Overcoming Stress: 5 Hacks to Help Entrepreneurs Decompress

Stressed businesswoman

When people think of an entrepreneur, they may think of someone happily moving from one pitch meeting to the next. The truth is there is a lot of varied work that keeps entrepreneurs constantly busy. As soon as one question gets answered, another one crops up; when one fire is put out, another comes roaring to life, requiring attention. This doesn’t even include everyday events like having to deal with problem employees, attending meetings, and responding to an overflowing email inbox.

The short of it is life as an entrepreneur can be hectic—and stressful.

For tips on how to reduce daily stress so you can avoid burnout and continue to produce high-quality work, we asked members from YEC Next this question:

Q. What is one hack you use daily to deal with the stress or demands of being an entrepreneur?

1. 15 minutes of reflection

Every workday at noon I turn off all my devices and reflect on the current day. I cleanse my mind of any negative thoughts or problems that are weighing on me, and focus on what I am grateful for. In my experience, you will not be able to grow past where you currently are without being grateful for what you already have. —Matt Bigach, Nexus Homebuyers

2. Meaningful mornings

When I awaken, I grab hold of any negative thoughts and replace them with gratitude. I say a prayer of thanks and I begin journaling positive affirmations, goals, and desires. I spend time visualizing how I want my day to go, and it helps set the tone for a smooth and productive day. I move my body with exercise and then have a nutritious breakfast to kick-start an energetic day. —Turath D’hont, San Diego Moving Company

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3. Prioritize exercise

Exercise is key to dealing with the demands of being an entrepreneur. Schedule exercise time the same way you would a mandatory meeting. When the time comes, drop everything and dedicate an hour to physical activity. Taking breaks is necessary and you come back feeling refreshed. Committing to exercise — something other than work — is also a great way to keep a sense of perspective. —Kyle Wiggins, Keteka

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4. Practice self-care

Self-care is super trendy right now but it’s much needed and should be taken seriously. For me, self-care at work can be anything from making sure the office kitchen is always stocked with water and healthy snacks to pausing my inbox when I need a break. I have also started using the Headspace app for meditation, which is an excellent way for me to take a few minutes to refocus or de-stress. —Kristine Neil, Markon Brands

5. Strict downtime built into the schedule

For typical days, downtime means at the very least an hour-long break blocked off during the workday. I typically take my break around 1 p.m. It’ll either be a workout, a walk, a reading session, a motorcycle ride, or even a bath with some relaxing music playing. Everyone has something that truly moves the mind away from work, and being able to focus on other things will drastically increase work productivity. —Ron Lieback, ContentMender

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