Running your own business is no small feat. Budding entrepreneurs often have to work long hours and rarely get enough sleep and rest. On one hand, some stress is necessary to keep you going, focused and productive, but on the other, being overly stressed can take its toll on your health.
Too much stress can dim your mental abilities and weaken your immune system. It can also lead to insomnia, depression, hypertension, migraines and a slew of other physiological disorders. This is why it is essential for small business owners to reduce the amount of stress they encounter every day and adopt sound stress management techniques. In this article, we’re going to touch on why stress management is important for small business owners, and we’ll also give you tips on how to reduce stress in the workplace.
Knowing When You are Under Stress
Knowing how much stress you are under is more difficult than knowing what triggered it. So, if you are often stressed, keep a stress journal. In it, note down the level and effects of stress in your life. It also helps if you note down the triggers. Only by keeping a close eye on the triggers, levels, and effects of stress can you find a remedy for it.
Once you know the causes and effects of stress on your life, managing it is the next task. First, think of how to reduce your levels of stress. Next, come up with and then implement ways of managing stress.
Stress Management Techniques
As mentioned earlier, stress and entrepreneurship go together. Thus, the key to dealing with stress is not eradication but effective management. This implies reducing its levels until you regain balance and control in your life. Below is a list of some stress management techniques for you to use.
1) Time Management – Stress in life is often due to our inability to complete our plans within a given time. Having a schedule with priority items at the top should be your first line of defense in the battle against stress.
2) Work Only During Working Hours – Running a business can become an obsession. The temptation is to work longer and harder to make things work. To stop your work from taking control of your life, work on important tasks in the morning not afternoon. And only work after hours when necessary. At the end of the week, take a day off.
3) Physical Exercise and Rest – Wake up early every day and exercise before going to work to keep your mind fresh all day. Exercising is also a good way to vent pent up frustration. Also, eat a good breakfast before heading for the office and when at the office. When you get home after a tiring day, relax and get enough sleep
4) Optimism – Maintain a positive outlook regardless of the situation at work. Whether you like it or not, things will go wrong every now and then. Success and failure are an integral part of entrepreneurship. So, celebrate your achievements but also accept and learn from your mistakes.
5) Change How You React to Stress – Most of us have poor coping mechanisms to combat stress. We lash out at others or withdraw and become depressed. Some people resort to substance abuse to escape reality. But if your coping strategy is not working, you need to try something else.
6) Have a Support Base – Talking to family and friends about what you are going through has a relaxing effect on your mind. Their support is an effective stress buster. So, nurture personal relationships and do not allow your work to crowd out the people who matter in your life.
The benefits of stress management cannot be understated. Your health, productivity, outlook on life and relationships are bound to improve. So, once you know when you are under stress, manage it first by managing your time. Next, work only during stipulated work hours. Also, have an optimistic outlook on life and don’t use poor mechanisms of coping with stress. Finally, exercise, sleep well and ask your loved ones for help when stressed.