Stress Management for Small Business Owners and ManagersOur tip tops to stay calm and healthy over the winter

This can be a stressful time of year for managers and owners at small businesses.

Sure, Black Friday is behind us and we’re almost through with the Christmas shopping rush.

But the January sales are looming ahead, and we’ve got a long way to go yet before we’re not commuting to and from work in the dark.

Add in the negative effects winter weather can have and it’s no wonder stress levels are high.

In fact, 80% of small business owners report symptoms of poor mental health.

So what can those in charge of small businesses do to keep their blood pressure at a healthy level? Read on to find out.

Recognise the issue

It’s very hard to solve a problem if you’re not aware it exists! Watching out for the signs of stress and poor mental health can make it easier to recognise when you’re in need of some self love.

Inability to focus, anxiety, and trouble sleeping are among the top symptoms that you may be struggling. 42% of small business owners also experience burnout. If you notice these signs, it may be time to put these tips into action.

Identify your stressors

Even if you have noticed that you’re stressed, it isn’t always as straightforward as you’d expect to work out exactly what is causing you to feel this way.

Business owners and managers need to wear so many hats that sometimes it’s simply the juggling of roles that is stressful.

On other occasions, it may be a specific task, issue, or even a troublesome employee that is causing all the drama. Working out what has got you wound up is an important step in doing something about it.

Some of the most common causes of stress are managing staff, admin, the company’s overall success, compliance, and expenses. However, there are many other valid reasons as well, and as each business is different, your circumstances may be uniquely stressful.

Prioritise your tasks

Your to-do list can feel never ending. And if you approach everything on your plate without a plan, or jump between tasks without thought, you may struggle to make progress. The result? Stress!

Instead, make a list of everything you need to do, and order them by importance and urgency. Complete the highest priority, time critical jobs first and then move onto the rest.

Don’t focus on the length of the list—that itself can be stressful—but simply on the task at hand.

Say no

Prioritising may mean letting go of some tasks that aren’t as urgent or important. This can be difficult.

Learning to say no to people isn’t an easy lesson for many. As the owner or manager of a small business, it’s common to feel like you need to keep everyone happy.

The truth is that you can’t! Conflict and compromise are sometimes unavoidable, and though these can be stressful as well, negotiating them well can often lead to better outcomes.

Say no to the non-essentials and you’ll end up achieving more with the tasks you do decide to take on.

Find and celebrate the wins

Even though you’re looking to focus on the most important aspects of your business, it can help your mood and mindset to get a quick win every now and then. Make a point of celebrating your accomplishments and you’ll find your motivation to tackle more.

Even keeping a list of all the things you’ve achieved to get to where you are today can be a great reminder to keep on your desk and show you how far you’ve come.

Take charge of your time

Being stretched too thin can be stressful. You may often have clients, employers, vendors, and others wanting your attention. But you will also know the times of day when you are feeling at your best and most productive.

You don’t need to be available to everyone all the time. Make yourself a schedule that blocks out time for you to work uninterrupted.

You could even add this as a shift on your rota so that your employees can refer to it. After all, your staff always have access to the up-to-date schedule with Findmyshift.

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