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This blog post may contain affiliate links which means we get commissions for purchases made through links in this post at no extra cost to you.
Did you know that 25% of entrepreneurs say they’re experiencing burnout? In addition to that, 3% felt ‘strongly burned out’. Burnout is a serious problem that entrepreneurs face, especially small business owners. Entrepreneurial burnout can be pretty insidious, especially for passionate business owners.
According to the Harvard Business Review, people with an obsessive passion for work are more likely to say they experienced burnout than entrepreneurs who practiced self-care techniques.
Let’s discuss what burnout is, the signs of it, and how to practice self-care so you can avoid being burned out.
What is Burnout?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), burnout is defined as a syndrome caused by chronic workplace stress that goes unmanaged.
The Harvard Business Review says that some of the causes of burnout include lack of:
Burnout can also come from working too much, withdrawing from your social life, and just not having a healthy work-life balance.
In addition to not practicing self-care, certain personality traits may make you more susceptible to burnout. According to Very Well Mind, personality traits such as pessimism and perfectionism can add to the stress that contributes to burnout.
Signs of Entrepreneurial Burnout
Are you experiencing entrepreneurial burnout? Here are some of the symptoms according to Very Well Mind and WHO:
- Feeling exhausted or depleted of energy
- Mental distance from your business
- Feeling frustrated or stressed
- Physical symptoms like headache and stomach issues
- Difficulty concentrating
- Reduced capacity to do your tasks
Burnout is commonly associated with working for other people. If you’re an entrepreneur with a full-time job you may notice feeling tired and drained at work. However, when it’s time to work on your business, you have renewed energy.
Practice Self Care in Entrepreneurship
Self-care isn’t selfish and it’s so necessary for preventing and dealing with burnout. Practicing self-care is important for both you and your business.
Preventing burnout is also paramount because it can take a while to recover from it.
Here are some practical ways you can practice self-care:
Schedule Regular Breaks
Of course, you have a million things to do but you have to take regular breaks, every day.
A tired and worn-out brain doesn’t function as well as a well-rested brain. By not getting rest, you’re doing a disservice to both yourself and your clients.
Breaks include taking vacation time too. We know it’s not always easy for entrepreneurs, especially solopreneurs to take vacations. Here are some tips to help you take longer periods of time off work:
Hiring help can help you take more time off. By hiring help you can have someone to take care of some or all aspects of your business while you’re on break. Hiring help can also help you avoid burnout even if you’re not going on break. If you’re regularly too swamped, consider hiring someone to help you out.
If you do hire help remember to treat them well so that your employees will love working for you. Look at it this way, if you take care of your employees, they’ll help to take care of your business.
Not sure where to find help? We recommend Fiverr.
If you’re struggling to find the funds to hire help you can:
FYI, if you need help acing your grant applications, check out our checklist and cheat sheet.
Pick the dates on your calendar in advance
To help you reduce stress, pick the dates on your calendar when you want to be out of the office. That way you can start to make plans and put systems in place for your absence.
Prepare for your vacation
Preparing for your time off is key. If your staff is going to be taking over, make sure everyone is briefed on their role for your absence.
In addition to that, let them know how they can reach you in case of an emergency. It’s a great idea to go over some scenarios and what their response could be.
For example, if someone is managing your inbox, let them know how to respond to certain emails.
You should also let people know what constitutes an emergency.
Scheduling Vacation Time as A Solopreneur
If you’re a solopreneur there are ways to schedule vacation time, the key is being prepared. You can do that by:
- Creating and scheduling social media content for the time you’ll be unavailable
- Telling relevant people when you will be out of office
- Setting up a ‘out of office’ email automation
Don’t Make Your Business Your Whole Life
You might have your dream job or just really enjoy what you’re doing but don’t forget about the other things in mind.
Not only should you prioritize taking care of your basic needs and general self-care, nurture your relationships.
All relationships, whether platonic, familial, or romantic, need nurturing. You can nurture your relationships by:
- Setting aside time in regular intervals to communicate.
- Plan a get together over Zoom or in person as long as you’re doing it safely.
- If you celebrate birthdays, send them a card or a gift.
At the end of the day, everybody is busy but putting in a little effort can be very beneficial.
In addition to nurturing relationships, don’t be afraid to find a hobby that has nothing to do with your business. You could take up painting, running, reading, anything to cultivate a life outside business.
Finding activities outside of your business will help to prevent entrepreneurial burnout and you’ll have fun!
Take Care of Your Body
Taking care of your body is essential. You can take care of your body by:
- Having regular checkups
- Getting 6-8 hours of sleep per night
- Eating healthy foods
- Moving your body regularly
Sometimes you may not feel so great and it’s actually because you’re not giving your body the care it needs.
Take Care of Your Mind
Mental health is very important. One way you can take care of your mind is by practicing mindfulness. For some people, that’s writing in a journal, meditation, prayer, etc. Find what works for you and do it and do it regularly.
You can also invest in a therapist. You don’t have to have a single thing bothering you to visit a therapist. Therapy is a great way to maintain good mental health.
Entrepreneurial burnout can be scary and it’s much better to prevent it than treat it. Follow these tips and you’ll see a difference in your life and business. However, if you’re experiencing burnout, talking with a medical professional can help you get your life back on track.
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