Feelings of stress and anxiety can creep on us throughout different parts of our lives, whether the stress comes from positive or negative changes in our environments. Stress is our body’s natural reaction to these changes, producing physical, mental, and emotional responses that are a normal part of life. What’s most important is how we handle and manage our stresses, and how we work to relieve it when possible.
Let me preface with, I love being an entrepreneur and I am so thankful for the business and life I have created – I love making an impact, I love educating and inspiring others, I love helping others, and I love taking photos and creating!!
If I can be honest, life as an entrepreneur isn’t always as glamorous you might think. With all of these LOVES there is also a lot of stress & anxiety attached. Entrepreneurs are at a higher risk of burnout than almost any other group due to the stress build up.
What Can Built Up Stress Do?
One thing it’s important to remember is that stress is a natural part of life, and our body’s responses to it are part of how we’re built. When stress is mismanaged and allowed to take over our lives, it can affect us physically, leading to emotional consequences. Some symptoms of stress can be:
- upset stomach
- chest pain
- problems sleeping
Because every person is different, we all experience stress in different ways and therefore may experience the above symptoms to different degrees. It’s important, no matter what symptoms you may encounter, to handle and manage this stress and ensure you’re staying healthy & happy.
7 Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety as an Entrepreneur
Exercise – I’ve been rowing & doing body-weight exercises 3-4 times a week and I feel sooooo much better on days when I can get a workout in. Studies show that exercising is an effective way of reducing stress from your life. The endorphins produced from physical activity help your body to recuperate from stress and will result in a better night’s sleep, as well. I usually do my workout over my lunch break. I like doing a mid-day workout because it allows me to get all my emails answered over my morning coffee and then take a break from the computer. I sleep better and am significantly less stressed on the days that I am able to get a workout in.
Take adequate breaks – It can be easy, when you’re feeling stressed, to become determined to finish a project or solve whatever problem is in your way without stopping. This plan of attack, however, can actually increase stress rather than reducing it. Make sure that, when you’re working on something for days or weeks at a time, you’re taking adequate breaks throughout the day, if only to stand up and walk around your office or have a non-work related conversation with a friend.
Laugh – It may sound cliche, but sometimes laughter really is the best medicine. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins that help your body to recover from the damage of stress. Take a moment to watch a funny YouTube video or one of your favorite comedy TV shows to reduce feelings of anxiety. Caleb and I recently recorded a House Fur Happy Hour podcast episode about Seinfeld and how it related to us not taking life to seriously.
Meet-Up with Peers – Taking some time to mingle with peers either in your industry or another can help you feel a sense of community that inspires confidence and reduces stress. Whether you discuss your work directly or take some time to talk over other topics, the conversation will help you to relax the mind and decrease tension.
Track and Remove Stressors – It’s important to take note of what, specifically, adds stress to your life. With a list in hand, you can work through which of these factors can be removed from your workspace or life. Once some stressors are removed, you can take inventory again and see if the removal has helped to make you feel better.
Avoid caffeine – Caffeine and stress both lead to higher levels of cortisol, meaning they may both be affecting your body in the same way. If you’re feeling specifically stressed, take care to avoid caffeine if possible, as it may amplify what you’re already feeling, leaving you more stressed than you were before.
Get more sleep – Though stress often comes from time mismanagement, it’s vital to make time for a full night’s sleep. A good, heavy sleep will ensure that you wake up feeling more rested to take on the stressors of the day without a blast of caffeine every couple of hours. I diffuse essential oils at night – my current favorite is Lucid. I find it works best when I diffuse it all night I order to help me unwind and put me in a deep sleep.
You may find one of the methods more effective for you specifically, so try different ways of managing your stress and experiment to find what works best for you. I have tried incorporating all of these into my daily life and have found major success with reducing my stress levels.
This post includes affiliate links for Jade Bloom essential oils.