As any small business owner will tell you, when you’re starting out or at the bottom of the ladder, you have very little funds to manage the different tasks that are needed to keep the business going. These include tasks such as;
Those are some of the multitude of tasks that can cause a huge amount of pressure and stress on you as the head of this business. Unfortunately, this pressure and stress can lead to a number of mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and more.
[bctt tweet=”In the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.”]
Finding ways to manage stress and still keep your business going is difficult but I just wanted to share a few tips on how I manage it in the crazy world we live in today.
Knowing when to shut off and relax for an evening or weekend can be tough, especially if you have a mountain of paperwork to do. However, it’s important that you step away to give yourself time to breathe and reflect. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve been stuck in a difficult problem, then stopped, walk away and took 5, only for the answer to suddenly appear as if it should’ve been easy. It can help you think clearer and understand how to tackle the many issues you face.
I admit I’m not much of an athlete, I don’t do marathons or weeknight sports such as Karate. But I do make sure I get out daily for a walk and push myself to run at least twice a week as it gives my body a chance to stretch its legs, much like shutting off can help your mind.
It’s important that you get out and stay physically healthy as it can reduce stress. I won’t lie the number of times I’ve been foaming at the mouth because of an issue but just getting out and going for a run for 30 minutes has allowed me to cool down and approach the issue from a better angle.
Even if you’re not as active as me, an important area you can control (if you have the willpower) is your diet, by making sure that you eat the right meals at the right times of day (breakfast, lunch & dinner) can help keep your mind strong and combat stress.
[bctt tweet=”61 percent showed an improvement thinking and concentration after eating breakfast”]
Make sure however your diet is not just junk food and contains even the “boring” stuff you don’t like! Fruit and vegetables help more than you would think and cutting down on the coffee can help as well. I won’t mention alcohol, because if you’re like me, whenever I hear the ‘Cutting down’ advert on the radio, it just makes me think of alcohol which I’m sure isn’t its purpose.
Let me guess, you’re reading this and asking who to? Well, bear with me because what you don’t realise is that you might have a team closer than you think. Instead of burdening yourself with everything and working until the candlelight has gone, why not ask a loved one, family member or friend to help.
It doesn’t mean you’re weak or even dumping your problems on them, it can be as simple as asking your partner to read over a contract or asking your brother to help write out some forms. It allows you to work on the other parts of your business and trust me, they want to help – because they care about you and want to see you happy, so don’t be afraid to ask.
So, you finish at 9 pm and now it’s your time to eat, relax and catch up on your interests which is fine. However, staying up late past 12, and then getting up at 5am/6am to repeat the cycle can over the long term have an impact on your mental health.
Being a small business owner can make it difficult to manage times and getting away from it all at the same time every night. But it’s important to find a suitable switch off point that allows you to say “enough for today” whilst making sure it’s not too late into an evening to give yourself time to relax and spend time with family and friends.
Trying to incorporate just a few of these into your business can help you stay on top of it and grow it without leaving yourself in a bad place that might sadly one day make you end up leaving or closing the business. Have a read of our Director’s own troubles with Mental Health here
If you have any other methods that you use to combat stress, please let us know via email or on social media. We’d love to hear them.
Remember if you are suffering from any mental illness, you are not alone and people will want to listen so please share.