Life is hard right now for business owners. Actually with inflation and the economy, it might be hard for most. While I do mentor and coach some veterinary business veterinarians, I am not a psychologist.  I can’t suggest what you should do for stress, but I have figured out some things to help my stress. In addition to trying to exercise, eat well and get plenty of sleep I have a few of my own stress relievers.     
In my spare time, I often read. Actually, I read a lot.  I read cozy mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, contemporary fiction, biographies and non fiction and a fair amount of self help and business books. To be fair, reading often cuts into my sleep time.  I subscribe to the “there will be time to sleep when I am dead” philosophy. Oh, and I write. Currently I am working on a fiction piece: Dragon Flame. In the book, after I retire, I take my Harris hawk, chocolate lab and meet a  dragon in another world. Something had caused the dragons to lose the ability to flame. I am there to heal them, but someone doesn’t want us to succeed.     
I also play a fair amount of mindless video games.  The quick addicting type get me most often.  I was playing way to much of a candy matching game a few years ago and decided to go a whole year without playing. Never was too much to contemplate, but it broke the habit and now, I only play a game until level 100 then I uninstall the game.     I’d like to say that I exercise by riding my bike, kayaking and walking in the woods, but I’m kinda behind on all of those items this year.  Who am I kidding, I’m behind this decade. But I was out in the woods today. Falconry has been a sport that has forced me to practice patience and get out.  Hawks and falcons have a mind of their own. They are not domesticated to be lovable like my labradors or my cats.  Sometimes, I think Zulu talons me on purpose.     
Falconry and hawking is the art of getting birds to hunt with you.  Raptors (birds of prey) are not pets and do not do well when treated like pets.  They need to be out and hunt.  So Zulu and I were out in the woods today.  Zulu’s partner (me) is not really a great hunter.  A knee injury put me out as a disabled veteran. Several knee surgeries have kept me going, but I’m still slow and unable to run. This means it is hard to keep up with the hunting party.     
I did find a chipmunk for Zulu today.  I even climbed up the ditch line to encourage the chipmunk out of the stump.  Alas, Zulu was slow on the uptake and the chipmunk was safe in the brush pile.  Zulu did find a rabbit, but only did a half-hearted chase. Or a deer, it could have been a deer.  I was too far away to see other than white disappearing.  In that case, it was probably wise to let the deer go. Zulu remembered that she had gotten a mouse out of the bee hive and stopped to check that out. After that she was extremely interested in some sort of bug.  We headed back to the truck after that.     
I have Harris hawks because they can hunt together in a sky pack.  Unfortunately, my falconry partner’s hawk and mine have not been on the same training schedule.  I tried to set up a walk in the woods, I mean, a hunt this weekend.  We both are busy Saturday and it rains a fair amount of Sundays.     
I do enjoy the chats of falconry also, although I don’t have to go out to do that.  I have friends in multiple time zones and enjoy chatting with my clients if we are not backed up. I have friends in many places because I like to travel.  Hopefully, I will finally be able to bring the young veterinarian I met in Africa over for a few months visit. Planning trips is a fun way to relieve some stress.  Trekking to Base Camp Everest anyone?     
I am a veterinarian for a reason.  My favorite way to relieve stress is to snuggle with my labs and cats.  Whiskey and Foxtrot are the best snugglers although Whiskey is having trouble getting in the taller bed.  Foxtrot can get in any bed and doesn’t really wait for an invitation.  He is long and lean and stretches in next to me from my feet to my shoulder.  He and the cats often share my pillow.     
Even with all of this, sometimes I’ve had enough.  Staffing, client service, pet deaths and home stressed and get to me. Sometimes I have to decide to change attitude. I know that sounds trite and I know there are people with mental disease that can’t just do that, but for me, I sometimes just have to decide that I am not going to be that angry or down person. I will admit that I often reach for a armful and face full of furry critter to help lift me up.     
Finally, okay, let’s be real. I never get enough sleep, eat only healthy and exercise as much as I’m supposed to.  Life is too exciting! But I picked my life well, because I have plenty of animals to help with my stress.