As a busy entrepreneur, you might not feel you have enough time to set aside for mental wellness. However, nourishing your mental health is necessary to successfully navigate both your work and your personal life.
Despite their hectic schedules, the most successful business leaders take advantage of small pockets of free time to take care of themselves and their mental health. That's why we asked a group of successful entrepreneurs how they decompress and boost their mental wellness when they're on a tight schedule.
If you have five minutes in your day, try out these eight tried-and-true coping tactics for entrepreneurs whenever you're feeling overwhelmed.
Write down your thoughts.
When your mind is jumbled and chaotic, it can help to get your thoughts out of your head and onto a page. This is what Monica Snyder, CEO of Birdsong, does when she gets overwhelmed.
"I take five minutes to write down every random thought that is running through my head," Snyder says. "Once it's all out on paper, I find that I can clearly organize, delegate, delete and move forward on the important stuff. For me, writing it out on paper works best. Typing it out on the computer is not the same."
Doodling isn't just for bored students. Syed Balkhi, co-founder of WPBeginner, recommends it as a quick and easy stressbuster you can do at your work table or while in a meeting.
"All you have to do is grab a pen and let your hand draw on paper without forcing it into any particular pattern," Balkhi says. "It's a short creative exercise that makes you feel more present and gives you a creative outlet for your stress."
Whether you're stuck at your desk or have a moment to step away, a five-minute stretch can help you relax your muscles.
"Stretching helps release endorphins, and the flexing and releasing of muscle groups can feel great," says Blair Williams, founder and CEO of MemberPress. "You can stretch at a desk or walk to a quiet place and stretch your arms behind your back or lengthen your spine. Breathe along and you'll soon feel better."
Listen to an upbeat song.
Music can be a great mood-booster, especially if it's an upbeat song that makes you feel happy, says Thomas Griffin, co-founder and president of OptinMonster.
"Focusing on the music and the lyrics of an upbeat song will help you forget about the negative feelings you're dealing with in the moment and you can concentrate on how the song makes you feel," Griffin adds.
Find a short mental distraction.
Kristin Kimberly Marquet, founder of Marquet Media, LLC, finds that shifting her attention elsewhere can help her stop feeling overwhelmed.
"I will stop what I am doing and watch a funny video on YouTube or read a mindless article on pop culture," Marquet says. "This will help me de-stress and refocus a few minutes later."
Check in on your entrepreneurial inspirations.
Depending on who you follow, your social media feeds can be a great source of uplifting, inspirational content. Fritz Colcol, CEO of ABN Circle, keeps an eye on the accounts of people he looks up to.
"On Instagram I follow positive-minded people like Gary Vee," says Colcol. "I scroll through my feed and see his posts; I immediately get motivated."
Go for a walk.
One of the quickest ways to reduce stress and increase mindfulness is a quick walk, says Blair Thomas, co-founder of eMerchantBroker. Even if it's just for five minutes, walking can help you clear your mind and increase your awareness.
"Rather than sitting in an office overwhelmed with work and life watching the world pass you by, you can take a few minutes to get out of your element, be present and move your body," says Thomas. "It will do wonders for your stress levels."
Thomas Smale, founder of FE International, knows that conceptual issues, plans and thoughts can buzz in your mind without rest when you run a business. When this all gets too much, he turns to mindfulness.
"Mindfulness exercises refocus your attention to real experiences in the present moment, happening around you," Smale explains. "Your body and environment become the key experience. Bringing your mind to where your body is can give you a much-needed break."