How to Deal with Anxiety when Running Your own Business
Running your own business can be extremely rewarding, however, there’s also no denying that it can be extremely stressful as well. From the long hours to the pressure to succeed to the stress of a variable income, there’s no shortage of anxiety-inducing factors when it comes to running your own business.
If you would like to keep your sanity and make your business successful at the same time, here are ten ways to deal with anxiety when running your own business.
1) Try to Avoid Multitasking
If you’re a business owner, chances are you’re pretty familiar with multitasking. Business owners must wear many hats when running their business, and they often end up wearing those hats at the same time. However, few things are more stress-inducing than juggling multiple tasks at once. Instead, try to focus on knocking out one task at a time and avoid worrying about other tasks before you come to them. In the end, not only is focusing on one task at a time much less stressful, it’s also typically more productive.
2) Be Physically Active
Physical activity is one of the best combatants to stress available and is often one of the first solutions recommended to those who are dealing with pressure induced anxiety. When you are physically active, your body releases endorphins – the “feel good hormone” – which is able to lift your mood and melt away stress and anxiety. Exercising also gives you the chance to blow off some steam and release some of the pent-up energy running a business builds up.
3) Create a to-do List
There’s something to be said for good organization and its ability to alleviate the stresses of a busy schedule. When you create a to-do list, you are able to prioritize your tasks and begin knocking them out one by one, crossing each one off the list as you do. This increased organization makes a list full of tasks seem more manageable, and crossing each task off the list as it is completed can serve a mini reward that will be motivating and stress-relieving in its own right.
Continuing the theme of good organization’s ability to relieve anxiety, another beneficial thing you can do to make running a business less stressful is cull some of the clutter from your life. Clean off and organize your desk, empty out your inbox, and do everything else that you can to make sure that your home and workspace is clutter free.
5) Take Time off
When you run your own business, you set your own hours. When you add to this the fact that business owners are rarely ever fully caught up on the tasks they have to complete, it can be tempting to work yourself ragged. However, it is essential that you take time off and put the stresses of work behind you on a regular basis. In the same way that your body can become worn down and function poorly if you never rest, your mind needs occasional rest as well in order to continue functioning at a high level. Set aside days to take off and avoid the temptation to use them as another work day. In the end, these days off will boost both your well-being and your productivity.
6) Learn to say no
When you own a business, time is a precious resource, and if you don’t use it wisely stress is the end result. There are plenty of things worth saying yes to – things that grow your business, things that help you relax and enjoy life, and many more. However, there are also plenty of things worth saying no to as well. Rather than accepting an invitation to an event that you don’t really want to go to or taking on a new project that isn’t going to benefit you all that much in the long run, say no and use the time you save to relax and destress.
7) Stick to a Schedule
Human beings are hardwired to appreciate schedules, but when you own your own business your schedule can often be fairly sporadic. It’s much easier to calm down and get into a rhythm, though, when you stick to a set schedule each day and each week. Determine the hours that you are going to work each day and the days you are going to take off each week. Once you are able to fall into a routine, the stress of running your business will decrease.
8) Take Advantage of the Morning Hours
The early morning hours are by far the most important hours of the day, as they set the tone for how the rest of your day will go. Rather than rolling out of bed and going straight to work, take a little time each morning to get yourself into a relaxed, positive state of mind. Eat breakfast with your family, do a little light reading, meditate, or spend the morning hours in any other way that will help put you in a positive frame of mind and prepare you to take on the rest of the day.
Technology can make it difficult for a business owner to ever really separate themselves from their work. However, in order for time off to be most valuable in terms of reducing anxiety, it’s important that you do your best to separate yourself from your work and your business for a brief period of time. Set your cell phone and computer aside for a while so that you are able to make the most of your time off without having to worry about reading and replying to countless emails.
10) Listen to Music
The ways in which music is able to affect your mood are often underappreciated. Next time you sit down to work, turn on some soft, relaxing music and see if it makes a difference in your stress levels. So long as you are able to avoid being distracted by the background noise, a little music while you work is a great way to keep you in a great mood and anxiety-free.