In running your own small business, burn-out is always a risk. Avoid this toxic issue and all the stress that comes with it by seeing the signs and taking these steps.. .
I have been there…
In the last 5 years of running my small business, parenting, teaching, taking care of the house, and helping my husband at the church… I have experienced burn-out.
Burn-out is the feeling that you’re completely consumed and so you no longer care. It happens when you’ve worked very hard at achieving a business goal, but have allowed some unbalance in your life to reach it.
This is very dangerous (keep reading to find out why).
I’m ashamed to say that I have allowed burn-out to affect my business life more than a handful of times. It has caused strife in my family, a feeling of inadequacy, and more stress about business in the long run.
Trust me, you want to learn to see the signs and avoid burn-out before it happens!
1. You’re consumed first thing in the morning
Think about your morning routine. Now, think about your morning routine say… 10 years ago. Does it look different?
Ten years ago I was waking up, taking a shower, brushing my teeth, getting dressed… you know… “normal” mourning activities. Want to know what it looks like now?
Wake up, check social media, check messages, check email, throw some clothes on, and pray that I’m not out of coffee because I stayed up way too late last night.
Sound familiar? If it does… you are looking at a warning sign that burn-out is on the way!
Tips to avoid the mom entrepreneur “morning trap”
- Charge your phone in another room. You can avoid the temptation to grab and check things by eliminating the temptation altogether.
- Commit to getting dressed and even fixing your hair before leaving your room! There’s a lot to be said about feeling your best.
- Clear you mind by praying, reading the Bible, or meditating. You’ll find that this will re-charge your brain and give you some much needed mental energy.
2. Lunch? When was that?
I cannot even remember what I used to eat before kids and entrepreneurship. It’s all a blur…like memories from another life.
If you’re like me, you get to the end of the “work day” and might have eaten a few goldfish and a handful or Hershey kisses. (Yes… it’s true.)
Now, we all know that in order to be mentally and physically strong, a person has to eat healthy. And… oh boy, does a mom entrepreneur have to be mentally and physically strong!
So, why am I eating kids snacks and chocolate for lunch If I need to be healthy? Geezzz… come on Cypress! This is a clear warning that burn-out is on the way.
Tips for nutrition…we need nutrition to survive!
- Actually eat what you fix the kids. If the kids eat healthy, shouldn’t you?
- Pre-made salad bags from the grocery store…yum!
- Establish very hearty breakfast meals that you enjoy.
- Subscribe to a meal service like Daily Harvest, Sun Basket, or Nature Box.
3. Your to-do list has a “to-do” list
Being a mom entrepreneur is exhausting. Neither job is ever done…there are always unfinished chores, more leads to follow up on, and a lack of time. With this warning sign, you’re sure to know burn-out is on the way.
By now, I’m sure you’ve learned the power of a well thought out to-do list. Are you using your to-do list correctly?
I went through almost a year of messy scratches in a note-book that made my crazy when I tried to decipher them later. It wasn’t until I established a well thought out to-do list, that my stress went down tremendously.
If this is you, consider yourself warned… burn-out is on the way!
Tips for your to-do list
- Make a well thought out to-do list every day. (Preferably at the end of the day.)
- Keep it someplace where you can easily access it.
- Stick with your plan…it was well thought out. Don’t change it.
4. You can’t seem to put your work down at bedtime
I’ve spent many nights with my head on the pillow and my brain racing in 1,000 different directions. Welcome to mom entrepreneurship! (It’s just part of it.)
Over the years, I have learned that sometimes work and motherhood can hurt a healthy sleep pattern. Have you been there?
Honestly, putting work down at bedtime is one of the hardest struggles in my journey as a mom entrepreneur.
These simple tips are the only things that work for me
- Complete your well thought out to-do list before getting in bed.
- Stop working at least 30 minutes prior to starting your nightly routine.
- Read a book, watch a show, play a game with your spouse, or pray as the last thing of your day.
- Charge your phone in a different room.
5. You’ve forgotten what you enjoy about your day
As mothers, we have a way of setting ourself on the back burner in sacrificial love for our family. When we add entrepreneurship to the mix, we can loose ourself altogether.
Let me say that again… we can loose ourself altogether.
As I sat making my to-do list one evening, this hit me like a ton of brinks. I remember thinking… where do I fit in this picture?
I had completely neglected my need to enjoy life. Why did I even start this journey? Oh yeah, because I wanted to enjoy life by being my own boss. Now, my job was the boss of me.
Something had to change!
Then it hit me, I didn’t see the sign that burn-out was on the way.
My final advice to avoid burn-out
- Routinely add to your well thought out to-do list a fun activity for YOU.
- Make this one of your no-misses!
- Practice feeling like a Guilt Free Momma.
- Set aside a time every day to de-compress with quiet, non interrupted time. (This simple point has saved me!)
Burn out is always a possibility, but it is avoidable…
Every day, I watch for the signs that burn-out is on the way. Burn-out leads to complacency, fatigue, mental stress, physical discomforts, an upset family balance, and more.
You can be a mom entrepreneur and still achieve harmony in your life. Remember to watch your morning and night time routines, eat, take time for yourself, and use that well though out to-do list!
You’ve got this!