Entrepreneurs often have a hard time finding ways to slow down and relax. However, relaxation is a critical part of entrepreneurship. This article lists several reasons why.

Overwork Harms Your Health

To perform at your best, it’s important to be well rested and focused. Working too much makes it hard to do that. For example, according to psychiatrist Joseph Bienvenu, being too busy can cause “emotional distress,” which in turn makes it harder to sleep and moderate your mood. Even more worrisome, long-term stress has been found to shrink gray matter in the brain. Your brain is the engine behind your entrepreneurship, so give it the rest it needs.

You Can Start Small

Keep in mind that finding time to relax more doesn’t mean abandoning your duties. For example, you can prioritize your workday around your peak hours—that is, the hours you feel most alert and productive. The end of your peak hours can be a natural time to take a short break. That shouldn’t be the only time you take a break, though: Even breaks as short as five minutes spaced throughout your day can boost your focus. 

Rest Doesn’t Always Mean Doing Nothing

Relaxation can be an active pursuit. For instance, if you have extra time on your lunch break, you might try going for a short walk. For a more aggressive goal, you might try hitting the gym at a certain point each day. Exercise, like sleep, has wonderful effects on the brain: Scientists have found that exercise helps grow brain cells, promote new connections in the brain, and reduce stress hormones.

Technology Breaks Can Help

Being connected to technology is a huge part of modern entrepreneurship, but it can also contribute to burnout. Answering emails, interacting on social media, and reading articles and watching videos have their uses; however, over time, these activities can drain your mental reserves. Consider taking an occasional morning, evening, or even full day off from technology to restore your focus.

For more ways to thrive as an entrepreneur, check out the rest of Affinity Capital Funding’s blog posts.