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7 Ways To Avoid Burnout As A Small Business Owner

The back of a young woman working from her desk on her small business in her home office surrounding by photos of nature on her wall.

Running your own business can feel like an around the clock job. There’s always something to be done, someone to call, or something to schedule. This can make it hard to have a healthy work-life balance.

A healthy you means a healthy business. The more alert and refreshed you are each day, the better you can strategize, problem solve, and make important decisions.

If you feel like you’re starting to get overwhelmed with the hustle of managing your business, try these seven steps to help you avoid falling into the pit of burnout.

1. Set Business Hours

There are times when you may need to work the occasional early morning, late night, or weekend. The more you do this, the more it becomes easier to make that the norm. Try to have set hours where you can sit down and accomplish your day-to-day business tasks, like creating social media posts, taking calls, or managing your business insurance.

If you find yourself with some free time outside of your normal working hours, and the thought of not working stresses you out, this time can be best spent doing professional development, catching up on relevant news, and planning your schedule for the next day.

A blue and a pink clock on a yellow background

2. Get Daily Exercise

It’s no secret that exercise helps put the mind at ease. Setting time aside daily or weekly to get a workout in can help relieve stress, boost your mood, and reduce anxiety. This can help give your busy brain a break.

Now you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to get into a good workout routine. Find physical activities you enjoy, like weightlifting, running, or high intensity training. You also don’t have to be confined to a gym either.

Some people get more enjoyment working out at home or outdoors. All you have to do is make sure you have the right equipment to help you avoid injuries. Getting the right women’s running shoes can help avoid shin splints, and investing in a squat rack could prevent muscle strains.

3. Update Your Nighttime Routine

Your sleep is key when it comes to keeping burnout at bay. A well rested mind allows you to think more clearly and feel refreshed for the day. In order to start your day that way, you need to first look at how you end your day.

Give yourself an unwind time and a bedtime. Sometimes it can be hard to “shut off your brain” as you’re going to sleep, which leads to tossing and turning all night long. But giving yourself time to unwind before your bedtime, you can settle an uneasy or energetic mind. Try journaling, reading, or doing guided meditation (and staying off electronics).

Maybe you need to make some changes to your room to help you get better sleep. Things like black out curtains and a noise machine can help you relax. You could also update your bedding by asking your friends for their best mattress recommendations. Do what you can to turn your room into a nighttime sanctuary.

An empty bed at night next to a nightstand with a clock and a small reading light turned on.

4. Manage Stress With A Therapist

Sometimes you need to talk things out. Going to therapy seems scary at first, but it’s more like meeting with a personal cheerleader who wants to help you succeed. They can give you tips on how to destress from a situation or when to recognize the signs of anxiety before the overwhelming feeling consumes you.

There’s a lot of different therapists out there, so it may take working with a few until you find someone you click well with. You can meet with someone in person, online, or do a mix of the two to better fit your schedule. Learning to take control of your mental health can transform your productivity and help you better approach stressful business situations.

5. Prioritize Self Care

Taking time to take care of yourself can give you the chance to rest and relax away from the work headspace. Self care can look like taking care of your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or financial needs. If there’s something in your personal life that you feel you need to focus on, use your self care time to do that.

This can look like going to grab lunch with a friend, taking a walk outside, scheduling that doctor’s appointment you’ve been pushing off, doing a yoga class, or doing a face mask at home after a long day.

An above view of a person sitting in grass reading a book and holding a coffee next to a tablet, headphones, and phone.

6. Enjoy Your Hobbies

Hobbies help to stimulate your mind and allow you to be creative or challenged. Maybe it’s been awhile since you picked up a guitar or tried a new recipe. Start by scheduling a time once a month to start or get back into a hobby.

Try looking at your local community center and see if they offer any classes or clubs to help motivate you. Not only do you get to enjoy yourself, but you get to learn new things, share your tips with others, and connect with like minded people. There also may be online groups you can join and connect with on social media.

7. Plan A Trip

Now this one may be a bit bigger of a step, but taking a trip can help you refocus on yourself. Since some small business owners work out of their house, taking a trip can help you get a change of scenery and help you really feel “out of office.”

Taking a trip doesn’t always have to be a grand getaway to another country or exotic island. You can plan a stay-cation in a different part of your city or explore a new part of your state. There’s retreats you can look for, or even find a conference you want to attend where you can extend your stay to give yourself a break from work.

A packed suitcase sits open on a pink, teal, yellow, and blue background.

A Better You = A Better Business

Even the most motivated people need a break sometimes—including you. Small businesses owners are some of the most hardworking and dedicated people out there. But your business can’t run without you.

Taking breaks are good and healthy attributes many successful people do to avoid burning out in their work. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to put you first, you deserve it.

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