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Entrepreneurs can ease stress with these self-care imperatives 

Do you want to develop as a business leader? Executive coach Sue Stockdale can explore issues that are holding you back and recommend actionable steps to succeed.

Entrepreneur stress is a common issue that has few easy fixes, and for many business owners, it can even lead to feelings of burnout that leave them questioning whether they want to continue on the same path. If you’ve been feeling more stressed than usual lately, it might be time to take a look at your routines and start practicing self-care. 

While some may feel that self-care is a selfish act, it’s actually anything but. Giving yourself the gift of relaxation and being able to enjoy a hobby or spend time with your loved ones is one of the best things you can do not only to relieve stress but also to ensure that you’re the best entrepreneur you can be. Not only that, self-care can be anything that helps you feel better, from learning a new workout routine to looking for ways to outsource certain tasks at work so you can focus on more important things. 

Here are a few self-care ideas you can try:

Give yourself more hours in the day

One major issue that many entrepreneurs face is finding enough hours in the day to get everything done. If you’re a freelancer or run your business from home, it can be especially difficult to manage your time due to distractions, or due to an inability to put an end to the workday because you don’t have the option to leave an office and put it behind you. 

If you’ve been struggling to manage your time and get things done, look for some technologies that can help you out. For instance, if you have tons of paperwork, you can scan these documents and save them as PDFs which you can easily access. When you convert multiple pages into one PDF, it’ll be much easier to stay organized and find important documents whenever you need to.

Break down your tasks

Another easy way to save time is to take a good look at the tasks on your plate and prioritize them so you can break them down into manageable pieces. Sometimes this is helpful when you have a lot to do and looking at the big picture leaves you feeling overwhelmed. Start with the least time-consuming jobs and work your way up; if possible, divide the bigger projects into sections that can be tackled over a number of hours or days. Get organized by utilizing apps or software that will allow you and your team to manage these projects efficiently, either together or alone, and maintain communication the entire time. 

Make the most of your breaks

Saving time is crucial if you want to reduce stress, but it’s also important to work in a few breaks during your day. These don’t have to be time-consuming; unplugging for a few minutes, meditating, stretching, and/or finding a peaceful moment can be enormously helpful when you’re feeling overwhelmed or can’t focus. It’s also essential to make time to eat a healthy lunch and keep protein-packed snacks at your desk in order to boost your energy. Once you get home, make sure there’s a healthy meal option for dinner. If you’re going to be working long hours and won’t have the time or energy to cook, make good use of some meal prep in bulk beforehand. Giving yourself a healthy meal that isn’t rushed can go a long way toward helping your mental health, even on the busiest or hardest days.

Get active

Taking breaks can help you recharge and refocus your energy, as can getting in daily activity. If your job keeps you sedentary most of the day, it’s essential to find ways to get up and move. You can do this on breaks by practicing yoga at your desk or going for a walk during your lunch hour; you can also create an inexpensive, unobtrusive home gym with a few simple pieces of gear. If you love getting outdoors, consider picking up a new hobby that allows you to spend time outside, such as playing a sport or swimming. Staying active can work wonders for your mood, help alleviate stress and anxiety, and even help you sleep better.

Make rest a priority

Good sleep can be hard to come by for busy business owners, either because they work long hours or because they find it hard to turn off their brains once they get into bed for the night. While it can be helpful to get daily exercise, it’s also important to consume the right diet, stay hydrated, and practice preventative care where your physical health is concerned. You can also set a routine for each workday and stick to it as closely as possible. Schedules can help our minds and bodies stay on track, especially if they contain helpful activities such as turning off devices an hour or two before bedtime.

Get support

No matter how you’re feeling or where your job takes you, it’s important to find support from friends, family members, or other entrepreneurs who understand what you’re going through. Whether you need a sympathetic ear or just a little help with chores around the house on busy days, having a strong support system can go a long way toward keeping stress at bay. Network with local business owners in-person or online, and consider looking for a mentor who can help guide you through the most challenging aspects of running a business. 

It can be challenging to manage feelings of stress as an entrepreneur, but having a plan of action is often extremely helpful. Remember that taking care of yourself might require some lifestyle changes, so it’s important to take it slowly in order to prevent becoming overwhelmed or adding stress to your routines.

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