Let’s face it: while most days you love running your business, there are those days where you feel like crawling back under the covers. Rather than letting the stress of running your business destroy you, be proactive about handling it better. Here’s how.
1. Know Your Limits
You may think you can do it all, but trust me: that’s rarely the case. When my daughter found me on the floor of a bathroom after I fainted, I knew I was overestimating my body’s ability to handle the stress I was putting myself through.
If working 5 days straight for 12 hours each day threatens to drive you insane, don’t do it. Or, if you have to do it, take several days off to recharge your battery.
2. Only Focus on What’s Important Right Now
When you worry about what’s happening tomorrow (or in a month, a year, etc.) you waste a lot of energy. And you know what? Tomorrow never comes. There will always be something to worry about…though there’s not.
You’ll save yourself a huge amount of stress if you prioritize what’s important to focus on in the moment. There’s a Buddhist concept called “Santosha,” which essentially means finding peace in the moment. I think that’s beautiful. Rather than worrying about what’s coming down the pipeline, focus on what is happening right now, and work with that.
3. Get Back to What You Love Doing
Burnout happens because you get drained doing what you’re doing. But stop and consider what you are doing. Is it that “thing” that inspired you to start your business, or a bunch of administrative crap you don’t really like? If you opened a bakery because you loved baking, but find yourself in the office ordering supplies and hiring people, you’ve gotten away from what makes you passionate.
The easy fix is to hire other people to take on what you’re doing (and trust me; you’re dispensable in that area). This allows you to find your passion again.
4. Put Your Health and Mental Wellbeing First
Sometimes you’re too busy to really assess how you’re doing. But if you’re getting sick, you’re not sleeping, or you snap at everyone around you, it’s time to make the connection between what’s bothering you at work with your own health. No business is worth jeopardizing your health. Trust me; I learned that lesson the hard way.
No matter how hard it is, no matter how much you want to veg out after work and binge watch Game of Thrones, I urge you to get out and exercise. Even if it’s a 5-minute walk around the block. And pay attention to what you eat. Stress eating can put your body in even more danger. Even spending quality time with family can help reset your mental equilibrium, so prioritize doing things that make you happy.
It’s possible to get back on track and connect with the reason you started your business. It just requires taking care of yourself and not being such a perfectionist.