The life of a small business owner is not a walk in the park. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, highly stressed, and mentally and physically exhausted at times. However, when these feelings combine with a general helplessness and a desire to simply give up, you might be perilously close to a burnout.
The differences between being stressed out and being burned out are subtle. According to Help Guide, stress is characterized by over engagement and produces urgency and hyperactivity. Everyone knows these feelings, when it seems that the day is too short and the to-do list is too long. Burnout, on the other hand, is characterized by disengagement and a loss of motivation. So if that passion that used to get you out of bed in the morning is nowhere to be found, use these five quick tips to prevent burnouts.
Start the morning on your terms. There’s nothing worse than waking up every day with worries and obligations already battering your brain. Seth Simonds at LifeHack suggests that you “set your alarm a few minutes earlier than usual and spend the ‘extra’ time sitting in a sunny spot in your living room with a cup of coffee and a good book.” This way, you’ll start every day by taking care of yourself, not your work.
Live healthy. Don’t skip meals, and try to eat at the same time each day. Exercise regularly, even if it’s only two or three times a week. Once you’ve established these routines, they will act as built-in breaks to your workday, and keep you out of the burnout zone.
Just say no. Learning how to politely, yet firmly, deny unnecessary requests for your time will save you from feeling overburdened. Help Guide explains: “If you find this difficult, remind yourself that saying ‘no’ allows you to say ‘yes’ to the things that you truly want to do.”
Ask for help. While you might be the type that feels that you can do everything yourself (because, often, you have to!), sometimes you just need some assistance. Identify a problem that you could really use some help with, and reach out to someone you trust for a solution. Simonds believes: “If you want to avoid burnout, you’ll need to swallow your pride on occasion and reach out for help.”
Don’t be afraid to nap. A 2-5 minute “micro-nap” can shed sleepiness, and a 20 minute power nap clears the brain of useless information, improving long-term memory. Companies like Nike and Google encourage quick workday naps, and world influencers Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and Leonardo da Vinci were fond of napping.
For the small business owner, stress is almost unavoidable. Prolonged stress, however, can lead to burnouts, which can derail your motivation and desire. Use these tips to avoid that spiral.
How do you avoid burnout? Tell us in the comments below!