How Big City Business Owners Beat Stress

By on 19/05/2015

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Stress has the word “deadline” attached to it for a reason. It can be a killer, and having your heart racing faster than a jackrabbit and your thoughts are storming up your sanity is no way to live.

In the professional world, every position has its own stressful downfalls, whether it’s having monotonous tasks, a billion things to do at once or even a risk of danger. To overcome stress, you need to become a master of your mental well-being. This will help your overall wellness in both your professional and personal life.

Three big city business owners have built their way up to conquering stress: Physical Therapist Karena Wu, owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in NYC; Russell Dohan, Co-Owner of law firm, Goldberg & Dohan in Miami, FL and IT Expert Aaron Ross, owner of cloud computing company, Ross Backup in NYC.

Here they give us insight into how they beat the bad days:


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De-Stressing Routine 1: Karena Wu, owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy

“De-stressing from work can be a chore in and of itself. Sometimes the days are so long, work and obligations take precedence so there is never any time for yourself. There are little things that you can incorporate into your routine that give back to yourself, help you check out and get you amped up to tackle it all!” – Karena W

1. Breathe.

“This can be done anywhere.  At your desk, standing in line, anywhere! The focus is on inhaling through the nose, exhaling through the mouth. Feel what is moving and where the air is going. Your ribs should expand out to the side and backward. Most people have shallow breathing and are only using the upper portion of their lungs and ribs. Taking slow, deep breaths helps to focus in the moment, feel the air nourish your respiratory system and move the ribcage which makes the intercostal muscles work (muscles in between each rib) which helps with circulation.”

2. Bend.  

“Any which way. The extremities: head, arms, legs can move in all directions. Moving one direction will yield a stretch on the opposite side. So moving the body in different planes and feeling for stretch in the soft tissue helps to de-stress as it loosens the muscles and tendons, increases circulation, and offers relief to tight tissues.”

3. Move.

“Do one complex exercise a day: push-ups, squats, lunges, Superman’s, etc. Lately, my work takes precedence and a 12-hour day just seems to fly by.  To make sure I keep my body strong, I pick one exercise and perform at least 3 sets of 20 repetitions. The exercise should work more than one muscle group at a time so that you pump the muscles for circulation, increase your strength and endurance and give back something to yourself for working so hard!”

De-Stressing Routine 2: Russell Dohan, Co-Owner of the law firm Goldberg & Dohan.

“Poker is my main hobby.  Although poker looks stressful, it is a singular focused event.  At work, I am handling at least five things at any given moment all at the same time.  A phone call, an e-mail, the project of the day, assisting staff, and handling administrative matters.  Not to mention any personal issues with friends or family that I might be dealing with at that time.  There is rarely a moment from 9-5 that I can sit at my desk and focus on one thing for any extended period of more than 5-10 minutes.  Poker is the polar opposite.  I am focused on just this table.  Just this hand.  Just this moment.  Poker allows me to leave the world behind and focus on one thing – trying to compile as many chips as possible and make the best logical decisions on each hand.  I find this exciting and challenging more than stressful.” – Russell Dohan

1. Make A Protein Shake.

“After work and before I hit the gym, I make a protein shake.  While drinking my shake I work through remote desktop returning emails or finishing the last project of the day.”

2. Head To The gym. 

“I live very close to work and don’t have time to unwind in the car so I generally calm down as I make my shake and change my clothes.  Sometimes it feels like that is when I take my first breath of the day.  I find that having a gym very close to the house is also beneficial so I don’t have to battle traffic.  When I get to the gm, I put on my headphones and get to work.  My routine is about an hour.  I do a combination of stretching, weights and then cardio.  The physical exertion is key to eliminating stress.  While doing cardio I watch poker tournaments on my iPad.  If I have time and get to the gym before 6pm (which is rare), I try to pack clothes because I love using the steam room, showering and changing at the gym.”

3. Relax & Eat.

“I grab dinner, head home and work some more while eating.  That puts me right around 9-10 pm. which leaves me time to watch my favorite binge show of the week, Game of Thrones, Homeland, Ray Dovovan or Walking Dead.

De-Stressing Routine 3: Aaron Ross, owner of Ross Backup.

1. Ignore Incoming E-mails & Texts.

“I actually disable the incoming e-mail popups. Remaining 100 percent focused while working is key. We have so many distractions from e-mails, phone calls to social media that getting even one task done can be difficult.”

2. Never Work At The Computer For More Than One Hour Straight.

“I usually walk around and make phone calls to divide the time.”

3. Call A Loved One & Say Hello.

“Whenever I’m feeling stressed, I give my wife a call.”

4. Put Some Music On.

“When I can’t be disturbed, I put music on and tune everyone else out.”

5. Reward Yourself.

“I reward myself with a show whenever I empty my task list. If a show isn’t your thing, maybe it’s buying yourself a new pair of shoes or getting a massage. We all have our little ways to more happiness.”

camile sardina
Camile Sardina is a freelance writer in New York City who covers health, food, tech and money. Follow her chameleon-esque moments on Twitter @CamileSardina or Instagram @sardinac.

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