“Just because you take breaks doesn’t mean you’re broken.” ― Curtis Tyrone Jones
As a recovering “yes” woman, I know how hard it can be to slow down, rest, recover and take breaks when you need. In my experience, entrepreneurs think we have to overwork, bend over backward, and sacrifice our self-care time to prove our worth. And frankly, that’s not true.
When we are constantly running from one mental gymnastics trick to the next, we experience the harsh reality of burnout. If you don’t know already, burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.
Most of us do our best work when we are happiest. After years of working with entrepreneurs, I have found that we tend to be the most productive, joyful, and healthiest when we feel mentally rested and living with a sustainable working schedule.
I write all of this from a place of experience. 2020 taught me a valuable lesson in dealing with trauma and career burnout, a lesson I am still learning today. After taking some time off over the last few weeks for a family emergency, I realized I had been tiptoeing closer and closer to an unhealthy work schedule again. I hadn’t quite hit burnout yet, but I would be there by end of summer if my pace continued.
My realization made me lace up my new hot pink roller skates and hit the greenway.
Sure, every once in a while you are going to toe the line as well. You will get close, but with these tips, I hope you can combat burnout easily.
1. Schedule Daily Off Time
No, I don’t mean just vacations. I mean, daily mental time off. Create meetings with yourself in your calendar so you can let your brain release and relax. Whether you sit in the sunlight for 10-minutes or you go on a walk, give yourself space each day.
2. Listen to Your Work
If you notice more typos, start missing deadlines, and aren’t feeling inspired to create, you are probably close to burning out. Take those stumbles as signs that you probably need to step away, breathe, and come back at a later time to prevent you from fully hitting a rut.
3. Examine Your Goals
I recommend my clients reassess their business goals twice a year. You may be surprised at how much goals change based on the season of your life and your personal situations; even your why statement may change! Make sure you schedule time with yourself for a few days of deep diving, soul searching work at least two times per year. Don’t waste your time pushing towards a goal you no longer want to achieve.
Not sure what a why statement is? Join my 21-day online coaching program, “7 Simple Steps to Attract More Clients”, where Nathalie Lacombe and I dive into assessing your reason for being in business. Start your journey today for only $49.
4. Ditch the Word Balance
Have you heard of work-life balance? Sure, but have you experienced a work-life balance? No! There is no such thing. Balance means “an even distribution”, which puts a lot of pressure on you to be split in the middle perfectly. Instead, use the word harmony. It’s ok to spend more weeks focused on life than work, just like it’s ok to spend some weeks focused more on work. It should ebb and flow. If you are constantly striving for even distribution, you are never going to find it.
5. Move More
It’s time we change how we all think about exercise. First, let’s stop calling it exercise -which seems to have a bad connotation. Let’s flip the script and call it movement. Remember, movement creates endorphins – handy little tools to make you feel happier. There is no limitation to how or when that can happen; in other words, even small moments of movement can make you feel better. Are you interested in 5 ways to change how you think about exercise? Check them out here.
Let me know in the comments section if you have anything to add to this list. How do you avoid burnout?