Self Improvement for Small Business Owners: How to Manage Stress

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Life is full of surprises, and unfortunately, not all of them  are good surprises. This is even more true for those who run their own businesses, as every aspect of your company’s health will ultimately come back to effect you personally. The combined weight of deadlines, contracts, financing and managing your bottom line can heap stress on you, and if it’s not managed, it can negatively effect your ability to perform, even leading to health problems down the road including heart disease, depression and accelerated aging, to name a few listed by WebMD. Because of the potential for stress to negatively influence your life and your ability to be productive at work, it’s important that small business owners create a routine that can help them manage their stress levels and find a balance between their work life and what is necessary for them to do in order to take care of their bodies and minds.

It’s important to realize that you don’t need a lot of time to greatly reduce your stress levels. There are many simple exercises that are easy to find time for during the day that can help you cut down on your worries and allow you to approach the rest of your day feeling invigorated. In fact, the boost that you get when you are in a clearer frame of mind can lead you to make up for whatever time you spend on stress management techniques, so the argument that you don’t have time to take care of yourself is invalid. In addition, promoting company wellness is a good way to increase morale and retention of your employees, so making these stress tips known throughout your company is a positive management step as well.

How can I combat excessive stress levels without wasting time during the day? Small business owners can find ways to build stress management techniques into their regular schedules. For example, once you have finished a task, instead of moving directly on to the next thing on your to do list, try taking a minute to breathe deeply and center yourself in the moment at hand. There are many benefits that come along with deep breathing that go beyond simply fighting stress levels. In fact, lists 18 benefits of deep breathing that range from calming you mind to strengthening you immune system, allowing you to avoid missing work days. Another way that you can take time out of your day in order to combat stress is by engaging in healthier choices around lunch time. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, eating foods that are high in fiber, in particularly fruits and vegetables can help your immune system and allow you to feel calmer and more relaxed during the duration of the workday. As a coup de grace, taking the time to engage in physical activity each day either before or after work will greatly improve your ability to manage your stress levels, as well as provide the many health benefits that we already know come with physical exercise. Sitting all day at a desk, your body can become cramped and tense, so it is important to fuel it correctly and keep it limber in order to feel happier and more in control. Some exercises that you can perform without equipment that have a great impact on your physical health and circulation include jogging, push ups, pull ups and sit ups. A combination of all of these movements will keep you in good shape and feeling ready for the day with more energy.

You can do something about your stress levels without decreasing your productivity. Small business owners who neglect themselves out of a fear of wasting time are acting in a counter intuitive manner, as your mental and physical health are both major tools that you need to be in peak condition in order to work your best. Start to make a commitment to your body and mind, and think of it as another investment in your small business.

Photo Credit to Rosmary on Flickr

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