Here on Inc.com, we've offered scientifically validated ways to beat stress, ideas to bust your tech-related tension, Zen suggestions to get calmer, and even simple switches to your mindset that might lower your levels of anxiety. But it seems even we haven't seen all the ways entrepreneurs have come up with to keep stress under control.
A recent post on Tech Cocktail went straight to the source, asking a baker's dozen of founders to confess the weirdest and wackiest ways they stay mentally balanced. The result is yet another proof of human ingenuity (and oddness) and a highly entertaining read. If you've always suspected your coping mechanisms might be a bit out of the ordinary, the full post will reassure you that you're in good company. Here's a few examples of the glorious strangeness you'll find within:
1. The Kung Fu Solution
Normally we don't endorse physical violence as a solution to your business problems here on Inc.com, but we're willing to make an exception for Cindy Engstrom, CEO of Sircle Advertising. "I just love punching things! It's a huge stress relief. I have a home exercise room with two punching dummies. Even our nanny does Kung Fu!" she told Tech Cocktail.
2. Head Bang Your Way to Happiness
You may have come a long way from your days of teenage rebellion (and the questionable hairstyle choices that went with them), but just because you're a grown-up business owner, doesn't mean you have to stop rocking out. "What was I listening to before going on stage at SURGE Accelerator's Pitch Day?? That's right: Guns N' Roses, (what used to be billed as) the 'World's Most Dangerous Band,' " reports Greg Archbald, founder and CEO of GreaseBook.
3. Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery?
There are lots of tweaks and design changes you can make to your office to boost your productivity, but David Barrett, CEO of Expensify, may have found the weirdest one of all. "I prefer working from a Peet's Coffee and Tea window counter so much I'm having an exact reproduction built in my office. Seriously," he says.
4. Parakeets Are a Woman's Best Friend
Forget just bringing your dog to work. How about having your pet birds pose for a photo shoot? Hey, everyone has a hobby (and you have to admit that, as marketing gambits go, it's pretty hard to forget). "When I finish a project or start a marketing campaign, I set up photo shoots for my parakeets, showing them working on projects and having fun," says bird lover Jessica Greenwalt, who also happens to be the founder of Pixelkeet.
5. Go Clockless
Nima Noori, CEO of Toronto Vaporizer, offers up perhaps the least expected solution for waking up earlier and getting more done--toss your alarm. "I don't do clocks anymore. In fact, I shut off my phone before I pass out at night, too, in a pitch-black room with an average temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. And every day, I naturally roll out of bed around 6/6:30 am," he claims.
What's your most unusual stress-busting technique?