How to Avoid Burnout and Take Better Care of Yourself
Extended hours are just part of being a successful entrepreneur, but pushing too hard for too long can take a toll if you're not tending to your mental and physical well-being.
Sixty-three percent of the 300-plus entrepreneurs surveyed by The Hustle reported dealing with burnout, and 59 percent said they've dealt with anxiety.
Make The Time
Starting and growing a successful business is both exhilarating and exhausting. "It can be hectic and unforgiving," explains a blog by Online Women Biz. "And business goals won't be reached by themselves."
"And that is exactly why self-care must be at the top of your list of business goals," the blog adds.
"You don't have to be checking off goals everyday on a to-do list," advises Tricia Hersey, founder of The Nap Ministry.
"You don't have to be hustling and 'building' every day," she told Black Enterprise in a story by Atiya Jordan about wellness. "You don't have to push every day. You have the right to just be. You were born to experience leisure, joy, and rest."
How do you include self-care into your daily routine? Organize it. After that, treat your meeting with yourself with the same urgency as the rest of your commitments.
"Stepping away from business-related tasks might feel wrong, especially if you're the glue holding everything together," writes Jill A. Chafin in a blog for The Ascent, the Motley Fool service that provides product reviews.
"But going full steam ahead when you're drained, exhausted, or just plain overwhelmed means you're working at weakened capacity, which is never a good plan. Carving out time to enjoy your personal life will only strengthen your productivity."
Self-Care to You
Self-care comes in layers, says entrepreneur, writer, and certified health coach Kharissa Parker-Forte. "And it's not all wine and bubble baths," she writes in a Kansas City-based Startland News column.
"Over the years I developed and implemented what I call the 7 Pillars of Self-Care into my thoughts, my habits, my home, my body, my career, and any other area that I wanted to see flourish."
Mental clarity is one of her "pillars," according to which it is possible to identify the causes of your wants and dysfunctions.
"Practices like meditation, setting intentions, and speaking life through affirmations can help ensure your mental health is sound," Parker-Forte writes.
For some entrepreneurs, the road to a more balanced, healthier life may appear clear-cut, but the first step is recognizing particular areas that require attention from others.
"The long hours dedicated to your business can leave you feeling fatigued, stressed, overwhelmed, and lonely," says the Online Women's Biz blog. "We often don’t take the time to acknowledge and work on these issues until it's too late."
Keep a regular journal to help you identify unhealthy patterns and routines. Keep track of your physical activity, stress levels, and alcohol and caffeine use, among other things.
"When our behavior is staring us right in the eyes, we can identify harmful patterns and work on fixing them," the blog adds.
Work on creating a well-being culture. Find ways to show employees that your company values their physical and emotional well-being, from rules to benefits.
"A true well-being culture includes support for multiple aspects of employees’ lives, including mental health, family and caregiving responsibilities, financial wellness, social connections, and managing chronic conditions, among others," writes Kara Williams, director of Health Coaching at WebMD Health Services, in a WebMD blog.