How do you manage stress as an entrepreneur? Stress is different for each and every one of us, yet it’s something all of us face. Some of us handle stress a lot differently than others and sometimes certain seasons (taxes, anyone?!) can bring on more stress than others. But when it comes to managing stress, there are a few practical tips that can make a world of difference not just as entrepreneurs, but as people.
In today’s conversation we’re diving back into the Mental Health Series with professional licensed counselor and my big brother, Josh Berger. The last few episodes of this series we talked a lot about fear of failure and fear of success, defining your identity + sense of balance, how to navigate rejection and diffuse negative self-talk as an entrepreneur, and setting clear boundaries + handling difficult clients.
And today we’re diving into managing stress as an entrepreneur. Let’s get to it.
MANAGING STRESS AS AN ENTREPRENEUR
What exactly is stress? A good way to think through stress is that it’s an emotional, physical or mental level of change. And usually, an unwanted level of change if we’re getting a little more specific.
Stress is your body’s emotion physically manifested.
“The same events can elicit two different types of emotions,” Josh explains. “I could have the same number of things I’m doing in a day and be excited, or I can have the same level of challenges, meetings, and obstacles, and dread it. A lot of that is what goes on in our heart and the emotions in our mind.”
Get to know yourself and the situations where stress can become worse in your day. What are you stress vices? Secondly, how would others around you know you’re stressed?
Josh explains so often we feel like we need to be this superhero, but stress is universal. We all experience it. So let’s be real with ourselves about how we get stressed and the signs that alert us when it’s coming.
In this episode, Josh walks through a few exercises for analyzing your identity and how to become aware of how you may emotionally react to past, present and future events in your life. Tune in using the media player above to walk through these exercises yourself.
SELF CARE TIPS FOR MANAGING STRESS
Often times, when we think of self care we think of: manicures and pedicures, face masks and bubble baths, massages and spa days. But self care when managing stress needs to be more than those things. I’m always up for a good bubble bath don’t get me wrong, but when we are experiencing stress in the middle of our day a bubble bath or pedicure isn’t always something we can add to our already overflowing to-do list.
Josh shares a few practical tips to incorporate self care into your daily routine.
The first one is getting up and changing locations. If you have a phone call scheduled take your call while going for a little walk outside. Getting up and moving is one of the best ways to give ourselves some miniature self care, even if you can’t completely unplug from work while you’re doing it.
Another great tip is giving yourself 15 minutes to go pet your dog or cat. Petting an animal is something that actually releases a lot of endorphins into your bloodstream and that serotonin can be incredibly soothing.
Create little pockets within your workday to give yourself some self lovin’.
Tune in to find out which of the five senses brings you the most joy and how understanding that can shape your daily self-care routine.
SEEING OPPORTUNITIES INSTEAD OF OBSTACLES
When stress is something you’re able to consistently overcome it’s easier to see the world more clear and opportunities instead of obstacles.
You’re better able to knock out the things on your schedule and rest when rest is available.
Josh explains that it’s important for us to not allow our stress to grow. A great way to do this is to find a little joy each day, one medium joy each week, and one major joy each month.
A huge sign that stress is too high in your life is when you get your glass of wine at night (usually a joy in your life) or take rest when you have it, but it’s not restful.
If you want to prevent stress from taking over, you have to prevent burnout. And that’s where the joy comes in.
When you find yourself in a stressful situation, here are some practical tips to diffuse that stress:
- Understand the mindset you’re in.
- Start with a breath. Breathe in as deep as you can and then breathe out. Repeat that a couple of times.
- Remind yourself of who you are apart from this situation: your strengths, skills, who you are designed to be, and a word or two you can focus on.
- Tune in for more tips on managing stress.
“Stress management is a relationship you cultivate on an ongoing basis with yourself.” – Josh Berger
Remember, sweet friend, there will be obstacles you face in this life. But life is this delightful journey about better understanding yourself, how you function, and thrive. Give yourself the space to learn more about how you’re wired. What situations give you joy? What situations give you stress? And what self-care routines impact you the most? Cultivating and identifying those things will help you figure out how to better manage stress in your life, not just as a business owner, but as a human.
It’s worth the investigation of yourself.
CATCH THE SHOW NOTE BREAKDOWN:
3:30 – What is stress?
5:30 – The difference between positive and negative stress
7:30 – How to become more aware of your tipping point
10:15 – Look at your identity to analyze your stress
13:30 – Self care tips for managing stress
16:15 – Reshaping your mindset around what self care looks like
20:48 – Which of the five senses gives you the most joy?
24:22 – How to see opportunities instead of obstacles.
29:00 – Tips for diffusing stress in your life
38:00 – A teaser into next week’s episode all about forgiveness
If you enjoyed the show, be sure to tune into this entire series about the mental health issues many of us face as entrepreneurs. And join us next week as we talk all about forgiveness: forgiving yourself and others when you experience hurt and how to grow from it.
If you want to chat with Josh for encouragement or advice on this topic you can email him directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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