Fast Company

Managing Stress When You Are the Boss

Marsha Firestone, President and Founder of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), takes time this week in her blog to reflect on a Wall Street Journal article about reducing the stress we feel as entrepreneurs. Marsha writes that the Wall Street Journal article was very interesting for entrepreneurs specifically, because as we know being a business owner can be an incredibly stressful job whether business is booming or not. This article outlines ways to reduce and deal with stress. Here are some of the useful tips:

Take mental health time: many entrepreneurs are guilty of working on their business day and night, forgetting to take some time off. Taking short breaks to do something you love, or spending time on a hobby can help. Taking a walk, reading a book, or doing something that you find relaxing, even if it is only for a few hours, can reduce stress.

Get rest: not getting enough sleep can hamper performance as well as affect health. If you find yourself worrying or thinking while trying to fall asleep, give yourself some time before bed to think about the next day. Write down a few ideas and things you need to get accomplished to avoid keeping yourself up at night. I keep a recorder by my bed so I don’t wake up too fully.

I have found that my most significant business ideas, those with lasting impact, have come while taking a walk or being on the beach during a vacation. We all understand the difficulty that comes from failing to "see the forest for the trees”, so the time we spend separated from the trees in our businesses gives us the ability to see the forest. Resting and breaking is not an indulgence, but rather a critical element of running a successful business.

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