Running a business is stressful and with uncertain economic times, competition, new technology and more, you may be running on stress overload.  However, not taking care of yourself can impede you from performing at the highest level.  So, here are some ways to deal with the stress.

Scream it out:  Sometimes, there is no better way to deal with the stress than through a fit of good old screaming, swearing, fist pounding and/or jumping around. Releasing the stress gets it out of your system and lets you move on, so don’t be afraid to indulge.  Helpful hint- don’t direct this fit specifically at someone (or at anything breakable); do it when you have time alone.

Exercise: When we are busy, exercise tends to fall by the wayside.  Exercise not only releases endorphins (chemicals that make you happy), but also helps you to work through the stress and clear your mind.  If you don’t have time, try a short high-intensity interval training workout.  These can last around 30 minutes, but work everything. I personally am a fan of Jillian Michaels’ videos that you can pop into your home or office DVD player- check out the 30 Day Shred, which is my personal favorite.

Unplug: I don’t think we even comprehend how much stress the constant barrage of email, social media activity and other e-information creates for us.  Try to unplug (whether it is for hours or days) and focus on your work without the interruptions.

Take time off:  Whether it’s a day, a long weekend or a couple of weeks, we need time away from work in order to be in a position to do our best work.  This means that if the stress is building, take a day to go shopping, check out a museum or sit on your couch and eat bonbons.  You can do this as you feel overwhelmed, or even better, schedule a day every month or a week every quarter and put it on your schedule as a must-do.

Commiserate: As an entrepreneur, especially one who has a small business or a one man show, you miss the opportunity to get around the water cooler and vent your frustrations.  This means there isn’t a natural outlet for your stress.  Find a sympathetic ear in other business owners who can let you share your tough times (and reassure you that what you are going through is perfectly normal).

Chocolate:  When all else fails, there’s always chocolate.


How do you deal with the stress of being an entrepreneur?  Share your thoughts below.