We’re all familiar with stress. It pops up at the worst and best times. In small doses, it can be helpful. It helps us meet deadlines, avoid danger, and can even boost our memory.
The flip side of stress is the negative effects it can produce. Prolonged stress can lead to headaches, depression, high blood pressure, and a host of other physical and mental issues. These issues can range from annoying to life-threatening.
The serious consequences of stress are why it’s so important to learn to manage it healthily. That becomes even more important when you’re an entrepreneur. Work in itself is stressful, but running your own business? That’s a whole new level of stress.
There’s constant pressure to keep going when you’re the boss. You have to find the next deal, land the next client, and check all those emails before you can shut down. Every task can feel like a life or death situation when you’re business is just getting going.
While you certainly can’t eliminate stress, there are actions you can take to deal with it in a healthy manner. First, let’s talk about work-life balance.
The Balancing Act: Stop Neglecting Your Personal Life
When you’re an entrepreneur, work-life balance can be easily forgotten. Being in charge of a business feels like a 24/7 commitment in our constantly connected world. It’s easy to find yourself sending work texts over dinner or checking just one more email before bed.
It’s a slippery slope between those over dinner texts and increased stress levels. 77% of people experience job burnout because of stress, and failing to separate your personal and work life can put you on the fast track to joining them. So what are some practices you can put in place to balance your work and personal life?
Set strict work hours and communicate them to those you work with. Let everyone know that you won’t be responding outside of those hours unless it’s an emergency.
The hardest part of setting hours will be enforcing them with yourself. You have to learn to separate urgent events from unnecessary stressors. You can’t react to every email with questions about your construction company’s prices in the same way you would react to a phone call that your bulldozer just hit a car.
If you treat everything like it’s urgent, you end up in a constant state of high stress.
Another step you can take to separate your work and personal life is to hire a go-between. This person can handle daily issues that arise in your business for you, so you have more downtime.
Once they get the hang of keeping the company going, you might even be able to take some vacation days, which is another way you can lower your stress.
The main takeaway here is that your personal time is just as important as your work time, and you need to establish boundaries to value and protect it.
Staying Stimulated: How Learning New Skills Lowers Stress
A study by the Harvard Business Review confirmed something that has long been suspected. Learning new skills and remaining stimulated at work can help lower your stress.
In fact, learning something new is a better stress reducer than relaxation in many cases. That’s because when you escape your routine by relaxing, you have to return to the same routine and stress later. When you actively learn something new instead, your brain gets stimulated, stress is reduced, and focus is increased.
So if you’ve been feeling stressed, it might be time to pick up a new skill. Earlier, we used the example of someone who owns a construction company, so let’s go back to that.
If you’re running your own construction company and you want to learn something new to help lower your stress, you can study to become a contractor. Contractors oversee everything that happens on a construction site, so what you learn will be helpful for you and your company.
The main thing you need to be a contractor is your contractor’s license. When you finish your studies you’ll be prepared to ace the exam and start using your new skills.
Whatever your profession is, there’s bound to be something you don’t know or a skill you don’t have. So start learning a new trick that can help you succeed and watch your stress get lower as you go.
Run Away: How Exercise Can Help You Manage Your Daily Stress
Exercise is good for you in general, and it has some very specific benefits for your body regarding stress. Exercise releases endorphins, mimics the effects of positive stress, and helps you forget the negative events of the day.
All of those factors help lower your stress levels, which makes exercise very important for your health. However, it can be hard to find time to exercise when you’re busy starting and running a company. You probably already feel like every second of your day is too full and don’t know where to add in anything else.
If that’s the case, here are a few suggestions of quick ways you can incorporate exercise in your busy day.
- Do a set of ten crunches or squats every few hours to keep yourself moving.
- Switch between sitting and standing when you’re at work.
- Do some arm circles when you get off calls to get your blood flowing.
- Go for a fifteen-minute run on your lunch break.
- Keep a small set of weights in your office so you can work out as you plan the day.
Any form of exercise you incorporate can help lower your stress levels, so find what works for you and get moving.
Being an entrepreneur is challenging but don’t let stress get the best of you. You can manage it in a healthy way by making these tips part of your daily routine.