5 Signs You Need Help Changing Burn Out and Fatigue
Preventing burnout and fatigue is not often discussed among women business owners, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue. In a recent conversation I hosted for women entrepreneurs the term “entrepreneurial exhaustion” surfaced. As we discussed this, we realized there are at least 5 signs you're in trouble with burnout.
- You isolate yourself. You avoid showing up to mastermind groups, or drop out of social media groups you are active in. You don’t leave the house.
- Your work doesn’t give you any joy. In fact, you’re starting to dread the idea of interacting with your clients or customers.
- You realize that you are complaining and offering up excuses rather than solving business problems and making progress. You’re having the same conversation with yourself that you started having 3 months ago.
- You have quit taking care of your mental and physical health. You’ve dropped out of exercise class, need a haircut, haven’t had a deep conversation with another soul in weeks.
- You can’t seem to get organized to get through your days in an efficient manner. Really, all you want to do is be left alone.
Do any one of these sound like you? If so, it’s time to hit the reset button for yourself. Taking good care of yourself is your top priority – you can’t work with others when you are in a burned out and fatigued state. Your customers or clients will sense your burnout, and you’ll lose business – which makes your situation even worse.
4 Women Entrepreneurs Share Their “Preventing Burnout” top tips
Here are 6 tips from 4 women entrepreneurs that will help you reset your energy and prevent more burnout and fatigue.
Barb Brown, the owner of Leaning Into Joy, is based in Denver. Barb’s two tips are things she personally uses in preventing burnout and fatigue.
- Tai chi’s promise is that it helps you to lead a balanced life in which you are calmer, sleep better, have a sharper memory, and suffer fewer health issues. Tai Chi is a gentle form of self-defense. With its roots in Taoism, Tai Chi helps you flow with the universe instead of fighting the waves of anxiety, fear and calculation.
Barb says tai chi is like practicing a gentle ballet sequence. One great benefit to tai chi is that it can be practiced by anyone, and requires nothing more than a small space in which to move, and loose-fitting clothing. You can even do tai chi from a chair, if you are unable to stand (I practiced tai chi during the months I was confined to a wheelchair). Besides helping to prevent burnout and fatigue, the benefits of tai chi include improved health, stronger immune system, better blood circulation, improved sleep, stress relief, more relaxed body, bone health, greater flexibility & balance, better muscle tone, calmer mind, and more stamina.
- Qi Gong is another of Barb's tips. Qi Gong is an Eastern practice that integrates physical postures, breath, and intention. The gentle, rhythmic movements of Qigong reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. It has also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions. You can find Qi Gong classes almost everywhere, or look online at YouTube videos to get started. Qi Gong is a daily practice – even 15 minutes will have you feeling better both mentally and physically.
Elaine Wellman is a busy event and retreat planner. She’s based in New York, and can be reached at either of her websites, www.elainewellmanevents.com or www.stressfreeretreats.com. Elaine has two tips to offer for preventing burnout and fatigue no matter how busy or overwhelmed you feel.
- Elaine knows that it is critical to acknowledge your successes before jumping to your next to-do. If you’re feeling burnt out, take time to think back. What have you accomplished in the past few months that you’re proud of? What have you accomplished that really helped your business, or a client? Elaine says, “Often, we treat true successes with the same weight as buying toilet paper. Completing a big project, finishing your book (or your freebie,) launching a new program, or hosting a live event or retreat, IS a big deal! Don’t simply cross it off the list and move on. Take some time to acknowledge your accomplishment before jumping into your next to-do. Treat yourself to something that makes you feel good (even if that’s a cup of tea or a nap.) Give yourself some time and space to refuel. You’ll be much more productive and keep exhaustion at bay.”
- Elaine’s second tip is to “stop pushing and get honest.” She speaks from personal experience, sharing that she was burned out when she was pushing herself hard, busy doing “all the things” but not getting the results she wanted for her business. Elaine says, “Eventually, I realized I was out of alignment and as a result, I shifted the focus on my business. If you feel stressed and drained, you may be headed toward exhaustion. And, you may be out of alignment in some area of your business (perhaps not as drastically as I was, but somewhere.) Take a break and check in with yourself. Then, get really honest. That’s not always easy but it is essential to avoiding burn out. When you have clarity, around your niche, message, offering, you feel energized.”
Nancy Dadami is a Feng Shui specialist who helps others create good flow and energy in their home or work spaces. Her website is https://nancydadami.com. Nancy says “If you finish everything on your list but end up exhausted, it’s a sign that you’ve made what you are doing more important than yourself, your health and your well-being.”
- Nancy's tip is a simple breath exercise. Nancy says, “Move away from your desk and do this simple breathing exercise.”
- Close your eyes and take a deep, slow breath.
- Breathe in again this time imagine your body expanding up through your head and down through your tailbone.
- Breathe in again and imagine your body expanding from side to side. Imagine your ribs lead the way.
- Breathe in again and imagine your body expanding from front to back.
- Put it all together by breathing in and imagine your body is a balloon filling up in all directions.
- Do this 3 to 9 times and you will feel refreshed and energized.
Research shows that people are more productive and efficient when they take breaks from their “to do” list. You actually get more done when you take a 10 to 15 minute break every hour. Try Nancy's breathing exercise and see if you feel less burnt out and fatigued by taking these quick breaks throughout the day.
Finally, here’s my tip. I’ve owned my own businesses for 20 years now. Believe me when I say that I know what burnout and fatigue feel like. Here’s the tip I have for you.
- Accept that you will change within yourself during the years you are a business owner. Your life changes, the people around you change, and your current customers and clients change, as well. This means that your business must change over time in order to survive. When you are feeling burnt out and fatigued, it’s a sign that something big needs to change. You might need to get clear on your brand and messaging again. (You can do that in my 4 week Maximize Your Message group). Ask yourself, “What one thing could I change that would help me feel energized again?” See where the answer takes you.
There you have it – 6 tips for preventing burn out and fatigue for women entrepreneurs. If you want to contact Barb about putting a little more joy into your life and business, contact her through her website at leaningintojoy.com. If one of the things you’re thinking about for your business is a live event or a retreat, but you don’t know where to start, you can reach Elaine Wellman through either one of her websites www.elainewellmanevents.com or www.stressfreeretreats.com.
For help with setting up your space to optimize the energy and good feelings, reach out to Nancy Dadami at nancydadami.com. And if you want help with brand clarity and clear messaging, so that you know exactly what to say as you talk about your business, consider joining in my Maximize Your Message workshop.
More than anything, get a bit more sleep and be kind to yourself. Preventing burnout and fatigue is just like brushing your teeth – it benefits you to do it every day.