How to Manage Your Business and Your Mental Health
Dreaming up, starting, and running your own small business is invigorating, challenging, liberating, and rewarding — but admittedly never easy. You need to balance the books, plan service, stock inventory, support staff, keep the business on its feet, and always keep the best, most professional game face for clients, customers, and associates as you tackle many other tasks.
Whether you work in law, real estate, or medicine, sell flowers, style hair, manage apartments, provide transportation, or offer any other product or service, your small business is your passion project. As much as you love it, however, sometimes it can run you down.
We know you want your business to be the best it can be, but to manage small business stress and make sure you stay happy and healthy as well as successful, sometimes you need to take some time to focus on yourself and find balance. How? By being mindful and making the most of each day to mentally prepare yourself for challenges, lower your stress levels, and give you a new perspective. Here are a few tips for mindfulness in management:
- Start the Day MindfullyThe most important part of both success and mindfulness for small business owners and entrepreneurs is getting each morning off to the right start. If you’re rolling out of bed and rushing right into work tasks as you drink your coffee, clicking hurriedly through emails or running right to the car with a to-go cup to get an early start, the rest of your day will be just as stressful as your rushed morning. You won’t have a second of time to recharge or mentally prepare for what the day might hold, making you even tenser as you work.Instead, use your mornings to be mindful. When you wake up, ease yourself through a relaxing routine that will let you save your energy for the coming day. Make a comforting mug of coffee and sip slowly, focusing on nothing but the warmth of the cup in your hands and the steam rising to your face. Eat your breakfast and enjoy each flavor. Don’t check the news, catch up on email, or try to get ahead before work even starts. Make time to revel in the quiet moment. When you’re ready and recharged, you can begin your workday.
- Savor the Small ThingsJust like making time to be mindful in the morning, give yourself mindfulness breaks throughout the day by practicing pausing and paying attention to your senses. Wherever you are during your work day — whether that’s in the car en-route to another location, in your studio or office, or outside — take a moment to use your senses and be aware of your surroundings.Notice the details — the scents, sounds, etc. — of your current location and take stock of how you feel. Taking yourself out of your head and engaging with your sensory surroundings for even a moment can help reduce stress.
- Stop and BreatheWhen you feel yourself getting worked up or overwhelmed, make some time to just breathe deeply for one to five minutes. Find a quiet space where you can sit, close your eyes and focus on inhaling, holding your breath, and exhaling in regular intervals, letting go of your thoughts. There’s no better natural way to recharge.
- Expect the ImperfectPerfectionism is a strength — especially when it comes to running a successful business. But when you’re managing a small business and balancing so much, learning to accept imperfection is crucial to both a healthy work-life balance and positive business progression.Instead of always dwelling on what you haven’t gotten done or what could be better, commend yourself for the progress you have made and what you’re doing right. You’ve come a long way!
- Prioritize Mindfulness in Your Small BusinessWhen you’re running a small business, sometimes you can get caught up in so many tasks and to-do lists that you don’t know where to start or how you’ll ever tackle everything you need to get done — let alone make time for yourself or practice mindfulness. To keep yourself moving forward and make sure you stay sane, prioritization is key.
Each week or even every day, make a list of tasks you need to tackle, putting the most important points at the top — and don’t forget to incorporate breathing breaks and mindful moments into your schedule. Prioritize both your business aims and mindfulness in your management — and see how much farther it takes you.