It was one of those days I absolutely didn’t feel like doing anything. It didn’t matter that it was a weekday, not like there was any difference between weekdays and weekends in my line of work, the whole day simply progressed in some kind of slow motion. I dressed slowly and unlike myself, drove slowly as well, many times lost in thoughts. I found myself losing track of conversations and the level of lethargy was baffling. So, I knew I was experiencing burnout.
Burnout according to helpgiude.org is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when one feels drained and unable to meet constant demands causing a loss of interest and motivation.
Before we delve into solutions for burnouts, let us look at some possible causes. The reason is to help us identify patterns or to quickly catch the trend when we start out on this particular highway.
Causes Of Burnout For The Entrepreneur
It could be work overload or work monotony. Sometimes having little or no work can cause burnout as much as having too much work. Another closely related cause of burnout is working continuously out sync with your natural gifting or suitable work mode.
Science recommends eight hours of sleep daily while success pursuit recommends not more than five to six hours of sleep daily. Eventually, the body gives in to reduced hours of sleep. Not getting enough sleep ultimately leads to burnout.
Without strong supportive relationships in our lives, we are exposed to high possibilities of burnout. The burnout rate is higher among people going through a divorce or people who just lost someone close. Life hits hard and close-knit relationships serve as a cushion against several challenges life throws at us on a daily basis.
Conflict In Values
When what you do daily or how you live your life is at variance with your values, you will experience burnout. Your body goes through the motions but your mind and emotions fight your daily routine. Your body, emotions, and mental state give in as your state of being can only tolerate so much incongruence.
Holding hate or unforgiveness in our hearts albeit unknown can cause burnout. Hate or unforgiveness produces toxins in our body system which eventually cause us to crash.
How The Entrepreneur Can Deal With Burnout
There are several ways to tackle burnout but I always advocate doing what works for you. When I sense I am experiencing burnout, I try to get close to nature. It may be sitting quietly at a beach for some time or taking a long walk in a neighbourhood I am unfamiliar with. Do whatever works for you.
The following is a non-exhaustive list for dealing with burnout.
Take Time Off Or Break Your Routine
When I start experiencing burnout, I take time off work. I just stop going to work for a few days. If your job doesn’t give you the luxury of working remotely, you could start with breaking your routine. Take a different route to work, have your lunch in a different place, leave your smartphone at home, do something different when you close from work. Merely breaking your routine creates new experiences that release a surge of energy into you.
Sometimes, the best conversations we have are the ones where no words are spoken. Burnouts occur when there is an imbalance within our body which could be physical, mental, or emotional. Talking with someone or spending time with someone even where no words are spoken can be therapeutic. We all have that one friend who seems to just understand us even when we don’t understand ourselves.
Jog, run, walk, or do some aerobics. Your body could do with the accelerated inflow of oxygen. Exercising is as much a mentally engaging process as it is physical. Workouts distract your mind and ease burnouts.
When experiencing burnouts, the tendency is to focus on one’s self trying to figure a way out of the hole. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to help others. Go out of your way and do something for other people. Give your time, attention, money, expertise to someone, or a cause without any expectations. There’s a sense of accomplishment you feel that liberates you from the burnout.
Do Something For Yourself
Ride a bicycle, drive around town, order pizza or double scoop ice cream, go watch a movie or play video games for three straight hours. Indulge, do something that really makes you happy. It doesn’t mean the burnout vanishes, but you start the process of easing it out.
I was getting cranky all week and I had started recognising the pattern that I was nearing burnout. My days were becoming a blur and I knew I had to act fast when I picked up a pen and paper to write and no thoughts flowed. This wasn’t writer’s block, there simply was no writer left in me. So I broke my routine, talked to a friend, took long walks, and decided to give by writing this article about burnouts.
I have learned to find my rhythm and to easily avoid burnouts when I start drifting towards it and it is important you find your rhythm as well. While burnouts may be unavoidable sometimes, what’s more important is understanding the sequence of activities that help you get out of it.
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