Running an online business can be overwhelming at times. If you're honest with yourself, it might feel overwhelming most of the time. Running a business means that every success and failure falls on you, and that is stressful.
The stress levels you experience will ultimately be worth it if you live out your dream and do something you believe in. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find stress relief in the meantime or learn to manage your stress level.
Luckily there are stress management techniques that can help. If you have an online business and are looking for ways to stay healthy and reduce stress, look no further.
Stress Management Techniques
As an online business owner in 2021, you have mass amounts of technology at your fingertips to make business management easier. Scheduling software, budgeting tools, and time management apps can help reduce the stress of mundane day-to-day activities by doing the bulk of the work for you.
Many online business owners are going it alone. While it’s easy to feel that you can’t afford to hire help, this often isn’t the case. A lot of time-consuming tasks can be outsourced to part-time freelancers or students. Jobs like creating social media content, bookkeeping, or administrative tasks can be done efficiently by experts in the field and save you money in the long run.
Making time to fit daily activity into your routine will have big payoffs in managing your stress levels. This can be as easy as taking a walk around the block or doing five minutes of stretching a few times a day instead of staying at your desk. If you find yourself feeling tired, exercise won’t make it worse. The endorphins released during exercise give you a much-needed mood and energy boost.
4. Don’t Neglect Your Diet
Falling into bad eating habits has as much effect on your health as it does on your perceived stress levels. Eating healthy doesn’t take a lot of extra time, and healthy food will fight stress and reduce the hormone levels that trigger the stress response. Foods high in fiber are great for targeting stress, so reach for fresh fruits and vegetables when you need a snack.
5. Prioritize Your Sleep
Online business owners are chronically tired because they neglect to get enough sleep every night. This is an absolute necessity if you want to perform at optimal levels and reduce stress levels.
6. Focus On Your Successes
It’s easy to dwell on our mistakes and failures, things that are behind schedule, or things that need fixing. You can improve your stress management by focusing on the things that are going right. Even small accomplishments will help you feel better. Try posting a success list in a prominent place and read over it when you’re feeling less than adequate.
Write down the tasks you need to complete and rank them from most to least important during your workday to accomplish the top-ranked tasks first. This way, you won’t finish your workday feeling like you did nothing. It can also help you focus on one particular job at a time, rather than being overwhelmed by the volume of work.
8. Brain Dump
Sometimes our perception of stress is related to having a busy mind. You sit down to relax and unwind, but your brain just won’t turn off. Sound familiar? It’s also a reason many people can’t fall asleep.
Writing down the things your brain is processing will help. If you’ve written your thoughts down, you won’t forget them later. You no longer have to play the tape inside your mind on repeat. While this sounds time-consuming, it can actually provide relief as you no longer have to worry about what’s waiting for you later.
9. Recognize What Your Stress is Telling You
Stress manifests itself differently in everyone. Some people get grumpy and tired. Others start to feel sick to their stomach. Once you figure out how to identify it, the next step is to figure out what’s causing it.
Stress is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong, and you need to pay attention. Sometimes it’s built up because you have unresolved problems that need dealing with. Pay attention, and you might be able to remove at least some of your most significant stressors.
10. Develop Anti-Stress Techniques
Stress hinders productivity and creativity, so you want to remove it from the equation as much as possible as an online business owner. Finding ways to calm yourself can help. Deep breathing, meditation, listening to music, or doing an activity you love are common ways to deal with stress.
If you’re busy running a business, self-care is one of the first things that can be neglected due to a lack of time. If you want to manage stress, however, this is a mistake. Taking care of your mind and body is one of the most critical techniques for stress management.
Eat healthily, talk a walk or do yoga daily, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Try developing a bedtime routine that involves reading or practicing meditation for 30 minutes before bed instead of looking at your laptop until the minute you close your eyes.
12. Plan Unplugged Time
Try spending a small amount of time each day to spend without your devices. Even if you’re looking at your personal Instagram, it’s also tempting to check your business accounts or your email. You can take a walk without your phone or spend family dinners device-free. It will help you to re-connect without distractions.
13. Be Organized
Knowing how you spend your time will help give you a feeling of control over your schedule. When you feel in control, you will automatically feel less stress; it’s a natural response. Look for time-wasting activities you can streamline and schedule in rest breaks as a reward for hard work.
14. Connect With Others
Connecting with friends, family, or other online business owners outside of work can be a huge stress-buster. Socialization is vital for our overall health, so make sure you don’t fall into feeling isolated because you’re working from home.
Getting quiet time can sometimes feel impossible, but developing a meditation habit can help to quiet your mind and gain some valuable relaxation.
Who is Most Susceptible to Stress?
No one is immune to stress. The American Institute of Stress reports that 77% of people experience stress impacting their physical health, and 73% experience stress impacting their mental health.
Some groups are more prone to experience excessive levels of stress. These include ethnic minorities, women, single parents, and people responsible for the health care decisions of others.
The American Psychological Association reports the most commons causes of stress as work, financial burdens, health issues, and personal safety concerns.
How Can Exercise Help Manage Stress?
From aerobics to weightlifting, any form of exercise, walking, and yoga will be an effective stress reliever. Even if you’re seriously out of shape, short bouts of low-intensity exercise will improve your health and your overall sense of well-being. Here are some of the stress-reducing effects of exercise:
- Endorphin release gives you a euphoric sensation
- Limits the adverse physical effects of stress
- It’s a form of meditation that helps you clear your mind and stay focused
- It’s a guaranteed mood booster
How Can I Manage Stress During The Holidays?
The holiday season can be a super stressful time and managing this can be the key to enjoying this period or not. A lot of this relates to the amount, or lack of, sleep we're getting. The holidays can see a change to our normal routines and sleep patterns as we share time with family and friends. Our friends at Slumber Yard have written a great guide on managing stress and sleep during the holiday period. You can read this by visiting them here.
How Do You Do Breathing Exercises?
There are lots of different breathing exercises for relaxation and stress relief. Belly breathing involves lying on your back and taking deep breaths 4-7-8 breathing is a method that consists of inhaling, holding, and exhaling for 4, 7, and 8 seconds respectively. Practicing deep breathing first thing every morning has also been shown to reduce stress throughout the day.
What to Do if You Have Trouble Sleeping?
Stressful thoughts often have a way of impeding our sleep. Finding ways to de-stress before bed can be especially helpful. Some methods include:
- Wrap up your day earlier and plan your to-do lists the night before to avoid thinking about them in bed
- If you don’t fall asleep in 20 minutes, get out of bed, purge your thoughts on a piece of paper, then try again. This is the brain dump referred to earlier in the tips section.
- Develop a pre-bedtime ritual of having a bath, taking a sunset walk, or enjoying a cup of tea to wind down
- Avoid overstimulation of your brain by shutting off all screens at least 30 minutes before going to bed
We’ve talked a little about using meditation as a form of stress relief. Some apps can help you with developing this habit.
The Calm app has many pathways to calm your mind. It contains guided meditations, relaxation exercises, and even bedtime stories to promote sleep.
With Headspace, guided meditation classes are arranged by theme, and there are lots of shorter meditations for those who are pressed for time. This app includes some “SOS” meditations for times when you might feel overwhelmed.
This is a free app by Insight Timer contains 90,000 guided meditations and a 7-day learn to meditate course. There are integrated tracking features that will sync between devices to help you meditate anywhere you feel the need.
Stress isn’t always a bad thing. It is a form of energy that you can use to push your online business to success. Reducing stress by staying productive and keeping on top of your work is extremely important. Follow our stress management techniques next time you are feeling a bit overwhelmed in your business.