Hands up if you’ve ever felt completely stressed out that it led to exhaustion? or emotionally & physically drained that you didn’t have the motivation to do anything?
Burnout is super common and chances are you will experience it at least once during your entrepreneurial journey. But it doesn’t have to be a regular thing.
Burnout is not inevitable.
To avoid burnout you need to be open to setting clear boundaries and putting your well-being first.
It can be tough. It can feel uncomfortable. But your future self will thank you.
Burnout is “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”Herbert Freudenberger | Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement
Is pushing yourself to burnout really your idea of success?
Instagram has literally become productivity central lately and everyone seems to glorify being busy.
It’s therefore so easy to get caught up in the highlight reel on social media and feel like you’re constantly competing and comparing yourself to everyone else’s wins.
When I experienced burnout during the first few months of starting my business, it was because of social media.
The content that I (wrongly) chose to follow, promoted the hustle culture lifestyle.
I was influenced to believe that working 18-hour days, 7 days a week and having no time to rest is what I needed to do in order to be successful.
I fell into the trap of believing that success was hitting 10K months in your first 6 months of business, pivoting to become a coach within your first 4 months and making passive income within the first 2 months.
And yes these things are great but I wasn’t prepared to push myself to burnout in order to get there. I have a different idea of success.
Success for me is waking up, feeling truly happy and excited about the environment that surrounds me. It’s having the freedom to travel the world. Success is me not wanting more from life because I’ve achieved everything I wanted.
10k months would be great but I would just be happy with making 3k months and spending my day living by the beach.
I therefore think it’s super important that you too find your own work ethic. One that works for you and helps you to avoid burnout.
As you can tell, mine is a slow and stress-free life where I take at least 4 breaks a day and give myself only 5 tasks to complete each day.
Yes, I might grow slower. Yes, it might take me a little longer to hit 10k months but I’d rather cherish every single moment of my wins and failures rather than miss it all because I was too exhausted to pay attention.
Long story short
So long story short, don’t just copy what you see others doing on social media.
Because social media is not the truth. People curate their feeds to perfection so you only see what they want you to see.
And it’s not fair that you should suffer burnout because you’re idealising an unrealistic and unsustainable work ethic.
An unrealistic work ethic where you take on too much work than you can handle because you don’t want to let anyone down.
An unsustainable work ethic where you feel guilty every time you take a day off so instead you avoid resting at all costs.
An unrealistic work ethic where you never do the little things that you enjoy because you feel lazy when you’re doing something else other than working towards your goals.
An unsustainable work ethic where you stay up late in order to get the work done because you weren’t as productive as you wanted to be during the day.
The truth is, you don’t need to work yourself into exhaustion to be successful.
There is a way of being productive and achieving your goals without denying your mind & body the rest it needs to function.
How to avoid burnout
First of all, you need to know when to slow down and rest.
Have you ever heard the saying “don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done”?
Well I think that’s utter bullshit and you should listen to your body. So I changed it up a little bit:
Stop when you’re tired not when you’re done!
Make sure you schedule in enough time to allow your body the rest it needs. This could be sleep, self-care or just doing nothing. Whatever helps you to recharge.
Plan it, and stick to it.
If you find yourself staying up late to finish off work then you need to set healthy work hours.
Find when you’re most productive and work between these hours. You need to be strict with yourself. Set an alarm or timer to prompt you into shutting down for the day.
I also encourage you to take plenty of breaks and get outside as much as possible for fresh air! Fresh air is therapy as it helps clear the mind and it provides you with more energy and mental focus.
If you find yourself taking on too much work than you can handle then you need to start setting clear boundaries. Boundaries are crucial to your mental health so start implementing some work boundaries and learn the power of saying “no”.
You need to be getting plenty of sleep as well. Sleep is one of the most important things your body needs in order to function so stop neglecting it and get a good 7-9 hours each night!
Get yourself into the mood by creating a relaxing evening routine to help you wind down. I always turn off my screens at least 30 mins before bed and read a good olde fiction book to unwind.
And then you can wake up every morning feeling refreshed.
But before you jumpstart the day, I suggest taking it slow and building a nourishing morning routine. If you allow yourself that peaceful time in the morning, I promise you will be more productive and a lot less stressed.
Doing a social media detox will make you feel more optimistic, less overwhelmed, less pressured to show up online and way less inclined to compare yourself to others.
Not to mention your mood will drastically change and you’ll become a lot more positive.
9 ways to avoid burnout
- Know when to slow down and rest
- Set healthy work hours
- Have a nourishing morning & evening routine
- Plan “me-time”
- Take plenty of breaks
- Get outside
- Set clear boundaries
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night
- Build good digital habits
Avoid burnout by allowing your mind & body the time it needs to rest
Self-care is essential, not only to your well-being, but to your productivity as well.
The more you rest and take care of yourself, the more nourished you feel, so you can keep showing up as the best version of yourself.
Self-care is now part of my daily routine. But it’s not always about baking and doing puzzles.
Sometimes self-care is working on my mindset or going out for a walk and just being present. Self-care gives me space, to just be me.
And self-care has pretty much become a non-negotiable for me now.
Because I’ve spent months training myself to know that self-care is necessary for me to function, it has made it easier for me to take time to rest and not feel guilty about it.
However, I now assume that everyone is the same when it comes to self-care. I seem to think that everyone else is also scheduling in a bit of self-care each day.
In my weekly newsletter, I send through a self-care activity for my lovely readers to enjoy. In my reality, they read through the activity and try it out that very same day.
But I now understand that it’s not always the case.
Planning time for rest and self-care can be quite tricky. It’s not always as simple as it is made to seem.
You’re busy and have a jam-packed schedule. You have an entire to-do list to get through. You have other things you want to be doing other than self-care.
But the truth is you can’t continue to show up, be productive and work towards your goals if you’re denying your body the rest & self-care it needs (because hello burnout).
You need to take care of yourself first.
You need to be your number 1 priority.
5 tips to help you schedule in time for self-care
Here are my top tips on how to schedule in time for self-care no matter how busy you are:
focus on your needs first
Self-care isn’t all about hot baths & pampering. It’s about human needs.
If you want to be more intentional with your self-care routine then pinpoint your needs and go straight to addressing them rather than indulging in a random activity that you won’t benefit from.
Finding the time for self-care can be tricky, especially if you have a busy schedule. So start small. Find a gap in your schedule and spend 5-15 mins on self-care.
After all, a little bit of self-care is better than nothing! And you’ll also find that the more you dedicate to self-care the more you’ll want to do.
set an alarm
We’re more likely to do something if we have a trigger to prompt us so set an alarm at the time where you’re most available during the day and say to yourself “ok, its time for a self-care break!”
I promise you, nothing feels better than taking a breather during a hectic day and having a bit of “me-time”.
keep it simple
Your self-care routine doesn’t have to feel like a chore. It doesn’t have to be long, complicated or expensive. Keep it short and sweet so it can fit easily into your lifestyle.
choose rituals you enjoy
I have to admit, I was initially a bit put off by self-care. I thought it was all about connecting to your inner self, doing breathwork and journaling.
But what I’ve since realised is that your self-care routine can be anything you want it to be.
Doing more of what you love makes you want to do it even more. So ignore what everyone else is doing and choose self-care rituals that you enjoy and work for you.
One last thing…
Gosh that was a hefty post!
I hope you find these tips super helpful and will keep them in mind the next time you want to avoid burnout.
But why not start implementing them straight away with The Wellness Planner.
This 18-page planner provides you with the accountability and structure you need to plan rest & self-care so you can wave goodbye to burnout for good.
Use it to:
- Build a morning & evening routine that works for you
- Successfully build better habits
- Track sleep
- Map out your meals & exercise for a healthy week
- Reflect on the day and practice gratitude
- Plan out a week of self-care activities
- Journal your thoughts & feelings
- Plus much much more
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx