Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It demands dedication, passion, and a great deal of hard work. However, if you sacrifice your health and wellbeing to become a successful entrepreneur, you may burnout. Not only can this mean that you’ll suffer personally, but your business could suffer too, as anyone who’s burnt out will be incapable of effectively running a business.
We know how to use first aid kits to patch physical injuries, but what about our mental health? Read on to learn what you can do to avoid burnout as an entrepreneur.
What is Burnout?
Most people don’t think that burnout is a major issue. We often think that burnout is the same as stress, but the two are actually quite different. We get stressed when we have a lot to do or face an intense challenge. When the even passes and the load is lifted off your shoulders, your brain relaxes, and stress dissipates.
On the other hand, burnout is far more destructive, as it results from long-term stress. Being subjected to on-going stress over the long term can severe impacts on your mental health and emotional wellbeing, and can even lead to an emotional breakdown.
Burnout can have a negative impact on both your personal and professional life if it is not addressed. It can also cause physical health issues. For this reason, it’s best to avoid burn out entirely if at all possible.
How to Avoid Entrepreneurial Burnout
Being an entrepreneur involves a high degree of pressure and certain unique challenges, which can demand extra attention. Here are some of the best ways to avoid entrepreneurial burnout.
1. Don’t Ignore Stress
One of the warning signs that you may be at risk of burnout is stress. Of course, being an entrepreneur will always involve some degree of stress, but if you’re continually under a high degree of stress, you’re probably heading for burnout.
Try to limit stress as much as possible but setting clear boundaries around your work – carve out personal time and limit work calls and emails after hours. Additionally, there is a range of things you can do to help to manage your stress, such as exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones.
2. Eliminate Entrepreneurial Anxiety
A healthy lifestyle means a balance between work and personal life. When the equilibrium is disrupted, you risk having issues in either area. Being a successful entrepreneur does not mean it should take over your life at the expense of all other activities, relationships, and the other things that are important to you.
Taking time for yourself is just as vital as growing your business. However, when you bury yourself in any project, it’s easy to lose perspective and become consumed with anxiety. As a result, taking breaks, going on holiday, and spending time with family can be a huge help in avoiding burnout.
3. Work on your Fitness
Being healthy undeniably has positive impacts on your work since you are in better mental state to make good decisions with a positive mindset. Working on your fitness is, therefore, essential. This does not mean that you have to spend time at the gym pumping iron – you just need to devote 30 to 40 minutes a few times a week to some form of exercise. This could be walking, cycling, taking a dance class, or any other activity that is both enjoyable and beneficial to your fitness.
4. Start Meditation
Introducing meditation into your daily routine is one of the best ways to avoid entrepreneurial burnout. Many well-known entrepreneurs practice meditation and make it part of their daily routine because they believe it helps prevent burnout.
Meditation can provide a range of benefits, including:
- Better blood pressure
- Optimal heartbeat
- Improved sleep
- Less stress and anxiety
Another benefit of meditation is that it can be done anywhere and at any time. You can meditate first thing in the morning, late at night, or even take 10 minutes to meditate in your office. Get your mat and get started – it’s as simple as that.
5. Restart your Entrepreneurial Journey
In the day to day stress of running a business, it can be easy to get so wrapped up in all the issues that you forget the bigger picture. Going back to the beginning can be a great way to rethink and regroup. For example, go back and visit an imporant place that was pivotal in starting you business, or reconnect with an early mentor. This allows you to reflect on why you started your entrepreneurial journey and refocus your priorities.
Anyone can be prone to burnout, but this is arguably an even greater risk for entrepreneurs, given the high level of pressure and stress. It’s important to be vigilant to the risks of burnout, not only for your own health and wellbeing, but in order to be an effective entrepreneur over the long term.