Small business owners will inevitably experience stress. It naturally arises during the day-to-day challenges of maintaining a company, from cash flow problems to staffing issues. Stress can prove helpful in small doses. However, it is important to monitor anxiety levels – if left unchecked, it can lead to burnout and significant mental and physical health problems.

1. Take the Pressure Off

Entrepreneurs generally take on as much work as possible themselves, particularly in the early days of running a business. This is a good money-saving tactic, and allows business owners to exercise strict control over every aspect of their company. However, juggling a series of roles and responsibilities can soon lead to stress. To relieve anxiety, consider hiring part-time help or outsourcing some of your more laborious tasks.

2. Make a Plan

Disaster can strike any business, at any moment. External circumstances often appear out of nowhere to derail your company’s operations. Forewarned is forearmed – and with an estimated quarter of businesses folding after a crisis, entrepreneurs must be prepared for the worst. Having a solid disaster plan in place will bring peace of mind, and reduce stress levels if a crisis does happen.

3. Meditate

Transcendental Meditation has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Many famous entrepreneurs benefit from the technique – Oprah Winfrey, Lena Dunham, and Rupert Murdoch are all passionate advocates. Through two twenty-minute sessions a day, business owners can relieve stress, relax, and become more productive.

4. Talk

As the saying goes, ‘it’s lonely at the top.’ Running a business can become a solitary affair – even a large part of your day involves talking to customers and clients. Connecting with the most important people in your life is an important way to reduce stress levels. If you’re feeling anxious and stressed, take a day off to recharge and reconnect with family and friends. Crucially, if you work with family members, banning office talk outside of work hours can be a good way to reduce stress.

5. Get Physical

Running a business is a time-consuming enterprise. Spare time rapidly becomes a rare and valuable commodity, and business owners frequently neglect to take proper care of their health as a result. However, exercise is one of the most effective ways to lower stress levels and burn off steam. No matter how busy you are, you should always make time for physical activity.

Entrepreneurs often feel a compulsion to remain focussed and innovative. This is usually a helpful urge – but it can soon turn to anxiety if results fail to materialise. Small business owners will always be at risk of stress, but by taking care of your mental and physical health, it can be kept at bay.