It’s so easy to glamorize the long, sleepless nights and missed meals when you’re busy building your small business from the ground up. But the truth is, running a small business can be exhausting, and if you’re not careful, it can lead to debilitating side effects and, eventually, burnout.
Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged or chronic stress. And it’s not something to take lightly — if you’re experiencing burnout, it’s essential to take steps to recover as soon as possible. So how can you avoid burnout before it starts? Here are four tips:
1. Make time for yourself
It’s important to schedule time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes each day. Dedicate this time to doing something you enjoy without stress or obligations. This can help you relax and recharge, so you’re better able to handle the demands of being a new business owner.
For these short minutes, you can practice breathing exercises, catch up on the new episodes of your favorite show, or read a few chapters of that book you’ve wanted to start. What matters is that you’re giving yourself time to relax and recharge, so you can return to work feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever comes your way.
If you don’t give yourself a break from your responsibilities, you will likely experience burnout. This is because you’ll constantly be stressed, which affects your physical and mental health. So, do yourself a favor and make time for some self-care.
2. Take care of your health
When running a business, it’s easy to skimp on sleep in favor of working more hours. But this is a recipe for disaster — you need to be well-rested to make good decisions and be productive. Make sure you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and if possible, take a nap during the day if you’re tired.
Just like your body needs rest, it also needs proper nourishment. Eating a healthy diet can help improve your energy levels and cognitive function, so you’re better able to handle the challenges of running a business. But be careful not to overdo it because being stressed is a slippery slope.
If you’re unhealthily binging on food to the point that you’re making yourself sick, that’s a sign that you need to take a step back and reassess your situation. And if you need help to address this, don’t hesitate to consult a professional who can put you on a binge eating disorder recovery plan. This way, you can get back on track and focus on taking care of your business.
3. Learn to manage your stress
There will always be stresses associated with running a business, but it’s important to learn how to manage them healthily. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths and focus on one task at a time. It can also help to keep a stress journal, where you can write down the things that are causing you stress and brainstorm solutions.
In addition to managing your stress, it’s essential to know your limits. Accept that you can’t do everything on your own and delegate tasks to your employees accordingly. This will help you avoid taking on too much and becoming overwhelmed, pushing you to the brink of burnout.
And finally, don’t forget to take a vacation! It’s important to unplug and recharge, both for your mental health and the health of your business. You’re more likely to make mistakes and burn out if you’re constantly working. So, take some time off and enjoy a well-deserved break.
4. Build a support system
One of the best ways to avoid burnout is to build a supportive network inside and outside your business. This can include family and friends, mentors, colleagues, or even your employees. These people can offer emotional support when you’re feeling overwhelmed and help hold you accountable for your goals.
In addition to a support system, it’s important to have someone you can talk to about your business — someone who understands your challenges. This can be a business coach, therapist, or even another small business owner. Talking to someone who gets it can be a huge relief and help you find solutions to your problems.
There’s no shame in admitting that you need help from a professional, a friend, or a family member. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, seek out someone who can offer support and guidance. After all, running a business is tough, and it’s essential to have people in your corner who can help you through the challenges.
At the end of the day, avoiding burnout is about taking care of yourself physically and mentally. By following these tips, you can set yourself up for success and avoid burning yourself out before you even have the chance to get started. So, take care of yourself and your business — it’ll be worth it in the long run!