High-pressure jobs can take a huge toll on a person’s mental and physical well-being. Not only can it lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, but unchecked chronic stress can even lead to physical ailments. It can also lead to burnout.
A recent survey by Hustle found that 63% of business owners have dealt with a burnout at some point in their careers. Because business owners and founders have a huge amount of responsibility, they are particularly susceptible to stress and burnout. In this guide, we share ways that business owners can reduce stress and keep burnout at bay.
Although people often struggle to force optimism, it can be done. Viewing struggles as impermanent can help you to realise that you can solve them.
Finding ways to stay positive can feel impossible when you are overworked, so be sure to take breaks from time to time. Sometimes it can even take speaking to friends and family to be reminded of the upsides of your situation.
Focus on your wins
Getting caught up in losses can add up and create a negative atmosphere that allows stress to thrive. Instead, focus on the wins for both you and your team. This can lift moods, and can offer a sense of team spirit and positivity.
Even focusing on wins outside work (such as in sports and hobbies) can help your mental health. It provides a self-esteem boost and lowers stress.
Take a break
Although it can seem impossible to take days off, it will improve your productivity in the long term. Taking breaks – whether for hours or for days – is an often-overlooked activity that can prevent chronic stress.
Whether it is some time off work, or just a proper lunch break spent away from screens, breaks are a healthy and necessary part of self-maintenance.
Get some sleep
The human brain needs a certain amount of sleep to function properly. Doctors recommend a minimum of 7 hours, but some adults need more.
You can use a sleep tracker to ensure you are getting enough rest. However, it is not just a matter of the quantity of sleep you get but the quality. Sleep hygiene includes things such as avoiding daytime naps, and sleeping with your mobile phone out of reach.
Make sure you have options available
Some of the most stressful things that a startup founder has to deal with are the huge workload, so being able to delegate more and have someone to help if you are unavailable can be key. Start by training others around you and slowly handing over more tasks, and also having a plan B if you are sick, injured or have a family emergency to oversee various responsibilities.
One of the other most stressful things is to do with cash flow and how startups often run out of money and need to pay team members and keep the business alive. Again, it is worth having plan B in place and quick responses to financial pressures. This could be applying for cash advances, invoice finance, secured finance, credit lines or having money available from family or friends. If there are suddenly financial issues, knowing which source of finance can keep you afloat can be essential.
Ditch your car
Doctors recommend at least 10 minutes of exercise per day for a person’s basic well-being. An easy way to get this, for those short on time, can be to leave your car at home.
Walking or cycling to work can be an easy way to fill your daily exercise quota. However, even taking the bus or metro could help you out. Walking to the bus stop is often a bit more strenuous than stepping directly from your house to your car, and metro users often have to contend with flights of stairs.
Talk to a professional
Some stresses of life are inevitable, but others can be managed. Speaking to a professional such as a therapist or a coach can be a great step in stress management. Trained professionals are there to help you process and manage your anxiety.
This includes identifying areas of life outside work that might be contributing to your day-to-day stresses. A professional can often also help you to learn techniques to deal with huge surges of stress that might otherwise stop you from functioning at your best.