5 Awesome Self-Care Tips for Dealing With a Stressful Business

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Dealing with a stressful business can make you question why you wanted to be a business owner in the first place. I get it. I've struggled with this too. Today I’m sharing a few ways to successfully deal with a stressful career by engaging in self-care -- that you can do for cheap (or even free!).

Dealing with a stressful business can make you question why you wanted to be a business owner in the first place. I get it. I’ve struggled with this too.

So today I’m sharing a few ways to successfully deal with a stressful career by engaging in self-care — that you can do for cheap (or even free!).

For most of this year I’ve personally struggled with the daily stress of managing my business and finances. I’m sure you can relate to as well, at one time or another.

There are so many different aspects of running a business, and it can get overwhelming.

Can you really achieve work-life balance? Is it really possible to find joy in your work every day?

Yes! You just have to know when to a break and when to press the gas pedal. Here are 5 things I’ve done to alleviate work-related stress and regain control of my business again!

Tips for dealing with a stressful business

1. Give yourself permission to stop

As business owners we’re not used to giving up. In fact, it’s our tenacity and drive that got us to where we are today. So the notion that you might need to shut down a specific part of your business can be a bit alarming.

But giving up is a really important part of being entrepreneur. The things that  suck the life out of you the most are usually the ones you don’t enjoy doing.

Take this as the opportunity that you need to give yourself permission to stop what’s not working, so you can focus on the stuff that really does work.

Consider asking someone for help, such as a coach or accountability partner. Outsource parts of your business to someone else who can rock it out! I mean, if it’s within their zone of genius (and not within yours) why wouldn’t you want to hand off that task?

Remember to keep the fun and enjoyment in your daily business life. That’s why you’re the boss, right?!

2. Join a free workout challenge

Right now, I’m in the middle of a 30-day yoga challenge from Yoga With Adriene. I watch the free videos on YouTube so I don’t have to pay for a class. (Besides when you’re a beginner like I am, you don’t want to look like a total newb in front of a big gym class.)

In the past I’ve also participated in walking challenges or met up with friends to go for regular hikes. Right now, my business partner Cait is doing a 30-day outdoor challenge where she gets outside every day for a hike outside.

Sometimes it’s just 15-20 and other times it’s several hours. The goal though is to enjoy the outdoors and create a habit of mindfulness.

3. Get more sleep

Lately, I’ve been reading more and more about how a lack of sleep is killing us. And if you’ve listened to any of my podcast episodes you already know that my sleep schedule is all over the place.

Over this past summer I experimented with my sleeping routine. What I found was that I absolutely have to sleep at least 7 hours a night or else I’m completely useless the next day. I get annoyed, cranky, and my productivity is hosed — it’s not a pretty sight.

Since it has such a huge impact on my quality of daily life, I’ve learned to make sleep one of my top priorities. I wear a FitBit Blaze to track my sleep cycle every night.

I also go to sleep when I’m tired — novel idea, I know! But seriously, what’s the point of trying to go to bed at the same time every night? Your daily schedule is always changing so why would our sleep time be the same?

Give it a try! Go to sleep when you’re actually tired, so you’re not laying there frustrated for several hours thinking about how much time you’re wasting by not sleeping. (Your body will thank you in the morning!)

4. Rekindle an inexpensive hobby

Hobbies are another super important part of dealing with a stressful business. They’re an outlet for being creative, nurturing different parts of your brain, and giving yourself a break. When I’m not working or doing chores around the house, I enjoy painting and sketching.

Although art can be an expensive hobby, I use a few simple tools. I’m obsessed with anything from JetPens.com. A quick trip to Target’s school supplies section will also do the trick.

As a rule of thumb I ALWAYS keep a stash of Paper Mate Flair pens at my desk, because you can get a pack of 12 for around $16 from Office Depot.

A newer hobby I’ve been enjoying is growing succulents, mostly because that’s the only green thing I can keep alive. HA! But I have around 10 small plants and a large aloe, that I take care of every day.

Thanks to the help of Cassidy, over at Succulents and Sunshine, I no longer have a fear of killing house plants. I purchased the original succulents for around $20 and can now propagate additional plants from the small cuttings that fall off the main plant.

coffee and succulents

5. Enjoy some fun entertainment

As business owners we spend A LOT of time in our own worlds. I find that one of the best ways for dealing with a stressful business is to enjoy another world outside of my own.

Get into a really exciting book, or series of books! And if I don’t have a lot of time, I enjoy listening to audiobooks. This is currently my favorite way to consume books and I’ve already read 12+ books this year.

And don’t forget about podcasts too, those are fun ways to listen to someone else’s story and find ideas for your own life.

Or rent a movie once-a-week or go the movie theatre once-a-month. The hubs and I like to go to the movies on Tuesdays because we get the movie special (half-off tickets!) and discounts on popcorn and soda.

Dealing with a stressful business

The best business ideas and plans always come to me when I’m relaxing, working out, or simply doing something else. The reason this works is that it helps  get your mind off of the same old stuff.

So don’t be afraid to share your ideas and or to think out loud. It’s nice to bounce your ideas and plans off of someone else and get feedback when you’re feeling stuck.

And remember, you don’t have to carry the burden of a stressful business alone! A lot of other business owners and freelancers can relate to your struggles too.

Now, I want to hear from you! Share your number one self-care tip for dealing with a stressful business.

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One comment

  1. Jim Powell says:

    Great, practical post Carrie! I love the idea of a workout challenge. I like scheduling a foot massage at my local spa once per month, as a special treat. Otherwise, I’ve been focused on calendar management, even if the types of tasks I’m working on shift. Finally, regarding getting good sleep (which I love as a tip) I’m trying to lessen my caffeine intake.

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