April 16th, 2012

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Dealing with Stress as an Entrepreneur

By Lesley Spencer Pyle, MSc

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Do you ever feel like the walls are caving in around you and the stress has reached an all time high? Have you noticed your eating and sleeping habits are terrible or found yourself a bit irritable or grouchy? We all react and deal with stress differently, but stress is not good for anyone and is one of the leading causes of disease and illness. According to the Cleveland Clinic, reducing stress is a major factor in protecting and bolstering the immune system.

Getting healthy is the best step toward reducing stress and keeping your body in great shape. Getting a good night sleep not only helps with your overall health, but it also helps to keep things in perspective and think rationally. When we’re tired, people don’t necessarily think as clearly as when well rested. Therefore, the stress level increases because we struggle to think through situations.

The more hectic our lives become, the more we tend to grab and eat on the run, which at times, throws a well balanced diet out the window. Eating a healthy diet helps with your overall stress level by giving you a balance of nutrients such as vitamin B. Deficiency in the B-complex can lead to depression and irritability.  When under stress, you tend to lose vitamins C & E. Keep healthy snacks in your desk drawer to help curb those hunger pains and prevent you reaching for unhealthy treats. Also consider taking a multi-vitamin to help with those vitamins you may be missing.

Another important factor in improving your overall heath and reducing stress is through exercise. It’s not just for weight loss or weight management! Just going out for a long, hard walk is an added benefit. According to MayoClinic.com, “physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike can also contribute to this cause.” Just look at the benefits of exercise and ask how you cannot add it to your schedule. Exercise gives you more energy, stress relief, better health, clearer focus, sharper mind, better sleep, better bone health, better sex life, and it decreases the risk of cancers, heart attacks and heart problems. Forget the benefits of just looking good and realize exercise not only makes you feel good, it can help you live a longer, healthier life.

Stress can also be elevated by procrastinating and dwelling on problems that need to be addressed. Tackle the issue and move on knowing that it has been taken care of. Putting off the situation is not going to make it go away, so it is easier to deal with it right away and get the weight off your shoulders. And if its something you can delegate or outsource, do it.

Stay organized and prioritize. Living and working in a cluttered, chaotic environment can increase stress levels. Reduce and purge to your basic needs. Being organized does not mean that everything is neat and tidy; it means that everything is in a particular place. Organization is not a gene we posses but rather a set of process and procedures that we need to make as part of our regular routine. Again, if organization is not your strength, hire an organizer to come in and get you set up and organized. A few tips and tricks can make your life much easier and less stressful. Not to mention, you may save tons of time not having to dig or hunt for things any longer.

Stress is a part of life. It helps to keep us on our toes. But if it gets out of control, it does have a negative impact on our health, our relationships, and how we manage our personal and work lives. As an entrepreneur, there is an increase in stress because of the responsibilities that come along with being an entrepreneur. Putting these tips in place can greatly help you get back on top of your game and manage your stress. And hey, get an hour (or even two hour) massage at least once a month. There’s nothing better to make yourself relax and release some tension in those muscles.

Lesley Spencer Pyle is the founder and president of HomeBasedWorkingMoms.com and HireMyMom.com, and she is the author of The Work-at-Home Workbook: Your Step-by-Step Guide on Selecting and Starting the Perfect Home Business for You . Pyle has been working from home for more than 13 years.

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