one in your business. By joining a networking group, you can build business relationships with other like-minded individuals. Over time you can build trust with some of these individuals, and they can provide a support network for sharing ideas or to offer advice and guidance when things sometimes get a bit tough. Sometimes you just need someone to reach out to and building these networks can do wonders for your morale and motivation at times when it’s somewhat lacking.
6. Know your goals
Every entrepreneur sets on a journey. Those who do not have a vision of where that journey is going, often results in stress and anxiety. If you have clear set goals of what you want to achieve, you will feel a lot more positive about your business and it will make it a lot easier, and less stressful, to make those important decisions when faced with them further down the line.
Every entrepreneur will change their direction at one point or another, but having a clear focus will allow you to perform at your best ability and focus on decisions that really matter.