As a small business owner, you know all too well about stress. There’s the stress of paying the bills; the stress of finding new customers; the stress of retaining your current customers; the stress of finding, hiring and firing employees; the stress of keeping on top of the day-to-day management of your business… And yes, the list could go on and on. But that’s not what we’re focusing on here.

Instead, this article is about how to manage and ease all of that stress. Read on for eight ways you may not have considered.


1: Exercise


reduce stress - exercise


Okay, so this one’s a no brainer, and I know you’re sitting there reading this thinking “Where am I going to find the time for that?”. If it’s important to you, you’ll find the time and make the time to work out. Consider it officially important. Exercise in any format (spin class; boxing; running; walking; or whatever works for you) helps to heighten your level of endorphins, which are those hormones that give you a “feel good” sensation, and serves to alleviate stress. Pencil in some exercise into your calendar. It will help.


2: Meditate


reduce stress - meditate


Thinking a hundred or a thousand thoughts a second – like most small business owners do – can take it’s toll on your ability to think clearly. Quiet down your mind by spending time quietly focusing on your breath or a chant of some kind. If you need an introduction to meditation, Headspace is perfect. You can learn online for just 10 minutes a day through your laptop or through an app, and you can’t beat Andy’s soothing British accent. You’ll learn plenty of ways to begin meditation and those teachings will also help you in stressful moments to breathe and just focus on your breath instead of what’s stressing you out. Plus, how many times have you not been able to fall asleep thanks to a racing mind? Meditating before going to bed helps you calm your mind and will hopefully help you fall asleep faster.


3: Strike a Yoga Pose


reduce stress - yoga


This is basically a combination of the first two. You’re working your body while also working to quiet your mind. And you’ll quickly learn to focus just on the positions in yoga, as otherwise you could easily lose your balance. Yoga is all about being in the moment while stretching and relaxing your body, serving to counteract that stress.


4: Get a Massage


reduce stress - massage


It sounds like an indulgence, but a massage is worth it to relieve stress. One note: If you’re new to massage, don’t jump into a level 3 or 4 therapeutic massage, which is when the massage therapist digs deep into your muscle tissue. You might wind up with a different form of stress from the “ouch” of worked out muscles instead of the “could almost fall asleep” relaxation from a soothing massage.


5: Reconnect and Laugh with Friends


reduce stress - laugh


You know that best friend from college you’ve been meaning to catch up with over dinner? Call them and make a plan to do just that. You’ll be able to revisit old memories and laugh about them (snort laughs are VERY good for the soul and to relieve stress) while also creating new fun memories.


6: Garden


reduce stress - garden


Digging your hands into the dirt, planting, weeding, harvesting — are all excellent ways to quiet the mind. You’re focusing on simple, methodical tasks, stretching your body and giving your mind a chance to roam. Plus, returning to nature in any form (be it a walk in the woods, sitting by a lake, or gardening) helps to soothe the soul.


7: Delegate


micro management


You are only human and you can’t (and shouldn’t) do everything in your company. That’s why you’ve hired employees and that’s why you should also farm out tasks to those employees. Focus on what you do the best and delegate the rest to the smart people that you hired.


8: Talk it Out


reducs stress - talk
If your stress is really getting to you, talk to a therapist. It’s okay to do so. Really. Therapists are trained to help you talk through your stressors and work with you to figure out the best way for you to deal with them.