Yay – you’re an entrepreneur! You did it! But wait, what? Now that you’re the boss, you’ve got a whole new list of stressors that are causing you to worry and feel anxious.  Entrepreneurs are often faced with different kinds of stresses, whether they are from constant work pressures, deadlines, managing people, etc. And you might be thinking, stress is a normal part of life, right? Yes, it is! But the real issue here is prolonged stress.

As humans, we just aren’t built to withstand chronic stress and when we do, it can have plenty of negative effects on our mind and body. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), chronic stress can have negative effects on almost all the systems in your body including your musculoskeletal system, respiratory system, reproductive system, cardiovascular system, and the list goes on! To make sure that your stress doesn’t get the best of you, check out our top stress management techniques for entrepreneurs below.

Entrepreneur Stress Management

What Is Stress Management?

As an entrepreneur, learning how to manage stress is especially important because you’re the boss; you’re the one that’s setting an example and leading the charge! Chronic stress can have mental and physical effects like soreness, muscle aches, headaches, anxiety, and even depression and these ailments can definitely reduce your productivity. Chronic stress can also cause irritability and lessen your sex drive. This, in turn, can create issues in your personal and professional relationships.

So, first let’s talk about what stress management even is. Unfortunately, you can’t turn stress and anxiety on and off like light. Stress management is a process. Stress is unavoidable. So it requires practice and training and it’s all about handling stress as it comes to avoid getting overwhelmed. Stress management is the process of finding the best stress management techniques that work for you, and then implementing daily tasks to reduce anxiety and other physical and mental health problems by preventing stress from creeping back in. Here are our top tips for how to manage stress as an entrepreneur!

Stress Management Tips For Entrepreneurs

Identify the Causes of Stress:

First and foremost, figure out where those main stressors are coming from. Is it your workload? Do you work long hours? Is it your employees? Or is it because you need employees? Take some time to find out exactly where that stress is coming from so that you can anticipate it and maybe even prevent it in the future. Some great ways to locate the sources of your stress are to do some writing when you feel stressed and practice some mindful meditation. Doing these things can clear your head, open your eyes to the real issues at hand, and help you see past that emotional vail. Check out this episode of Backbone Not Wishbone to learn more about avoiding stress when running a business.

Heed the Body’s Stress Signals:

Listen to your body! Our minds and bodies have built-in alarm systems that let us know when something isn’t right. According to WebMD, there are tons of symptoms associated with chronic stress like depression, digestive issues, headaches, trouble sleeping, high blood-pressure, weight gain, inability to focus, and the list goes on. Be sure to take these symptoms seriously and don’t let the stress overcome you!

Check out this episode of Dear Gabby to learn some fantastic solutions for stress and anxiety.

Take a Break:

Don’t forget to give yourself a break! You might be thinking that this tip is an obvious one, but as an entrepreneur, finding scheduling time to stop and disconnect can be really hard. Make sure to set aside time to do something for yourself that is NOT work related and that offers an escape from those stressors. Consider a long nature walk, hitting the gym, or just taking a few minutes to take a deep breath and focus on some deep thinking to calm yourself. Maybe even take some time to listen to an inspirational entrepreneurial podcast like this episode from Trading Secrets. For more ideas about how to make the most of your break, check out these 7 ways to show up for yourself.

Delegate What You Can:

Work smarter, not harder! You’re not in this alone, so why are you doing all the heavy lifting? Take some time to learn what toxic productivity is and how to keep it in check. Delegate those time-consuming tasks to employees or consider a virtual assistant from a website like Upwork. Sharing the load with employees can greatly reduce your stress and prevent you from spreading yourself too thin. To learn more about the benefits of delegating, check out this episode of Unzipped.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle:

A great way to reduce stress is to adopt an effective routine that works for you and that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. A healthy sleep routine can keep you feeling energetic and ready to take on the day. Good sleep is essential to helping you process and deal with stress better by making you less emotional and more motivated. Eat healthy foods and avoid fast food and processed food as much as possible to more effectively manage stress. Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet makes you feel good about yourself and gives you the energy you need to conquer the day. You can also adopt more specific routines like incorporating more mediation and mindfulness or this morning routine for success.

Find A Hobby:

Discovering a hobby or an activity that you enjoy releases endorphins to make you feel good in the short term, while helping reduce stress in the long term. No matter how much you love what you do, finding a passion separate from work is a great way to eliminate some of the causes of stress. A lot of entrepreneurs can greatly benefit from spending time doing things just for fun. Find something you enjoy, whether it’s yoga, hiking, painting, dancing, etc., and then incorporate your hobby into your regular routine.

Check out this episode of Balanced Black Girl to learn more about why we need hobbies for self-care.

Set Boundaries:

As an entrepreneur, you probably have a lot on your plate. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, which is why it’s more important than ever to set boundaries and learn to say no. For example, if you set aside time each day for self-care, block out your calendar or silence your phone to allow you to focus on your well-being without being interrupted.

Get Some Advice:

There are several ways you can get advice about managing stress. You can listen to podcasts on the subject, reach out to friends and family, read blogs, or speak to a therapist who can give you professional tips to help you understand how to manage stress (there is NO shame in asking for help). At Dear Media, we have a ton of helpful content for entrepreneurs. For advice about creating a more balanced work-home schedule, check out our top 30 time management tips for work life balance. For information on stress and mental health, feel free to check out our list of the best mental health podcasts. And lastly, for advice and inspiration about entrepreneurship, check out the best podcasts for female entrepreneurs.

If you’re an entrepreneur, how do you keep stress in check?

If you are an entrepreneur and have any incredible tips, please share in the comments below! The Dear Media community is all about lifting each other up so share the details pleas! The most important thing to remember about stress management is that you’re not alone; there are tons of people out there struggling with the same thing! And trust us, it gets easier! Stress management is a breeze once you’ve established what techniques work best for you and learned how to shift your mindset and stay focused. You’re an awesome entrepreneur who has already accomplished so much by simply becoming an entrepreneur. You got this! For tips on how to be a successful business owner, check out this episode of the Dream Bigger podcast.

Don’t be afraid to make the necessary changes so you can get out there and take risks! Listen to this awesome episode of Life with Mariana to learn why you should be taking risks as an entrepreneur. And for those days when it’s hard to leave the stress at the office, check out our blog about stress management techniques at home! If you have any additional tips, questions or comments, feel free to drop us a comment below!