Owning a business is a recipe for stress; not that I have to tell you that, right?
As someone who is self-employed, I’m well acquainted with the stress that comes with having success and failure fall squarely on your shoulders, and I’m sure many entrepreneurs and small business owners know the feeling as well.
Owning a business is a recipe for stress
Personally, I can’t even count the times I’ve worked late into the night in an effort to beat a deadline, only to wake up early the very next morning and start the whole process over again.
In those situations, I can feel the tension in my shoulders and the sweat on my forehead. Meanwhile, my stomach churns, causing me to wince in pain.
Then there are the times when I’m feeling stressed throughout the course of the day, unable to find any relief.
Sometimes I’m worried about a deadline; other times I’m concerned about whether a client will be pleased with my work; and sometimes I’m simply waiting to hear back from a client, hoping for good news.
When running a business, there are always days when it feels like there’s no way to make the stress go away.
But as I’ve found, there are always ways to manage stress, and it’s important that you do.
Recent surveys indicate that 90% of top-performing businessmen and leaders are capable of managing stress and remaining calm under pressure, meaning these are important traits that one must possess in order to achieve sustained success in any business.
There are always ways to manage stress
If you handle certain situations the right way, there are ways that you can find relief from the stress that can drag you down while trying to run a business.
To help you, as well as myself, I have compiled a list of 10 coping strategies that can teach you how to deal with stress and business.
1. Acknowledge Stress
Step 1 when it comes to dealing with stress is to acknowledge it. It’s perfectly fine to look at yourself in the mirror and say: “Boy, I am under a lot of stress.”
This is the first step towards coping with stress and fixing the problem.
You need to be aware of the symptoms of stress, such as headaches, tense muscles, having low energy, or having trouble sleeping, among others.
If you can identify when you’re feeling stressed and admit to yourself that you feel that way, doing something about it becomes much easier.
2. Show Gratitude
Look, you’re not in this alone, so acknowledge and show gratitude to the people who are helping you.
Even if you are self-employed like me, you have clients that give you business or peers in the same industry who you can talk with when you need help or advice.
Just by acknowledging the contribution these people make, you’ll realize that you’re not in this alone, which will help relieve some of the stress that comes with thinking that everything is on your shoulders.
3. Don’t Expect Perfection
Have you ever heard the expression: “ambition is the enemy of success?” Well, to a certain extent this is true.
I’m not saying that you can’t set high goals for yourself, but if you set the bar too high, it’s just going to lead to a lot of stress when you have difficulty reaching it.
If you feel stress about reaching lofty goals, remember that you shouldn’t expect perfection from yourself or the people around you.
If you relax your expectations just a little bit, it’ll be easier to reach your goals and you won’t get stressed out about not reaching expectations that may be impossible to live up to.
4. Only Worry About What You Can Control
This is one of my favorite pieces of advice for life in general.
If you stop worrying about the things you can’t control, you’ll be amazed at how calm and level-headed you can be all the time.
Personally, I’ve come to accept that I can’t control how people feel about me or how others interact with me.
If a client doesn’t like me work, it doesn’t bother me, because I have faith that another one will.
Instead of worrying if a client is going to call back, I simply focus my energy on my work, leaving less time for me to get stressed out about all the things I can’t control.
If it helps, make a list of the things you can’t control so you can recognize when it’s not worth it to get stressed out over something.
5. Create Healthy Habits
It feels like I mention this a lot, but taking care of your health is such an important part of success in any industry.
For starters, exercising regularly is a great way to relieve stress, so making time to work out on a daily basis can be a great way to cope with stress.
On top of that, if you feel fit and healthy, that’s one less thing you have to worry about.
Getting into the habit of eating right and exercising can be one of your first defenses against stress.
6. Find A Routine and Stick With It
No matter what business you’re in, a huge source of stress is feeling like you never have enough time to get everything done.
This can be solved by making a schedule, finding a routine, and sticking to it.
If you create a routine for yourself, there’ll be less surprises over the course of the day, which means fewer chances to get stressed out about something.
It’ll also help if you schedule extra time into each activity, as this will keep you from feeling like you’re rushing to beat the clock.
7. Set Aside Time for Recreational Activities
When you create a routine for yourself, make sure you include time for recreational activities.
No matter how hard you want to work, you must have boundaries between work and home, and you have to make time to enjoy yourself in your personal time.
Spending time with friends and family or having hobbies is a great way to get away from the stress of work.
If it’s all work all the time, it’ll be impossible for you to escape what is causing you stress, and your problem will continue to grow and grow.
8. Forgive Mistakes Quickly
Dwelling on things that have gone wrong is a great way to make your stress level go up.
Remember, that’s what you’re trying to avoid. If you, or someone around you, makes a mistake, all you have to do is say, “that’s okay” and then move on.
If you stay mad at someone, or yourself, you’ll just be adding to your stress.
I’m not saying it’ll be easy for those with high expectations, but like I said earlier, don’t expect perfection.
When a mistake is made, forgive it quickly and move on from it.
A common source of stress in business is taking on too much responsibility.
As someone who’s self-employed with a staff of one (myself), I know all about this.
But if you have employees and co-workers around you, with effective communication you can simply delegate some of your responsibilities to others, as it’ll help relieve you of the stress that comes with believing you have to do everything yourself.
One of my clients is actually someone in my industry who hired me to help take some of his workload so he didn’t get too stressed.
There’s probably a comparable move that can be made in your industry as well.
For instance, utilizing CakeHR’s leave management software is a great way to delegate a task that can easily be done by someone else, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.
10. Find Reasons To Laugh
I know that the business arena is almost always serious, but that can actually contribute to the stress business leaders often feel.
To combat this, I recommend finding a reason to laugh, at least one time per day while at the office.
You shouldn’t need me to tell you that laughter is a great way to relieve stress, even if it’s just in small doses.
Finding a reason to laugh and smile can help you keep things in perspective, which will help make you realize that stressing out over something is just not worth it.
Conclusions On How To deal with Stress and Business
To me, what stands out about my list of ways to cope with stress is the importance is limiting the amount of things that have the potential to worry you and get you stressed out in the first place.
If you’re willing to delegate work to others, allow others to help you, take care of your own healthy, take time for yourself, and keep things in perspective, you’ll put yourself in a perfect position to cope with any of the stress that comes with running your business.
Stress in business is inevitable and at times unavoidable, but keep in mind that there is a right way for how to handle stress and business.
If nothing else, having CakeHR handle all of your HR responsibilities will give you one less thing to worry about and one less thing causing you stress.
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Bryan Zarpentine is a freelance writer and editor with credentials all over the Internet, primarily at CakeHR, where he is a regular contributor. He is interested in researching and writing about a diverse array of topics and providing a unique perspective on the world.
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