Being an entrepreneur is stressful.

From pitches to cash flow, from setbacks to deadlines, and from home life to working from home, it can all become a bit much.

Stress for an entrepreneur can affect your creativity, energy, and judgment.

Student entrepreneurs deal with all that on top of papers, projects, lectures, labs, work-study, and being away from home. Keeping all of these things balanced and not letting the anxiety and stress of it all come crashing down requires skills and a mindset that may not come naturally to everyone.

Figuring out what specifically stresses you out can help you determine exactly what you should do to relieve that stress. However, most times it is several things, some of which you may not even be aware of consciously.

So, what can you do to give yourself the best shot at maintaining your health and sanity?

1. Keep Notes

Writing things down can be both a great reminder as well as a therapeutic opportunity to just vent. Creating a to-do list or set of goals can help keep you on track and motivate you throughout the day, week, or month. Plus, everyone feels good crossing things off or checking that box.

Also, writing free form about how you feel, what is stressing you out, or just your random thoughts can help you identify what might be a pressure point or even spark a new idea to improve your success.

Business partners meeting at a cafe

2. Make Time to Take Time

Vacation is clearly not a four-letter word. Sure, pushing off a trip gives you more time in the present to get things done, but stepping away can actually improve your quality of work and life. Skipping emails, sending calls to voicemail, and just unplugging can actually do wonders for your mental health. Rest and relaxation are necessary to perform at optimal levels. Plus, stepping away can give you a fresh perspective on issues that may have been plaguing you.

3. Exercise Effect

Exercise releases endorphins which can make you feel better. But, there are other ways to get the blood pumping that doesn’t involve the gym. Playing a sport just for the fun of it can be a way to focus your competitive drive and channel your energy in a healthy way.

If that sounds too intense, consider going on walking meetings, listening to an educational or informative podcast you love, even playing with a fidget cube can get the blood going.

Young woman exercise with exercise-machine in gym.

4. Good is Good Enough

Your natural instinct to seek perfection is one of the things that drives you to excel as an entrepreneur. Listen, if anyone could do it, then everyone would do it, but they don’t. However, you need to sometimes understand that your best is good enough and move on. Spending too much time on one task can derail you from completing the entire project. Do your best and when it is time to move on, move on…

5. Find Comfort in Allies

You are not alone. You may not have a co-founder or employees (yet), but there are whole networks of people who have gone, or are going, through what you are. Find other entrepreneurs, peers, mentors, and groups you can share your frustrations with. They may have insight on how to solve a problem or at the very least lend an empathetic ear.

6. Healthy Lifestyle

Seems simple enough but take care of yourself. Get as much sleep as you can. Try to eat healthy foods, not just fast foods. Think about it this way, all the stuff your mom told you wasn’t just her “being crazy.” Poor diet, lack of sleep, and other factors can have a staggering effect on your well-being. And while we’re on the subject, call your mom.

Closeup of notepad and laptop on the table near woman sleeping on sofa

7. NO!

We all need to learn to say no from time to time. Stretching yourself too thin can cause issues financially, emotionally, and physically. You can’t be everywhere at the same time, nor can you solve every problem that arises. Don’t feel bad canceling a meeting, taking a mental health day, or choosing not to participate in an opportunity. It can’t be said enough, but once more, you can’t solve every problem that arises.

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