Let’s face it – being a busy entrepreneur comes with an inordinate amount of stress, and stress is detrimental to our well-being. Whether you’re launching a startup business or trying to sustain a legacy brand, it’s important to proactively minimize stress before you start skipping meals and losing sleep. The following five tips will help you manage entrepreneurial stress.

Understand the Symptoms of Stress

How can you manage something if you don’t know what you’re working with? Knowledge is power. Stress can be such a common factor in our lives that we don’t always identify when it is having a serious impact on our health and relationships. Stress is intended to alert our brains of danger and strengthen our defense, but without relief, continuous stress can lead to distress and affect all aspects of our life. Entrepreneurial stress is often a chronic combination of mental, emotional and physical symptoms. Take note of the following symptoms of stress: headaches, low energy, insomnia, excess sweating, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, decreased sex drive, clenched jaw, teeth grinding, muscle tension/aches/pains, irritability, poor self-esteem, depression, avoidance and more.

Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource a Solution

As a passionate entrepreneur with a vision, it can be difficult to loosen the reigns and let your team tackle those important projects that are keeping you up at night. That is, if you have a team. Many new business owners and entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to do everything themselves, rather than investing in help early on in their careers. If you want to sustain a growing business, it is critical that you hire trusted employees and outsource certain functions so that you aren’t working around the clock wearing too many hats.

Establish Business Boundaries Before You Burn Out

When you live and breathe your business, it can be difficult to disconnect. If your days blur into one another and you aren’t sure where business stops and your personal life begins, you’re on the fast track to a stress burnout. It is important that you set boundaries early on learn when to say “no” to the nagging alerts and constant communication. You can still be successful without giving your employees the green light to contact you on a personal line outside of business hours.

Set Goals Strategically and Pursue Them With Positivity

Be sure to set both short and long-term goals and work towards them strategically in small parts. If you focus solely on the bigger picture or massive task list at hand, you’re likely to get overwhelmed and succumb to entrepreneurial stress. The notion of failure often looms over entrepreneurs and becomes increasingly dominant in high-stress situations, so it is important to implement positive language and reinforcers as you’re working towards your goals. Breathe and be kind to yourself.

Break a Sweat and Get Some Sleep

The idea of losing sleep to chase your dreams is kind of ironic, isn’t it? Goal diggers need sleep too, you know. Struggling with insomnia? Breaking a sweat will help! As an entrepreneur, you may feel like there are simply “not enough hours in the day” for that 1-mile jog or ample snooze, but regular exercise and sleep is critical for stress relief, health and happiness. It’s not about finding time to take care of yourself, it’s about making time so that you can work smarter (not harder) along the way.

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