Are you stressed from work? Being a business owner can be tough and lead to burnout. Find out how to recover from burnout and get your life back.
In my first year of business, I said “Yes” to everything that came my way. As a new business owner, I never wanted to turn down an opportunity. But my quest to build my business and take on as much work as possible eventually led to what many business owners fear: burnout.
I had no motivation. I was tired all of the time. I felt creatively stifled and trapped. I had no idea how to recover from burnout. I quit my job to have more freedom and what I found is that I had anything but. All of the freedom and fun that was supposed to come along with being self-employed and instead I was stressed from work.
Being burned out by your business can make your physical and mental health suffer. Not only that, but your business suffers, too. After realizing that I was burnt out I knew I had to do something. I started to create better boundaries and prioritize self-care. Because when I’m my best self, I can run my business the way it should be run and thrive.
If you’ve ever felt something similar, here are 5 tips for business owners to recover from burnout.
1. Create a morning and evening routine
In my first year of business, I felt like I was always on and had to be available at all times. I woke up and quickly checked my emails. I opened my laptop minutes later to get started with work. Many times, I kept working until it was time to go to bed. No wonder I felt burnt out!
When I started to make changes in my life, I realized the importance of having a morning and evening routine. Your morning and evening routine can help you start and end the day in a good place, that is about you and not work.
For example, my morning routine involves coffee, a little journaling and a 10-minute meditation. This gives me just enough me-time, while also getting me in the right headspace to work.
My evening routine includes putting all technology away, writing down all the things I am grateful for that day, and some reading or a bit of Netflix.
Having these routines help me be able to turn on and then turn off when I need to and not always be stuck in work mode.
2. Schedule your breaks
When you work at a 9-5 your breaks are something you cherish. As a business owner, you don’t get paid breaks so it’s easy to power through and forget to even take a break. But working all day and not taking some time for yourself is what leads to burnout.
So what you need to do is schedule your breaks. It sounds silly, but you schedule meetings and schedule your client work, so why not schedule your own breaks too? Having them in your calendar can remind you — “Oh yeah, I need to take a break.”
You can take a 10-minute coffee, stretch break or take a 30-minute walk. You can even have a quick 5-minute living room dance party. Whatever you need to do to decompress for a few minutes is what you should do.
3. Budget for self-care
You might feel stressed from work — and being burned out takes it to a different level. As a business owner, you probably budget for a lot of things but your self-care may go to the wayside. It’s so important to budget for self-care — whatever that means to you. Whether that’s time at the movies or getting a massage, you need to budget for the things that make you feel good and help you relax.
I realized that I could not be creative if I never had any downtime to relax. That thought was a complete game-changer for me and inspired me to budget for massages each month. In my neighborhood, there is a cheap massage place where I can get a full body massage for $25. I knew that that was something I could afford to do monthly and it would have a great impact on my mental and physical health.
4. Take a vacation
Wondering how to recover from burnout? Unplug and take a real vacation. Doing so can help you reset and recover from the burnout. As business owners, it’s tough to take time away, but it’s so worth it.
Ask yourself when is the last time you really took a vacation? I’m not saying a day or two, but for at least several days or weeks? Taking a vacation can help you recover and give you the space you need to think about what changes you need to make in your business to avoid burnout again.
5. Remember why you started your business
When you’re feeling overwhelmed and burnt out it’s easy to get into a negative spiral. You think, “Ugh, I’m SO tired!”, “If ONLY I had more time.”, or “I don’t want to do this.”
At this point, it’s important to do some mental shifting. Instead of spiraling, stop yourself and ask, “Why did I start my business?” To feel connected to your business — and not just working on your business — you need to engage with your “why”. Just like with finances, establishing your “why” in business and reminding yourself of that when things get hard is so important.
This can be a positive mindset shift and can also shed light on changes you may need to make or things you need to do moving forward in your business.
If you’re struggling with burnout and stress from work, it’s important to take these tips for business owners into consideration so you can recover. You don’t want your business or your health to suffer, so go ahead, take some time for yourself. You didn’t quit your job to be in this state, but rather to thrive and enjoy the freedom of self-employment.
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