As a small business owner, daily stress is a very real part of the job.
From the struggles of managing employees to the financial worries of making ends meet (and saving enough for retirement), owning and running a business can wear you down, and ultimately affect your mental health.
While proper wealth management can help to alleviate some of these worries, maintaining your mental health is critical to make sure you’re able to lead your small business to even greater success.
Mental health and financial wellness are connected
At Bayview Financial, we like to stick to our specialty – financial advice. However, maintaining mental health is so important we’d like to stop and take a break from dwelling on our financial security and give space to our mental health.
So, to all the overly-stressed entrepreneurs and small business owners out there trying to juggle finances, business development, human resources, marketing and, of course, family, we’re here to help. We’d like to share with you four stress-relieving tips to better equip you to manage all those daily stressors.
Beware the backslide
Before we dive in, we’ll pause here and say this: the time you spend destressing is as important as the time you spend working.
However, just like with work (and physical health), goals cannot be achieved without consistency.
When everything starts to spiral, it can be tempting to reach out and grab every solution you come across, only to abandon these ideas when things are (temporarily) easier. Then, all that forward momentum you’ve gained evaporates, leaving you back at the beginning the next time you’re stressed.
If you commit to your mental health like you commit to your business, you can continuously strengthen your mind so that when the next stressful event comes, you are better equipped to handle it.
1. Double-down on healthy habits
Mental health is holistic. That means any healthy habits you choose to pursue right now can help increase your overall mental health. So choose one healthy habit you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle and start now.
When creating that healthy habit, it’s important to remember to start small. Creating an impossible goal, like exercising for an hour every day when you haven’t set foot in a gym since high school can quickly get overwhelming and cause you to fail. But, by creating small, reasonable goals, you can enjoy success along the way, without the pain of failure.
When you’re defaulting to scarfing down quick-carbs and sugar-loaded snacks throughout the day, it can cause mood spikes and valleys that add more emotional instability to an already stressful day.
Eating wholesome, healthy foods will help you stay properly nourished so you can keep your energy up and your mind more clear as you move about your day.
To eat better:
Shop smart – When possible, avoid temptation-foods at the grocery store. If those unhealthy items aren't in your house, or in your lunch, it’s a lot easier to avoid them when you’re hunting for a snack during work hours. Focus on buying healthy, snackable foods to fuel your body smarter.
Create a recipe stash – Sometimes, the hardest part of cooking is deciding on what to make. Instead of winging it, do some research and find some healthy, simple recipes ahead of time. Then, stock your fridge with the requisite ingredients to make it easier to choose those healthy foods.
Give yourself a pass – So you grabbed that chocolate bar in the grocery line and ate it before you got to the car – don’t beat yourself up. Forgiving yourself is a huge part of releasing yourself from stress. So if you stumble – forgive yourself, forget about it and move on.
It may feel like you don’t have the time, but exercise is essential to stress-relief. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins that help to relieve pain and stress. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be grinning ear-to-ear while you’re doing pushups, but it does mean you’re helping improve your mental health and stability.
*Gyms may be closed or limited in your area right now, but there are plenty of apps (SarahBethYoga, Down Dog) out there that can help you create wellness goals, and work your way toward them from home.
These days it’s easy to let your mind get away from you to dwell on past hurts, possible failures, or negative thoughts in general. This can create a major hurdle at the best of times, so when things get difficult, this type of thinking can cause real trouble in both your personal and business life.
Meditation/mindfulness can help you create a healthier mental space that will allow you to better manage negative thoughts. The best part is, with an app like Headspace, meditation/mindfulness can fit into even the busiest of days as some sessions are as short as three minutes.
2. Create a cohort
Social interaction and support is incredibly important. Somehow, in this time of unprecedented communications apps, we’re still not connecting like we should. This disconnect causes loneliness and stress. However, a well-built social net will help you both de-stress and give you the confidence that whatever happens, you know you have people in your life who truly care about you.
*During times like these, when socializing can be difficult, it’s even more important to make sure you consciously set aside time to socialize. You can do this safely by:
Increasing the close feeling of a video call by engaging in the same activity together – this could include chess, a show on Netflix, or even baking or cooking together. This shared experience gives you something to talk about that’s real and on-going.
Create a longstanding group meeting within a cohort. Utilize social distancing to further create safety within that group.
Gather outside whenever possible (and whenever our lovely Canadian weather allows)
3. Extend grace to others (especially to your employees)
Remember that you’re not alone in your feelings, as everyone out there, whether they’re a small business owner or not, is all dealing with some sort of stress in their lives. Extending grace to others, especially to your employees, will go a long way in helping to keep your own stress levels down. When you give grace, you get grace, even if it’s you giving yourself that grace.
4. Know when to seek out professional support
Mental health problems are often too easy to ignore. Instead, we go about our day wondering why we always feel so tired, or why we can’t keep a handle on that temper of ours. It can be a humbling experience admitting to yourself that you need some help, but it’s only through aid that you can truly excel – in both your personal and your professional life.
When you think you need help, make sure you talk with your doctor, or a mental health professional, along with your loved ones.
We hope these stress-relieving tips help you achieve greater success!
Please don’t hesitate to contact Bayview Financial for financial advice, financial planning – or just a friendly phone conversation.