It happened, I went on Thanksgiving vacation and didn’t want to come back to work. After weeks of staying on top of everything and being pulled in all different directions, I desperately felt the need to stay away from work. I was utterly burned out.
It happens to all of us. And this year, it’s been a lot more commonplace with all of the additional stressors that we’ve been struggling to cope with. Getting out of it can feel impossible. But when you’re running a business, part of you knows that you’ll eventually have to pick up the pieces and return back, even though you’d rather go on a never-ending vacation.
That said, here are 5 ways to come to terms with your burnout and return to having inspiration in business.
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1. Know It’s Not Your Fault
So many people feel guilty when they experience burnout and need some space from their work. Our societal norms expect each and every one of us to be workaholics. But needing to take time for yourself is actually normal and not at all shameful.
Henry Ford helped make the 40-hour workweek popular. And he did it to help increase consumption of his automobiles. (Douglas Brinkley, Time, 2003) This standard workweek was also designed for people who had another person in the household that was entirely responsible for cooking, cleaning, childcare, and chores.
Fast forward to 2020, a single person is working machine hours and doing the work of two people. The bottom line is that our work culture is overtaxing. So burnout is not your fault.
2. Schedule Solid Breaks
Make sure to give yourself rest regularly- even if you feel like you don’t need it. The first phase of burnout is the honeymoon phase, where you feel like you can do anything. This can lead to you overloading your plate, leading to chronic stress and eventual burnout.
I like to schedule rest daily, weekly, and yearly. This includes:
● Allow long lunch breaks to give yourself a break during the day.
● Make sure to take a scheduled two days off in a row from your business and stick to it. (Don’t let clients convince you to schedule work on your day off.)
● Schedule at least two weeks of vacation every year.
You can take time off in different ways, but make sure that you have a solid week off at some point. Even if I don’t go anywhere and just stay home on vacation, a break from “work” can help destress the mind. As business owners, we forget to schedule vacation off for ourselves.
Are you getting at least 90 minutes of exercise every week? Exercise pumps your body with feel-good endorphins that can help you break through your burnout faster.
The best exercise is the one you do regularly. Find something that you love doing so that you’ll want to stick to it. If you choose activities that you enjoy, it shouldn’t feel like a chore or be too demanding on your wellbeing. Some restorative options could include walking in nature or yoga.
4. Receive the Work You Give
When’s the last time you got a massage, facial, gone on a yoga retreat, or anything else related to self-care and wellness?
No matter what type of wellness professional you are, you sometimes need to be on the receiving side of the work you give. Remember what it is you once loved about the work you do? This will help you get back to a place where you can feel inspired to give to others again.
Put the word out to your colleagues and friends that you are looking for a person to trade with regular. I prefer to find trading partners that consider self-care so important that they are willing to lock in day and time at least once a month to give or receive a trade.
5. Stay in your “Genius Zone”
Sometimes we fall out of love with our business because we aren’t doing the things we are most passionate about. Your “genius zone” consists of things that you are talented at and love doing. If you try to stay in it, you’ll feel a lot better and regain your inspiration in business endeavors.
Let’s say you opened up your own spa or massage clinic, and now you only manage employees. You may find your new role boring because you are not doing the work you are passionate about.
If the checks and balances side of your business isn’t really your thing, maybe you can return to your massage practice part-time. Hire someone else to do the administrative work that you hate. For instance, you can hire a part-time virtual assistant. We love using Fiverr.com to hire freelancers to help us with content writing, sales copy and reception help.