Sometimes, it feels as if you can’t catch a break.
You’re rushing between clients, burning the midnight oil, and trying to tackle every problem that comes your way.
And there’s a lot of them, isn’t there? Such is the life of a business owner. You can’t defer issues to your boss, because you are the boss. You can’t clock out at 5:00 PM like your office worker friends. And you can’t transfer a grumpy customer to the customer service hotline.
Nope, you’re everything to your business, and that can be super stressful.
If you feel as if you haven’t been able to catch a break and decompress since you started your business, you’re not alone. This is a common feeling with business owners – especially of small businesses without a budget for staffing and outsourcing.
Even though this is common, it’s unhealthy professionally, physically, and emotionally. Stress not only impacts your health very negatively, but it also affects your work.
You can’t fully show up for your clients and do the best job possible if your stress level is through the roof.
So how do you combat the feeling that you can never relax?
Here are some ideas:
- Remember to Breathe
As a business owner, you don’t have a ton of extra time during the day. Even if you manage your time well, you’re probably booked almost all day.
So it’s unrealistic for me to tell you that you should take time out during the day. But luckily there are things you can do between clients or for those five minutes you can catch a small break that will go a long way to relieve your stress, and one of those things is mindful breathing.
Focusing on your breath and remembering to breath deeply helps stress because it slows your heart rate, reduces your blood pressure, and releases tension.
When we are feeling anxious or stressed out, our breath becomes shallow and quickens. This is our body’s response. So it makes sense, then, that focusing on deep breathing exercises would help you release some of that stress.
And luckily, you can do this fairly quickly. You don’t have to spend a full half an hour sitting and breathing. Just spend three minutes focusing on taking big, deep, rejuvenating breathes into your lungs.
Breath in slowly through your nose, and release your breath slowly through your mouth. This is a meditative practice that will help you release some of that tension.
- Laugh it Out
One of the best ways to relieve stress known to humans is by laughing.
Laughing provides a boost of endorphins to our brains which gives us that happy, elated feeling that we often associate with relaxation and calmness.
Laughing is good for your health, your heart, and anxiety, so try to find ways to laugh throughout your day. Whether it’s with a client, or you take some time out on a break to look up funny videos on your phone, you’ll instantly feel yourself relax after a good laugh.
And don’t forget to have fun and get silly on your time off, too! It doesn’t have to be all business all the time. Give yourself permission to get away and have a little fun.
- Stay in Shape
No busy person wants to hear this, but the best way to not only reduce your stress levels but also increase your mental performance and health is through exercise.
Like laughing, exercise releases endorphins into your brain that make you feel good, and also provide a relaxation feeling.
Many people will associate working out with more stress – after all, you feel stressed while you’re doing it – but it’s after your workout when you really feel and see the benefits of the exercise.
- Put Some Gratitude in Your Attitude
Sometimes, when we’re stressed, it’s because our minds are running on overdrive. You’re thinking about everything you need to do, about deadlines and issues that have cropped up over the course of the week or the day, and when we’re in that mode, there isn’t a lot of positivity that crops up.
We all have those days, weeks, and sometimes even months.
But it’s impossible to be both stressed out and grateful at the same time. So, when you really feel yourself tensing up or feeling like you have too much on your plate, take a step back, and think about things that you are grateful for.
I find that when you start listing the things in your mind that you’re grateful for, the stress begins to melt away.
Start listing small things—things that you enjoyed that day so far. Maybe you’re grateful for a hot cup of coffee or that traffic was light on your commute. Then, begin to think of bigger things you’re grateful for—your friends, your family, your business and the people that trust you enough to do business with you.
When you acknowledge all of the great things you have in your life, it’s difficult to give into that nagging feeling of stress.
Stress is something that is very real, and sometimes debilitating. And it’s something we all deal with regularly.
The point of practicing these stress relief techniques is not to feel guilty that you have stress in your life, but to rather redirect your stress and deal with it before it consumes you or makes you unhealthy.
Practice these things in small doses each day and your quality of life, work, and even your relationships will improve bit by bit.