How to Handle Burn Out
Overwhelm happens to the best of us. Even the most together business owner will feel overwhelmed and burnt out from time-to-time. I sure as hell do!
This time of year seems to be particularly bad for it. But I’m here to share my top 5 ways to handle burnout.
Life feels hella chaotic at the moment. Look around, there’s this serious pressure to sell more, buy more, spend more, and it feels urgent AF. As though, we’re all about to miss out on something. I mean, Christmas is fast approaching, and there’s just so much we need to do before the 25th rolls around.
There’s change coming too. The end of the year seems to bring up some heavy thoughts. Thoughts of not being successful and not achieving everything we set out to achieve. We feel underwhelmed by the year that just passed us by, and feel pressure to make plans to do bigger and better in the next one.
Then there’s the challenges of trying to squeeze every person, family member, colleague and Christmas party in. Not to mention the constant hangover of attending all of theses celebrations.
What’s worse, is you’ve got to worry about finalising everything before closing up shop for a few weeks for a well deserved break. But, by taking a break you’ll make literally zero dollars during that time.
*Takes deep breath*
It’s a seriously intense time of year. No wonder we find burnout and overwhelm biting so hard on the ass that we all just want to throw in the towel.
BEFORE YOU GIVE UP ENTIRELY
Here are 5 powerful strategies to handle burnout
Stop and reflect
It’s so easy to get caught up in it all. I know it sounds counterintuitive to stop, but if you’re feeling stressed, you’re probably not doing your best work anyway.
The best thing to do when you feel burnout or overwhelmed is to stop what you’re doing and take a deep breath through your nose. Like a deep belly breath. The kind where you can’t take another bit of air in. Hold it for a moment, and release.
Does that feel better?
Honestly, nothing feels as good as a few deep breaths. It sounds woo-woo, but just try it and you’ll see the difference it makes.
If taking a few deep breaths doesn’t snap you out of it, then give yourself some space.
Walk away from your work and from technology. Leave your phone in another room on silent or even, dare I say it, switched off. Grab a big piece of paper and some sharpies. It’s time to get everything that’s bugging you out of your head and onto paper. Just take the time to write down everything that comes to mind – seriously, everything. Now once you’ve written it all out, walk away, finish what you were doing. You can revisit when you’ve got a moment.
Put you first
Don’t feel like going to that Christmas party? Don’t go.
Don’t feel like a boozy lunch with your girlfriends? They’ll understand.
Don’t have the energy to go Christmas shopping to buy everyone in your family a gift? Think of another way to treat them. Like, maybe book them in for a nice dinner at a shmancy restaurant in the new year..?
If you’re feeling burnt out or overwhelmed and just need a night off, then give yourself just that. People will understand, they’ll move on, and nothing bad will happen if you don’t show up. As long as you explain how you’re feeling, they’ll understand, because these people care about you and your wellbeing.
And you know what, your clients will understand as well. If a project timeline is being pushed out, be honest with your client and tell them you’re going to work on it first thing in the new year.
We’re all human. If we treat others like humans too, odds are, they’ll understand.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Never as easy as it sounds.
Take a moment to think if there’s anyone you can delegate work or life admin to? Ask around, explain how you’re feeling, and you’ll be surprised how easily people will jump to help out.
You can return the favour next time they’re feeling burnt out.
But don’t just expect people to reach out to you. If you don’t ask, then how are they to know you’re in need of a hand?
Write a mega to-do list
I’m a sucker for lists. A good list always puts my mind at ease when things are getting a little overwhelming.
This is what works for me and is worth trying yourself.
Write one one giant list of absolutely everything you need to do and when you need to get it done by. Never work off this list. It’s way too overwhelming.
Instead, every evening, before you sign off for the day, go through your master list. On a fresh piece of paper, or a new page in your notebook, pick out three major tasks you want to prioritise for the next day and write them down. Below them, write the small things you need to remember. These might be little admin tasks like send an invoice or book a hair appointment.
During the day, if you complete the three main priorities early, add in a fourth. But only add one additional task at a time, to not overwhelm yourself again.
This, for me, is the most effective way to get through a bunch of tasks that nag at my brain.
Something I’ve been meaning to get more accustomed to doing, is writing gratitude lists.
My brain is wired to overwhelm itself by focusing on all the negatives. It doesn’t naturally think about the good things in life. This is something I’ve been working on since I was an angsty teen.
Gratitude lists are simple. All you have to do is think of everything your grateful for. Some people do it first thing in the morning, other’s last thing at night. But it’s whatever works for you.
You don’t even need to physically write your gratitude list, you can just list everything you’re grateful for in your mind. Although, I think there would be a serious benefit for writing it down. Imagine having an entire book full of things you’re grateful for.
From what I can tell, gratitude is very powerful. It seems to snap you out of your negative, overwhelming thoughts, and make you think about all the good in your life. Sometimes, that’s all you need.