How To Handle Burnout
Ever feel run down, exhausted, drained and a little empty inside? You may be dealing with burnout. As a small business owner, maker and mama I often feel burnt out. Today I want to share with you a few ways you can handle burnout and how to avoid it all together.
Scroll all the way down to watch my Instagram LIVE all about how to handle burnout.
What is burnout?
Burnout is defined as physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. It may look a bit different for everyone, but for me it is when I feel like I have nothing left to give and that I’m running on empty. When I am no longer feeling joy in what I am doing then I know I am dealing with burnout.
Signs of burnout:
lack of motivation
feelings of hopelessness
If you have every experienced some of these things then you have probably felt burn out at some point in your life. Luckily there are some things you can do to help get yourself out of that burnout stage and back to enjoying what you do.
What to do if you feel burnt out
Reflect on why you are feeling burnt out. Has something specific happened that has added some extra stress to your life? Is there a project that you are dreading working on? When was the last time you took a day off or did some self care? For me I can usually pin point my burnout to the fact that I haven’t been taking care of myself or I have been working non stop with no break.
Take a break! I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a bit of a workaholic. As a small business owner I wear all the hats and have full responsibility for every aspect of my work. This can make it hard for me to allow myself to take time off and step away from my work for a bit, even if it’s only for an hour! Taking a break can be just the thing to pull you out of feeling burnt out. There is nothing wrong with taking a break. You business will still be there when you get back and chances are you will feel a lot more excited about getting back to work.
Do something totally unrelated to your work. Even if it’s only for twenty minutes, do something that has nothing to do with your work. Take a walk, go get your nails done, take a nap or work on a new craft project that doesn’t have to do with your work. If you work in the creative arts like I do try a brand new craft like needle punch or cross stitch. Just a simple new activity can make a world of difference in how you feel.
Ask for help! This is one I have had to learn over the years. It can be really hard to admit that you need help and then ask for what you need, but it is so important. It was especially hard after I became a stay at home mom. I felt like I should be able to handle it all and almost felt like if I asked for help I was a failure. I’m here to tell you that that is not the case. Asking for help is a sign of strength. No one can go it alone and no on should have to. Ask a friend or family member to watch your kids for a few hours or enlist their help in getting things done for your business. Whatever it is you need help with, don’t be afraid to ask someone to give you what you need. Lately I have been asking my husband to take the kids out for a few hours on the weekends so I can have some alone time and it has made a huge difference in my mood.
Say NO to things that cause you stress. This is another hard thing that we all have to learn. Saying no can help you not to feel burnt out. Whether it’s turning down a collaboration or a custom order, if it’s going to cause you more stress, don’t do it! There is no shame is saying no. It also doesn’t have to be a forever no. It can be a “no, not right now.” I recently had to say “no, not right now” to a collaboration and although it was hard I knew that I needed to do it. I wouldn’t have been able to give it the full attention it deserved and that wouldn’t have been good for anyone involved. Just because you say no now doesn’t mean the opportunity will never come up again. I strongly believe that you won’t ever miss out on an opportunity you were meant to have. Give yourself a break and just say no if you need to.
Get back to your “why.” When you are feeling burnout look back at why you started your business in the first place. Was it because of how much you loved creating? Then create something just for you. Get back to what made you love it in the first place. That is part of the reason why I started doing a Monthly Make. I wanted to make the time to do something just for me. Now every month I get to make something for myself and it feels so good. There is nothing wrong with a bit of “selfish” crafting, you deserve it!
How To Avoid Burn Out
Now that we know what burnout is and how to handle it when it happens, let’s look at what we can do to avoid it all together.
Take time for yourself everyday or week as needed. It can be just a simple 20 minutes of reading a book, painting your nails or just sitting in silence. Whatever it is take time for yourself everyday if you can.
Plan scheduled time off. This is a hard one for me, but I know that it will make a huge difference if I just do it. Schedule at least one day off a week where you don’t work. Spend the day doing something fun with your family or just catching up with the other areas of your life that need attention.
Get off social media! It is so easy to waste time and compare yourself to others on social media. Taking breaks from it here and there can help you to get back to you and what you love. Don’t worry about not posting everyday. Your true followers won’t abandon you just because you take a break, I promise!
Do something new or different every few days to keep your creativity flowing. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Go out and work in a coffee shop or take a trip to the beach to switch things up a bit. Just a change of scenery can be enough to keep you from feeling down.
Take to a trusted friend regularly. Running a small business and being a stay at home mom is a bit isolating. Find a friend that you can talk to on a regular basis so you feel more connected. The maker community is an amazing group and I have found so many new friends on Instagram. I talk to these other makers daily and it helps so much to have someone to share my frustrations.
Get good sleep.
Eat a healthy diet.
Learn to say no to things that bring you stress or that don’t fit with your brand.
Remember you are not alone. Everyone has dealt with burnout at some point in their life. Life is not a race. There is no need to rush through it or feel like you need to keep up with everyone else. We are all on our own journeys and we shouldn’t have to work all the time to get where we need to be.
I hope you found this post helpful in dealing with burnout. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Are there things that you do to help avoid burnout that aren’t on my list? I’d love to hear from you. Comment below and let me know.