Southern Illinois Marketing Blog

Easy Ways to Reduce Stress as a Small Business Owner

Written by Sara Fisher on August 3, 2018

If you're a small business owner, you more than likely have felt like you're being pulled in a million different directions and stretched unbearably thin. You've probably felt exhausted, overwhelmed, and like your efforts aren't making a difference. Excessive stress can affect your health and even spread into other areas of your business, which can cause unnecessary and unwanted problems. Here are some simple ways to reduce stress so you can get back to effectively running your business and serving your customers.

 Schedule regular breaks into your workday (and actually take them).

It's no secret that there are positive benefits of taking breaks. In addition to combating stress, breaks increase productivity and improve mental health. As a small business owner, it's easy to fall into the trap of not taking breaks and even feeling a sense of guilt if you do take one. Your scheduled break should be as important as your scheduled sales call with a client. Pencil your breaks in your schedule and take them when the time comes. 

 Keep a journal. 

Writing in a journal is a great way to relieve stress and gain mental clarity. You can use a journal to write about new ideas, document your day, and more. When you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed, putting it on paper in your own words has a therapeutic affect. Remember, there's no pressure to write in any certain way, so let the ink flow and try not to overthink it. 

 Create a self-care routine, and stick to it. 

When was the last time you did something nice for yourself? Getting enough sleep, eating a proper diet, and regular exercise are the basics of self-care, but there are even more simple ways to bring joy and relief to your body, mind, and soul. Take a walk outside, make a date with a friend for lunch, get a massage, or treat yourself to your favorite snack. The bottom line is to do something you enjoy, and to actually take time for it—because ultimately, it's difficult to effectively take care of others if you're not taking care of yourself in the first place. 

 Get inspired. 

One way to get out of a stressful funk is to find positive inspiration in other places. Look to other sources to get your creativity flowing and your passion for your business reignited.  Find new blogs and videos, talk to other colleagues and professionals, or learn something new and useful for your business. Inspiration can also come from other sources like music, art, and nature, so don't be afraid to get creative. 

 Remember the big picture. 

Have you ever lost sight of the big picture when stressful situations hit your business? It's important to remind yourself of the positives instead of only focusing on the negatives. That said, the negatives should still be tended to in due time—all while keeping the big picture of your business and dedication to customers in mind. To combat the stress, it helps to keep a list of testimonials and nice things your customers have said about you and your business. Refer to them in stressful times to be reminded of why you do what you do. 

Running a small business can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime, but dealing with the accompanying stress can sometimes be overwhelming. If you make a conscious effort to regularly work these stress-busting tips into your workday, your stress levels will decrease and many aspects of your business will be positively affected. 

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