7 Ways to Decrease Stress While Being a Full-Time Entrepreneur, According to a Doctor

Hint: Make small, but consistent changes

With an Instagram following that keeps growing and a grid full of high fashion gigs, there’s no doubt that Efosa Uwubamwen is booked and busy. A British-Nigerian doctor-turned-model who hails from Manchester is taking on entrepreneurship with health as his top priority. Thanks to a medical degree from Masaryk University, Efosa has been able to balance modeling, a social life, and school while traveling all over the world and studying for exams.

Now he’s a full-time model, living in New York and in the initial stages of starting a creative health collective aimed at combating misinformation and making well-being plans direct and easy to digest. 

“Everyone wants to be healthy, but a lot of people have no idea where to start. Often, they just end up trying out whatever random diet or crazy workout plan they happen to stumble across on Instagram that day and trying it until they get bored or can’t keep up. And I get it, after all that was all of us at one point, it can be very confusing and expensive to start on a health journey for someone that doesn’t have a background in health/doesn’t have the time to do the research,” Efosa says before taking another bite of sushi at his favorite NYC restaurant. “I want to create a platform that is honest and helps people treat health as an everyday lifestyle and not something you do in small bursts or more so, give up easily.”

Starting each day with a routine that he’s created from studying medicine along with years of tweaking and adjusting, combined with the fitness plan he uses to maintain his model physique, Efosa, has managed to keep stress to a minimum while living a balanced life in arguably the busiest city in the world.

Here are the seven tips this entrepreneur swears by:

1. Have a Morning Routine

Starting every morning with the same routine is a great way to kickstart a productive day. I’m a little more flexible with this when I’m traveling, I have a late night or an early start. My morning routine consists of waking up at 6:30 a.m., brushing my teeth and washing my face, having a glass of water mixed with lemon and cayenne pepper, reading for half an hour, meditating and stretching for 10 minutes, and then hitting the gym. I usually listen to a podcast while I work out. After all of that is done, I start my day. That could be hanging with friends, attending castings, working on my business plan, or working a job. I find having a morning routine helps to add some regularity and structure to the day.

2. Make a to Do List the Night Before

I make a list of things I want to accomplish the following day before I go to bed. It means I know exactly what I need to get done from the moment I wake up, so there’s not time wasted. Plus there’s the satisfaction of crossing items off the list one by one. I almost always know what I have going on and it helps me avoid canceling plans or forgetting things.

3. Take Breaks

With a busy schedule comes the need for breaks. No human can go at full speed for 24 hours without experiencing diminishing returns. Taking breaks after every few tasks is a great way of rewarding yourself for what you’ve done. Take walks, exercise, watch a TV show—whatever works for you to get your mind completely off the task in hand. So when you return to the task, you return with a clear mind. 

4. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is something I have begun practicing fairly recently, but I’ve found it works well for me—you should always consult your doctor before trying it out. I feel more focused during the fasting window, and it gives the body ample time to fully digest all the food within your gastrointestinal tract. I follow the Lean Gains Protocol, which is essentially fasting for 16 hours during which you may drink water and coffee, followed by an 8-hour eating window, during which I eat 3 meals. For example, that would mean fasting from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. the next day. It’s important to stay well hydrated during your fasting window.

5. Limit Phone Use/Social Media

It’s really easy to spend the first 10, 20 minutes after you wake up scrolling through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, which can slow down your productivity in the morning. So now I make sure that I don’t open any social media apps until I’m done with my morning routine.

6. Sleep with Phone on Do Not Disturb mode

I sleep with my phone on Do Not Disturb to prevent being woken up by notifications during the night. That reduces the likelihood of being tempted to check my phone during the night and breaking up sleep, which in turns leads to feeling more well-rested when the morning comes around. A lot of us have FOMO when we’re headed to bed, putting your phone on DND is a simple way to forget about it. 

7. Aim for 7-8 Hours of Sleep

Eight hours of sleep is optimum for muscle recovery and growth. On days that I train, I always aim to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep. On days where I just can’t make that work because of late nights or early starts, I make do with six hours.

“My specific plan might not work for everyone, but it’s about finding what works best for you. And that’s what I’m aiming for with my creative platform. I want to highlight that everyone is different - different people, with different jobs and body types, and that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’,” he says after finishing his last sip of green tea.

Efosa plans to launch his health platform app in August 2019. “Anyone should be able to come to the platform and gain a better understanding of practical ways to improve their everyday life through health. Health and well-being shouldn’t be about something you try for a little while and then give up on. And it shouldn’t feel like a chore.”

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