5 easy fixes for the stress of running a business
Easter is almost upon us like many business owners, the thought of taking time out can add your stress levels in the work environment.
The pressure to get things done before you head off on a short break has the potential to create stress for yourself and the people around you. When you’re running a business, the pressure can be intense. Recently I found some simple steps anyone can use to help cope with pressure at work.
“In business you’re often forced to juggle different roles and, when you’re a senior manager, the buck stops with you”, says Rachel Clements, Director of Psychological Services and Principal Organisational Psychologist at the Centre for Corporate Health. “Constantly trying to attract enough work to keep you busy and ensuring your team can handle it is also very stressful”.
Below are five key areas Clements recommends tweaking to help manage the stress of running a business.
1. Look after yourself
“The people who cope best in difficult times are good at looking after themselves all the time,” Clements says. “They exercise, eat well, get enough sleep, don’t engage in damaging habits and seek support inside and outside of work.”
Clements suggests spending 20 to 30 minutes every day doing something you enjoy that provides a genuine break from work, whether that be exercising, engaging in an interest or hobby or spending time with friends and family.
2. Exercise to trigger better mental resilience
Any form of regular exercise can trigger the cycle of eating better, sleeping better and avoiding harmful habits. Plus, the endorphins released during exercise can go a long way towards improving your mood.
“In a recent study, people with mild to moderate depression were either treated with antidepressants or regular exercise,” Clements says. “The group on exercise alone did far better in terms of recovery and in sustaining that recovery over time”.
3. Recruit a supportive team
Modern businesses have no room for difficult people. Managing them takes a lot of time and energy and they can have a very negative impact on the business as a whole. A supportive team can also actively protect a business owner from stress, anxiety and depression.
“I recommend putting a lot of effort into recruiting people who can step up when required,” Clements says. “It’s common for staff to take on more than their official job. However, it’s imperative you know you and your employees’ work limits.”
4. Accept you can’t do everything
Even the best, happiest and most productive team is of little value if you don’t delegate. “Delegating can be particularly difficult for people who started their own business from scratch,” Clements says. “Some still want to sign off on every decision while others are too busy to see that what they’re trying to do is no longer possible.”
5. Talk to someone
Running a business can be a very lonely occupation and many owners feel they have no one to talk to. A coach or mentor can help. “Most people find it easier to discuss difficult issues with someone who is independent and can be trusted to keep their confidences,” Clements says. “Sometimes it’s only when they start talking openly that they realise what the real problems are – and that’s the first step to resolving them.”
Managing stress at work is all about maintaining small but effective strategies. That way, you have better resilience and ways to cope when the pressure mounts.
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