Boss Lady

What NOT to do when you are feeling stressed by business or work


This guide outlines the things you must avoid doing when you are feeling stressed out in your work day.

Stress comes with running a business and there’s no way to avoid it. You have to accept that some days will be full of stress because you have lots of responsibilities on your plate. At the same time, you need to learn how to cope with stress as a business owner. If you don’t do this properly, it can lead to negative outcomes as you might make bad decisions or neglect things because you’re so stressed you forget about them. 

Unfortunately, it’s too common for business owners to adopt incorrect practices when dealing with stress. You don’t want this to happen to you as you’ll never actually deal with the stress – if anything, things will get worse.

What to avoid when feeling stressed

Here are the WRONG ways to cope with feeling stressed and why you should avoid them: 

Ignoring Your Stress

You want to be a strong independent businesswoman, but this can sometimes be your downfall. You perceive any negative emotions as a weakness, so you try to block them out. When you feel stressed, you try to ignore it as much as possible. If you address it, you worry that it’s a sign of weakness and that you’re not equipped for the job. Never do this. 

As we’ve mentioned, stress is part of running a company. If you aren’t feeling stressed, you’re probably doing something wrong. It’s okay to admit that you’re feeling tense and stressed as this is the first way of dealing with it. You will start to figure out why you’re stressed and what’s causing the problem. From here, you take steps to actively deal with it. 

Ignoring the problem will never make it go away. If anything, it makes you even more stressed. You feel stress building and then get extra stressed because it’s harder and harder to avoid it! 

Seeking Out Vices

It’s far too common for managers or business owners to seek out vices as a way of dealing with stress. Some of the most obvious ones are: 

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Doing recreational drugs
  • Binge eating

All of these vices bring stress relief – or so you assume. You do them when you are feeling stressed and there’s a slight bit of joy after. In reality, they do nothing other than compound the problem. You will feel way more stressed because you’re basically filling your body with toxic things. Now, you’re stressing about your business and the side effects that these vices have on you. 

To make matters worse, you end up becoming dependent on these vices to combat stress. You go from drinking a glass of wine every evening to suddenly drinking five every night to help you sleep. It’s a terrible habit to get into and you should consider going to a dual diagnosis treatment center if you’re doing this. It shows a dependency on alcohol or other substances, which is a huge sign of addiction. 

You’ll easily slip into an unhealthy spiral that’ll affect your mental and physical health if you seek out vices to deal with stress. Look for healthier ways to relieve stressful feelings – like meditation, working out, or going to therapy! 

Working Even Harder

As entrepreneurs, we can easily get stuck in a terrible stress cycle that never ends. It tends to look like this: 

  1. You feel stressed about your business
  2. You work harder, thinking it’ll solve your stress
  3. Overworking makes you more stressed
  4. You repeat steps two and three over and over

The problem is that you believe working harder will help you reach certain goals that counter your stress. For instance, you’re worried about sales figures, so you start working overtime and getting hardly any rest in a bid to improve your marketing strategy or drive more leads to your website.

While this may help, you end up feeling even more stressed and rundown than you were. You also have to keep up this level of work to keep seeing the outcomes, leading to a constant state of stress. 

Instead, allow yourself to breathe. Take a break, relax, and focus on destressing. Think about why you’re stressed and what can be done about it. Maybe it’s a good idea to enlist some outside help if your sales figures are low.  Overworking will get you nowhere and will lead to more stress, burnout, and probably a decline in productivity and creativity. 

Delaying Your Decisions

Sometimes, you’re worried about an outcome and it’s causing a lot of stress. In an extreme scenario, imagine there’s an employee in your small business who’s not performing. If anything, they’re dragging your business down. You know they need to be let go, but you’re worried about what’ll happen after. How will they react? What will they do? How long will it take to find a new employee?!

All of these questions make you feel stressed, so you procrastinate. You delay the decision so you don’t have to deal with the added stress after. Of course, this is never going to help you cope with the original stress! It’ll make things worse. 

When tough decisions come around, you should be firm and swift in making them. The same goes for any difficult tasks – if they’re stressful, it’s better to get them out of the way so you can move on ASAP.

Another great example is the task of filing your tax returns. It’s super stressful, and you can feel the anxiety building. So, you delay it. You think you’re avoiding stress, but the reality is you make the process way more intense when you have to do it. Instead of getting everything in order months before the deadline, you’re now in a mad rush to avoid penalty fees. 

Don’t delay or procrastinate when you’re feeling stressed; the best way to combat it is to tackle tasks head-on and tick them off your to-do list. 


To round things off, answer this simple question: are you guilty of doing any of the four things mentioned above when dealing with stress? If so, you’re tackling it the wrong way! Do not do these things as your stress will get worse and worse. Instead, acknowledge that you’re stressed, take some time out to relax, and figure out what’s triggering your stress. From here, seek help or do things that actively target the cause and help the stress melt away.


About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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