Raise your hand if you ever looked at your computer screen and uttered the words, "I can’t do this anymore!"
I know I have. Sometimes we reach a breaking point that then leads us into that dreaded territory of burnout. Burnout land is a dry desert where dreams, creativity, and innovation take a pause so you can catch up to yourself again. Burnout also is a productivity killer.
So, how do we get what we need to get done without constantly falling prey to a cycle of turn on, burn out, repeat?
Well, there's this beautiful act of love that can combat burn out: It's called self-care.
I'm going to show you five creative ways to use self-care to avoid burnout and boost your happiness:
1. Get some fresh air.
I do this (especially) when I know I have a hectic day ahead. Going into nature with chirping birds and fresh air gives me a calming sense of wonder and preps me to enter a meditative flow state. Personally, for me, I'm my most creative and happy when I'm outside getting fresh air and fresh ideas. So stretch a bit and get some fresh air. You'll be surprised how quickly your mood will change! This is the perfect remedy for writer's block and burnout.
2. Let your inner child come out to play.
Coloring books aren't just for kids! Being an entrepreneur is a stress-inducing endeavor, but we don't have to reach the burnout stage in order to relax a bit. Go to your local bookstore, hop on Amazon, or even download some free coloring sheets from Pinterest—don't forget your colored pencils (or sparkly gel pens for bonus points)—and get coloring! It'll help you relax, focus, and put you into a state of soft fascination. Sometimes we move so fast, we miss growth opportunities because we're speeding right past them.
3. Talk to a friend who makes you laugh and feel inspired.
This is one of my absolute favorites, and it's so powerful! There is strength in numbers and power in accountability. Having someone who you can share your thoughts, feelings, and concerns with in an open way (without undue judgment) helps you organize and better understand your current situation. I absolutely love talking to my friends. At the end of it all, life is about the journey, so we might as well enjoy it.
4. Watch a TED Talk or inspiring video.
OK, you're feeling like you desperately want to strangle that client who doesn't understand boundaries and has called you after-hours—again. Maybe instead, you can watch a TED Talk and even learn some tricks on how to communicate in an open and effective way. We can all benefit from a pep talk. So, before you respond in anger or frustration, take a deep breath and try a more constructive approach.
5. Automate and delegate.
Probably one of the simplest yet most uncomfortable things to do in business is to start building up your dream team. How do you find the right talent? What do you delegate first? To make this easier, I tell my clients to automate, then delegate.
Find software or apps that can streamline and simplify your workload. Some of my favorite productivity apps are:
- Todoist.com: a task management software that has transformed my to-do list.
- Calendly.com or Acuity Scheduling: a booking calendar software that takes the guess work out of scheduling appointments.
- Ifthisthenthat.com or Zapier: an automation software that can do reminders, social updates, reposts, etc.
You can only do so much on your own, and as your efforts grow, your team will have more on their plates. I highly recommend investing in a virtual assistant to streamline and take care of any of the basic admin, data entry, and customer service/support, so you can give your all to your clients and keep innovating in your business. You don't have to burn out before you pause and ask for help.
You don't have to go running through the desert of burnout. Take time to add some peace and creativity into your life and allow yourself to enjoy the journey. You'll be surprised at what you find along your path when you slow down enough to see it.