Life happens to all of us. And when it does, it can leave you feeling uninterested, unmotivated, and burned out in your business.
It can sneak up on you slowly as demands pile up and you feel more and more overwhelmed. Until you feel so crushed by the weight of your to do list, you can’t even look at it without feeling anxious or depressed.
Or, it can happen very fast – as in when something unexpected occurs very suddenly – either in or outside of your business. This could be the loss of a big client, an illness, or even a natural disaster.
One moment you’re blazing and your business is doing great. And the next? You’re depressed, apathetic, and burned out, going nowhere.
And the worse part is you don’t really care. You know you should keep going, but you lack the interest and motivation to do so.
Every entrepreneur experiences burn out at one time or another. It goes with the territory – especially in the beginning. When you’re just starting out, you’re the one wearing all the hats and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
So, what can you do? How can you get your enthusiasm for your business back?
Here are some ideas to help you deal with burn out and get you blazing again!
1) Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel. So many times we think we shouldn’t feel a certain way. But, we are human beings and as such, we have a whole range of feelings and emotions that all fluctuate throughout the day. We can try to ignore them, but that doesn’t make them go away. Sometimes we need to acknowledge our feelings and allow them to happen – whether or not we choose to embrace them.
2) Realize your feelings will change. You won’t feel burned out forever. Things may seem bad right now, but tomorrow is another day and anything is possible.
3) Take a break. You don’t feel like working so don’t. It’s your business and you don’t have to! It’s not the end of the world if everything on your list doesn’t get done today. Doing something else for a little while will refresh your mind and your energy. Go to a movie or watch some YouTube. Watching something funny or uplifting can help your mood. But sometimes even watching a sad movie can help – especially when the circumstances in the film are far worse than yours!
4) Eat chocolate. According to EatingWell.com science has proven that chocolate will boost your mood and make you happy. But why stop there? There are several other types of foods that will boost your mood, energize you, and just make you feel better! The better nourished you are, the better you’ll be able to handle whatever your business (or your life!) dishes up.
5) Work more. It may seem counter-productive, but, depending on the reason you feel burned out, working harder or more can sometimes help. If you’re feeling down because of something outside of your work, then your work can actually take your mind off of it for a while. And while your brain is working on your business, it’s also churning out new ideas quietly in the background to solve your other issues. I can’t begin to tell you how many times my brain has come up with new ideas while I WASN’T thinking about a problem. Try it and see if it works for you.
6) Get some sleep. Getting enough sleep is imperative to feeling well and to your overall health. It helps you recharge, and it separates yesterday from today – giving you a clean slate and a fresh start.
7) Talk to a friend. Sometimes getting a fresh perspective or opinion outside your own can help you see things in a new light. Everyone gets burned out on something at some point, so even if a friend isn’t experiencing what you are right now, they’ll understand. And because they aren’t in the middle of it, they’ll be able to offer objective advice.
8) Get a massage. Burn out is caused by being overwhelmed and stressed. Our muscles react to that stress and tension by stiffening and knotting up. This can create muscle cramps, headaches, loss of appetite and a host of other problems – which will only make your already bad situation worse. A massage will help your muscles feel better, and help you feel more relaxed. And when you’re relaxed you’ll be able to think more clearly. This will allow you to view your situation a little more objectively. And getting a massage can help boost your mood too – which will boost your creativity. And when your creativity is boosted you’ll start coming up with new ideas and your enthusiasm will return.
9) Get a change of scenery. If you’re working from home you’re cooped up day in and day out. You need to get out once in a while. Go for a walk or drive somewhere – even if it’s just to Starbucks for a coffee. Getting a change of scenery – even for an hour – can lift your spirits.
10) Do something “sporty.” Play tennis. Do yoga (is that sporty?). Go for a swim. Go for a bike ride. Play a little basketball in the driveway. Hop on the treadmill. Getting active will help increase endorphins in your brain, which make you happy. And when you’re happy, you don’t feel stressed and that burned out feeling just evaporates!
11) Throw a party. Ok, I admit this may be really outlandish, but you’ve got to do something to get out of this burned out rut, right? So why not? Just call a few friends. You can meet out somewhere, or stay in. It can be a simple movie night at home, or a backyard BBQ and brewskies, or a family picnic, or any other kind of bash you want to throw. Planning a party is fun. And hosting a party is fun. And there doesn’t even need to be a reason – except that you want to do it. So party on and get happy!
12) Go camping. I’m not a camper. At all. My idea of camping is going to a five star hotel – preferably on the beach! But, if you love the great outdoors, and getting close to nature, a camping trip may be just what you need. You can relax under the stars and forget your troubles for a while, and pretty soon things won’t seem so bad.
13) Take a trip. If you’ve got the money, an exotic vacation works wonders. If you don’t, a car trip to a local beach or the mountains, or a neighboring city you’d like to explore works too! Stay a night or two, or a week or two. Take in the sites and scenery. Sample the local cuisine. Enjoy the shopping and nightlife. And when you return home you’ll feel refreshed and ready to work again!
14) Do something with your kids. Take a couple hours and take the kids to the playground or the park. Or have an indoor picnic. Your family is the reason you work so hard, and spending time with them will remind you why you do what you do. It’s another way to gain perspective.
15) Have a brainstorming session with yourself. This isn’t an ordinary brainstorming session. This is just to clear your mind so you can get unstuck, stop feeling blah, and get back to work. Grab a pen and a piece of paper. Write, “I love my business because” on the paper, and then come up with as many reasons as you can. When you’re done, you won’t feel burned out anymore because you’ll see why you love what you do so much. It will inspire you to keep moving forward.
16) Realize others are counting on you. You serve a particular market. The people in that market need what you offer. Think about them. Imagine them. What do they look like? Who are they? Why do they need you and your ideas? What happens to them if you quit? You can write these questions down and answer them. This will help give you some clarity about the importance of what you do, which will help motivate you again.
17) Clean your office/workspace. Clutter is overwhelming and depressing. Get rid of it! If nothing else you’ll find you can breathe a little easier.
18) Lighten your load. Give yourself permission to skip some things on your to do list. You can get the most important things done early and skip the others.
19) Help someone else. It takes the focus off of you, and it feels good! Burn out is really just a feeling – a way of looking at your situation or a project. When you help someone else your focus shifts, and when you come back to your own work you’ll see it differently.
20) Read a new book. When I get a new book it excites me. I can’t wait to dig in! My books are all non-fiction, but you can read fiction if that’s what works for you. Reading will either help you learn something or it will take you to another time and place, and let you share in the experience of the characters. It’s a great way to relax and get your focus back!
With you every step of the way,
PS: If you’ve been thinking about starting an online business with ebooks or course, grab my free guide below!