It can be stressful being a freelancer or business owner there’s no doubt about that.

Worrying about deadlines, unable to stop procrastinating and get on with our work, and unexpected family demands on our time can all take their toll.

There are some small changes we can make to our routine that can help us manage that stress, or reduce it all together!

It’s important to have a routine as a small business owner

When you have an established routine, your mind and body are ready to tackle what lies ahead.

It becomes second nature almost, and many of the things you’ve had to focus on to achieve start to fall into place more easily.

From a morning routine of coffee and exercise to blocking out the day into tasks to work on – being able to plan our workday into a fixed routine helps us achieve so much more.

I try to break my work down into manageable chunks using the Pomodoro technique – you can read more about that here.

One of the best ways to reduce stress as a business owner is by getting back to nature

Which can sound crazy when you have a staggering amount of work to get through, but being outdoors in the fresh air and sunlight can make a real difference to our wellbeing and how we cope with stress.

Spending your extended breaks outside with a coffee or lunch is a great way of fitting it in around your packed work schedule, but a study has found that even a view of nature from your office can improve your wellbeing.

When it comes to beating stress exercise is still one of the best methods

Ok, you probably think that it’s one thing to find the time to sit in your garden during the day, but now you have to fit in some exercise as well?

I know, but it doesn’t have to mean a trip to the gym and the effects of exercise on stress are quite powerful.

Exercising:

  • Releases endorphins – our body’s natural painkillers
  • Improves circulation – better blood flow to the brain means better focus and concentration
  • Stimulates chemicals in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine – instant mood lifters
  • Improves muscle strength and endurance – reducing fatigue and preventing issues from being sat on a chair all day

So how do you introduce exercise into your daily routine?

There are some quick 5, 10 and 30-minute exercise routines widely available on YouTube that are specifically designed for freelancers and home workers,

But really, a 10-minute power walk outdoors in your lunch break is the best way of getting outdoors and exercising for instant stress relief and improved focus for the afternoon ahead.

Remember to breathe, no, really

Breathing is something we don’t think about regularly.

But focused breathing techniques can be a great way to reduce stress and lift your mood on a difficult day.

A great method that many stage performers use when warming up is the 4-8-16 technique

  • Breathe in slowly for a count of 4
  • Hold for a count of 8
  • Breathe very slowly, controlling the breath for a count of 16

A few cycles can make a real difference when you’re feeling stressed (and can also help you sleep at night!)

 

I hope you find these tips helpful, and if you have anything you include in your daily routine that helps you beat stress, please share them with a comment below.