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4 Stress Management Tips for SBOs

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Stress is something that almost every small business owner deals with on a regular basis. And when it becomes chronic, that’s when you know you have a problem. The question is, what – if anything – can be done to reduce stress in a healthy way? Here are several ideas:

1. Simplify Your Personal Life

Part of the stress you’re experiencing is due to the tension you feel between managing your personal life and work life. Because no matter what any motivational speaker might tell you, there’s no separating the two. They bleed into each other at every turn. So it’s reasonable to assume that the best way to reduce stress in your work life as a business owner is to reduce stress in your personal life. This begins with simplifying your life.

Sit down and make a list of the top 10 things that you stress about in your personal life. This might be personal finances, your house, relationships, a car that’s always breaking down, or anything in between.

For example, if living in a large house that always needs maintenance and repairs is stressing you out, you might consider purchasing a patio home. Patio home developments offer a range of services, including lawn maintenance and certain aspects of exterior upkeep. This would be one less thing to worry about!

For others, it’s their social calendars. If you’re loading your nights and weekends up with too many events, then it’s going to leave you feeling drained when you arrive in the office each morning. Stripping away some of these obligations will increase your energy and focus.

2. Delegate to Others

As business owners, we all go through these phases where we feel like we’re the only people who can do the job. But every successful entrepreneur eventually realizes that this simply isn’t true. You’re always replaceable – and that’s a good thing! It means you can teach someone else to do 90 percent of the tasks on your to-do list. This frees you up to work on your business rather than in your business.

3. Take Care of Your Body

Stress is closely connected to your overall physical and mental health. If you’re unhealthy in certain areas, it’s going to exacerbate the stress you’re feeling and make it more difficult to relax. By taking care of yourself, you can put your mind and body at ease.

The best things you can do are eat a fresh diet (free of processed foods), hydrate properly, exercise at least 30 minutes daily, and spend time each day praying or meditating. If you consistently do these four things, chronic stress won’t stand much of a chance.

4. Surround Yourself With the Right People

So much of a business owner’s stress comes down to the feeling that you have to do it all. But if you surround yourself with the right people, you don’t have to absorb all of this pressure. You can assign tasks and trust they’ll be done well.

When hiring people, look for intangibles like discipline, attention to detail, and trustworthiness. It’s better to hire someone you trust and teach them the technical skills they need to know than to hire someone who is technically sound but ethically flawed.

What Stresses You Out?

The key to reducing stress as a business owner is to identify your biggest stressors and then neutralize them. For some business owners, it’s the pressure to meet customer expectations. For others, it’s the time commitment and how it prevents them from attending family outings and events. Still, for others, it’s financial restrictions.

Self-awareness is extremely important. You have to be mindful of what’s stressing you out before you can eliminate it.

“We can also self-monitor through journaling or tracking mood states, symptoms, and thought habits. And while it’s good to identify stressors, it’s even more important to identify our perceptions and responses to these stressors,” entrepreneur Ellice Soliven notes. “Research shows us that it matters less what the stressor is and more how we respond to the stressor.”

With that being said, it’s time for you to determine what’s causing your stress. Once you’re aware, you can implement some of the tips highlighted above. And even though they might not provide immediate relief, they will produce results over time. It’s a process – just take a step!

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Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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