“You know you’re doing what you love when Sunday nights feel the same as Friday nights.” (The Big Idea by Donny Deutsch)
Entrepreneurship is not easy, and it is not for everyone. The reason lies in the exact quote: putting Sundays in the same phrase as Fridays. Just as this award-winning article on Inc. states, there is a psychological cost involved when having your own business. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index shows that 34% of entrepreneurs reported high anxiety levels. That’s 4% more than employees. And 45% of entrepreneurs said they experience stress very often. That’s another 3% more than other workers. So things got real. And it’s okay; there are ways to deal with them.
Check out these 10 entrepreneurial stress scenarios and solutions.
Identifying The Triggers and Solutions
The first thing to keep in mind is to identify early-stage triggers. Here are things that can cause you pain and uneasiness, and this is how to deal with them:
1. Impossibility to differentiate between private and business life
The problem: Sometimes, having a home-based business can be too big of a burden. While you don’t have to pay for an office downtown, and save time with commuting, it can turn against you if you don’t stick to a routine or schedule. Don’t get buried in work at home just because you can do it all day, all night.
Solutions: Ideally, get an office close to your home. Walk there or bike instead of taking your personal car, Uber, or public transportation. This will help you separate your office life from your private one. If you don’t want to give up your home-based office, then create a schedule and stick to it. This means, taking a day off at least once a week. This habit will have great benefits for the brain and productivity – backed by research.Advertising
2. Not having a private life at all
The problem: We tend to withdraw from social life under the premise of attributing the right focus to our businesses. While being focused is a great business practice, it can backfire if done in an exhaustive manner. We all need moments with friends, family and loved ones; they help us go through rough times and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Solutions: Social aspects are imperative to a healthy lifestyle and can help relief stress. More vacations and parties with family and friends. This is a good way to resuscitate your social circles. Reconnect with college or high school former colleagues. Go to networking events in your city and in other cities. If you’re single, don’t be afraid to date and ask people out – the worst thing that can happen is you get to discover another human being, which is not so bad!
3. Failure and self-doubt
The problem: In your entrepreneurial journey, expect to fail and fail again. But do not fear the word “failure.” Failure is the source of your lessons and knowledge. Don’t let your doubts get in the way. It’s not a matter of “not being good enough,” but rather of growth and learning.
Solutions: Self-doubt is something you have to work on yourself. The best way to do it is through self-rediscovery, which can be difficult to achieve when in physical proximity to your business HQs. Join a yoga or meditation camp outside the city. Go backpacking or hitchhiking. Mountains or the seaside in an off-season can provide a huge reset button and help your mind relax. Enthusiastic travelers can enjoy this summer end’s 20% off sale from EagleCreek. The main idea? Whatever you decide to do, and wherever you choose to go, book two weeks off. Period.
4. Bad routines
The problem:: Having a routine can be a double-edged knife. While it can settle things and help you become more organized, sometimes routines can mess up growth opportunities. To give you an example: a bad routine would be driving your car to your office every day. Or checking your email every 30 minutes. Or getting just 4 hours of sleep per night.
Solution: Decrease the number of bad routines and replace them with good ones. An example of a good routine: hydrotherapy every evening, for 30 minutes. This involves creating a relaxation corner in your bathroom (see suggestion below by ACS designer bathrooms) and spending quality quiet time, accompanied by instrumental music, candles, and aromatherapy oils. Allow access to plenty of light and if possible, have it accompanied by a nice window view to a garden or park. Repeat daily.Advertising
Image source: acs bathrooms
Other examples include 10 minutes of meditation per day. 30 minutes of daily exercise. Eat three meals per day, your dinner no later than 7pm. Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night, and go to sleep at approximately the same hour every night.
5. Falling out of love with your passion(s)
The problem: Everyone can fall out of love with their passions. Being “married” to your business doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be any downs along the way.
Solution: When that happens, instead of stressing out, calm down and think of how you can improve your experience. Sometimes, you don’t have to let go of the passion; you just have to rediscover it, or add a complementary one to the bigger picture. Volunteering also helps in the passion rediscovery process, as it is an action not driven by financial means, but by inner motivation.
6. Letting go
The problem: Sometimes you don’t have to let it go. Other times, you do. When you are forced to let go, there is this battle inside between the person who wants to keep things as they are and the leader who wants to break from the chains. This also applies when you have to fire great people (see what Moz had to say about letting go of 28% of their staff) or give up good clients.Advertising
Solution: Surround yourself with people who understand that this is the best decision, whether it concerns you or your employees/clients. In dealing with loss of any nature, the cycle of recovery is to: 1) Let go., 2) Accept, 3) Forgive (yourself), 4) Move on. Don’t let your world end after the first. Carry on, be open to new challenges!
7. Losing synchronization with your clients/associates
The problem: When your business is more than just a product/service/both, the main direction is creating long-term collaborations with your customers and community. Sometimes, however, things don’t go as planned. Even a business relationship that has history can fall apart.
Solution: If you’re falling out of sync with a client or an associate, discuss and be transparent about your feelings. A business relationship that stopped working can become a huge stress factor. Solving it usually comes from both parties. It won’t work if only one side makes the effort.
8. Losing interest in a project
The problem: It’s not just the clients you can fall out of sync with. Or the business partners. Or the team. It’s also the projects. Some ideas just don’t motivate the entrepreneur in you or are not aligned with your core focus. If you’ve lost interest for a topic, don’t let it become an element of displeasure in your life.
Solution: First, inform the other party about your feelings toward the project. Then, transform the process, from management changes, to tools, communication channels, an upgrade on expectations, mission and vision. Try new approaches. If nothing can trigger a solution, walk away, but not before recommending someone else for the task.
Remember to always leave room for friendship. This project may be a goner, but the future is bright.Advertising
9. Public “judgment day”
The problem: The way people see and talk about you can become quite stressful. As entrepreneurs and leaders, we are often viewed as examples for the communities we are part of. Not only that, but it can feel like failure is not an option. Somehow, because you are in control of your business, people will not allow you to screw up. And when you do, people start talking, analyzing, and mentioning you in their “mistakes to avoid” round-ups on websites and social media. How can you deal with that?
Solution: Don’t fear what people have to say about your successes and failures. People will talk. And there’s nothing you can do to change their mind. Like Socrates once said, “Strong minds discuss ideas, weak minds discuss people.” I would add: Strong people are not afraid to show their vulnerabilities in public. And, to ease out the stress, just have a good laugh about it. It helps!
10. Financial stress
The problem: Sometimes, not getting it right can have a huge impact on your finances, especially when you bet everything on one business idea. As this entrepreneur says, “Debt doesn’t make you a good entrepreneur, and you need to get out of it asap.” But that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Sometimes, debt can be a huge motivator, though not an ideal one, in getting things done.
Solution: Start by clearly evaluating what you can do to minimize costs. Whether it’s cutting staff numbers or giving up on fat salary flyers for yourself, buying cheaper technology or repurposed equipment, you do what you have to do to get out of financial struggles. 1% reduction of debt means earning an extra percent for a clear mind. While not advisable to go fully optimistic and ignore your problems, it doesn’t hurt having a bit of hope that things are going the right way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Nowadays, there are crowdfunding alternatives, Kiva being one of them for micro-entrepreneurs.
So Where Does This Leave Us?
Entrepreneurial stress is a reality, whether we like it or not. And, as with any reality, the best possible way to deal with it is to accept it and find solutions that can improve it. There are many stories out there about entrepreneurs who had it extremely rough in the beginning. That doesn’t mean yours should be just as tough too.
But hey, if that happens, you’ll just come out stronger.
Last Updated on November 12, 2020
Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)
If you find that you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to understand that it’s a common problem for many. With all of the demands of daily life, being tired seems to be the new baseline. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.
If you’re tired of feeling exhausted, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.
In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re so tired and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.
Table of Contents
What Happens When You’re Too Tired
If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers. And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.
Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:
- Trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired.
- Experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
- Dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
- Finding it more difficult to exercise.
- Immune system may weaken, causing you to pick up infections more easily.
- Overeating because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids, even when you’re not hungry.
- Metabolism slows down, so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.
Why Are You Feeling Tired All the Time?
Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Here’s a quick overview of each common cause of fatigue and feeling tired all of the time:
- Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep, restorative sleep.
- Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness, which could be triggered by numerous health problems, such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea, or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.
The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance, or emotional trauma. It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.
Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.
You can learn more about some causes of fatigue in this video:
Feeling Tired Vs Being Fatigued
If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.
Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.
Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep. However, fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety, or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive.
Symptoms of fatigue include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low stamina
- Difficulty sleeping
- Low motivation
These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness, but they usually last longer and are more intense.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. However, there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.
How Much Sleep Is Enough?
The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation, which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.
Research suggests that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.
The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.
Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.
Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night
If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is the most likely reason you feel tired all the time. That is actually good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.
It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities, such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue
Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:
- Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
- Exercising regularly
- Using stressbusters
- Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better
After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.
I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.
Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:
- L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy, including getting enough sleep.
- E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day, ideally for six days a week.
- A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
- N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.
The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight, and to achieve overall wellness.
Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested, and better overall.
In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s later in life.
As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.
Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:
Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. However, tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This won’t help you stop feeling tired all the time.
Try to turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.
Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking an Epsom salt bath.
3. Get Comfortable
Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.
Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep. Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.
Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed. If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.
This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier
Many people know that exercise is good for them, but they just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.
That’s what happened in my case, but when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my sedentary lifestyle.
I decided to start swimming because it was something I had always loved to do. Find an exercise you love and stick to it to stop feeling tired all the time. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training during your daily 20-minute workout.
If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try as it will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.
Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.
When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted, but there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued: Breathing.
But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” (or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).
Here’s how you do Long-Exhale Breathing:
- Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy.
- Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air).
- Hold your breath while you mentally count to 7 and enjoy the stillness.
- Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it).
- Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep breath.
- Repeat 3 times, ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system.
This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.
When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.
Diet is vital for beating fatigue if you’re feeling tired all the time – after all, food is your main source of energy.
If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels, which may lead to daytime sleepiness.
Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming though. For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.
Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:
- Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
- Add a healthy fat or protein to any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed.
- Fill up with fiber, especially green leafy vegetables.
- Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice, and corn.
- Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars, and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
- Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives.
- Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive, and nut oils.
- Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts.
- Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice.
Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.
That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.
Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multivitamin or specific supplement.
The Bottom Line
If you are tired of feeling tired all the time, then there is tremendous hope.
If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices. If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes discussed above.
Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.
More Tips to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time
- How to Practice Guided Meditation for Sleep to Calm the Mind
- Is It Possible to Repay Your Sleep Debt? Why Being Well Rested Matters
- The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive
Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com
|||^||YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week|
|||^||National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?|
|||^||The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?|
|||^||Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome|
|||^||Very Well Health: Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue|
|||^||Advanced Sleep Medicine Services: NEW Guidelines: How much sleep do you need?|
|||^||Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?|
|||^||Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle|
|||^||National Institute on Aging: Sleep loss encourages spread of toxic Alzheimer’s protein|
|||^||American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep|
|||^||Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing|