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Taking Care of Small Business: Six Tips for Managing Entrepreneurial Stress
In this July 29, 2013 photo, Jim Delabar sits on his motorcycle on Main Street in Sturgis, S.D. As motorcycle enthusiasts begin arriving in the western South Dakota city of Sturgis for an annual rally, another group of people is heading out. Several Sturgis business owners close their stores and clear out their merchandise to make way for temporary vendors that pay big money to rent prime downtown space for the rally.
Chris Huber/AP

Taking Care of Small Business: Six Tips for Managing Entrepreneurial Stress

Stress is no fun, but getting rid of it can be.

Being an entrepreneur is difficult. Managing finances, marketing, employees and more is no picnic.  Throw on top of that economic uncertainty, fierce competition, new technologies and more, and you may be enduring a complete stress overload. 

However, failing to take care of yourself and manage your stress can impede you from performing at the highest level and even take you out of the game. Here are six ways that you can help cope with your stress.

Get Moving: For many entrepreneurs trying to prioritize a busy schedule, exercise tends to fall to the bottom of the priority list. Exercise not only releases endorphins (chemicals that make you happy), but also helps you to work through the stress and clear your mind. You don’t need a ton of time to make an impact. There are cardio and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) programs that can take as little as 30 minutes. Also, get up and walk around during the day and take time to stretch for five minutes a few times a day.  This will help keep the stress down and your sanity up.

Paula Walker participates in a yoga class at the Green Monkey yoga studio on December 10, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida.Taking time to exercise, unplug and relax are great ways to relieve stress. Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Turn it off: Computers, tablets and smart phones ensure that we can always be reached and that we can consistently be connected. But that level of connectivity, from the constant barrage of email to social media activity to other e-information, creates a ton of stress for us, sometimes without us even realizing it.

[sharequote align="center"]Think of yourself as a computer - if you never turn the computer off, it burns out.[/sharequote]

Think of yourself as a computer. If you never turn the computer off, you burn it out. The same applies to you. Carve out time in your day to unplug and also try to create chunks of time a few times a year where you go without technology. It will help you get more focused work completed and cut down on your stress.

Vacation:  Whether it’s for a day, a few days or a couple of weeks, we need time away from work in order to be in a position to do our best work. If your stress is compounding, take a day to engage in a hobby or even to sit on your couch and watch a movie marathon. You can do ad-hoc when you overwhelmed, or even better, schedule a day every month or a week every quarter and put it on your schedule as a must-do.

Small business owners are prone to high stress because they are trying to juggle their business and their personal lives. In this July 29, 2013 photo, Jim Delabar sits on his motorcycle on Main Street in Sturgis, S.D. Photo Credit: Chris Huber/AP

Yell:  Sometimes, there is no better way to deal with the stress than through a fit of good old screaming, cursing, or bouncing around. Releasing the stress gets it out of your system and lets you move on, so don’t be afraid to indulge. While it’s great to physically engage with your stress, remember not to direct your fit specifically at other people or anything breakable—it’s best to do it when you have time by yourself.

Seek Empathy: As a small business owner or freelancer you may lack a consistent opportunity to huddle around the water cooler and vent your frustrations.  Finding empathy by connecting with other business owners gives you a great outlet to share your stress. Plus, you will often get the reassurance that they have been there, done that too.

Ice Cream:  When all else fails, there’s always ice cream-- or chocolate.

How do you deal with your stress?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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