Owning a business comes with a lot of responsibility and an endless list of things that could potentially keep an owner up at night. While it may be a foregone conclusion that stress comes with the territory of business ownership, there are still things that you can do to set yourself up for success –  after all, if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to take care of your business. Below are five ways to help curb the effects of stress, by creating a solid foundation.

Prioritize Your Time
While the company may be your baby and it’s true that no one else will be quite as invested in its success as you are, there’s surely some tasks that someone else could do just as well. Take a good look at the different ways you spend your time and reevaluate whether or not certain projects are a good use of your time or whether it would be helpful to utilize a staff member, intern, or temporary worker from a service like snag. Likewise, it’s important to learn to say no to projects or opportunities that don’t serve your business – no matter how great they may be. By freeing your time up and not overcommitting yourself, you can focus on the bigger picture.

Exercise
You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s certainly worth repeating. Getting into a regular exercise routine is the fastest way to help alleviate day to day to stress. Whether it’s simply taking a walk around the block every day to decompress, purging your aggressions through a kickboxing class, or finding your zen through yoga, there’s a reason that so many experts tout the benefits of exercise in terms of stress relief.

Eat a Balanced Diet
When we’re stressed, our eating habits often go out the window. We tend to be more likely to nibble on that pastry that normally wouldn’t tempt us – after all, comfort food got its name for a reason. But would you put sub-par fuel into a high-performance automobile and expect it to work at its best? No, so why expect your body to be at its best when you’re not fueling it properly. While days can be busy, make time to eat a balanced diet packed with fruits, vegetables, and protein to keep the hangry gremlins away and help keep your blood sugar stable. When you’re particularly stressed, try limiting sugar and alcohol. Set yourself up for success by planning ahead and packing a lunch or healthy snacks when you know you’ll be short on time or stuck in the store all day.

Stick to a Schedule
When we’re able to anticipate better, it sets us up for success. By creating a schedule (which can incorporate much of the items above), you set a solid foundation, setting yourself up for a productive day. Don’t forget to include downtime and set a firm end of the day for yourself. Stepping away from your business, even just for lunch or at a semi-reasonable hour at the end of the day, will provide perspective and allow for better idea generation. It’s important to acknowledge that you can only do so much in one day.

Know Yourself
Self-awareness is key to maintaining a healthy relationship with stress. Does it help you to make a list of everything you need to do? Does an organized desk set the tone for your day? Do you need to set limits on the black hole that can be social media? Take a step back and recognize your triggers and ways that you can best address them – before they stress you out.