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As a busy professional or entrepreneur, your role is likely to come with a great deal of responsibility. Perhaps you lead a team and they are constantly looking to you for guidance. The responsibility that comes with being a business owner who is constantly aware of the time, money and other resources invested in the business can leave you feeling like you’re only barely keeping your head above water. Stress is your body’s way of responding to this heightened level of responsibility.

As the days reach new levels of complexity and unpredictability, so do the sleepless nights and accumulated stress, leading to depression, addiction, and other mental health issues. Studies show that entrepreneurs are twice as likely to feel depressed when compared with the general population. They’re also three times more likely to fall into habits of addiction.

If you feel like the daily grind is starting to take a toll on your well-being, here are eight stress management strategies you can try.

  1. Confront Your Anxiety at the Source. The best way to get in control of your anxiety is to assess and determine precisely where it’s coming from and deal with the situation head-on. Rather than procrastinating and ruminating, think about what’s causing this emotional reaction. Is it an issue with cash flow? Find an alternative way to monitor your revenues and expenses. Overflowing workload? Try delegating responsibility.
  2. Listen to Your Body. Paying attention to your body’s stress triggers and signals can help you get them under control once you learn to recognize them. Common stress indicators include sweating, increased heart rate, and trouble sleeping.
  3. Systematic Breaks. Taking short breaks at regular intervals or whenever you feel a stress trigger coming on can at least provide some short-term relief. Try taking a short walk outside or calling a friend or family member to help you get out of your head for a while.
  4. Delegation. In our previous article, we talked about the importance of delegating responsibility to reduce your workload. You’ll be surprised how much sharing a workload can alleviate anxiety and stress among busy professionals.
  5. Vacation Time. Commit to taking some time off. Business professionals often postpone their vacations for the short-term benefits of the business without seeing the very long-term effects it can have on their health. Even if it’s just a getaway for the weekend, it can make all the difference.
  6. Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle. While it may feel like you just don’t have the time to eat healthily or get in a bit of daily exercise, the cost of neglecting your health can be a detrimental one. Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise 2-3 times per week, as well as eating more fruits and vegetables, can significantly reduce stress among entrepreneurs.
  7. Avoid Perfectionism. Perfectionism is a common by-product of leaders and entrepreneurs. After all, your reputation is on the line. The problem with perfectionism is the toll it can take on your mind, which as a result produces a great deal of stress as perfection can never truly be attainable. Try not to obsess over your work tasks and know when to cut the cord and call them complete.
  8. Talk to Someone. Whether you choose to seek a therapist or simply confide in a friend or family member, having someone to talk to about how work is affecting you can do wonders for your mental health. Not only will it bring you some peace to vent your frustrations, but you may also be met with alternative solutions you had not previously considered.

As a business professional or entrepreneur, your management expertise is often put to the test. Along with everything else you put your attention to, stress management is crucial for your well-being and will allow you to live a more healthy and well-rounded life.

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