Are you feeling exhausted from work or showing burnout symptoms like lagging energy, lacking satisfaction, and increasing cynicism or disillusionment? You’re not alone.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Harvard Business Review conducted a survey that showed 25% of entrepreneurs were moderately burned out, with 3% feeling strong levels of burnout. More recently, the Centre for Economic and Business Research teamed up with Opinium, a polling organization, and found that 92% of business founders are struggling.
Left unchecked, burnout can lead to depression and other setbacks. Your Next Act understands the importance of facing burnout head-on. Learning how to overcome burnout can help you develop the mental fitness needed to become a better leader and actually enjoy the ride to success.
Start by taking a closer look at the signs of burnout at work. Through Dr. Manuel Astruc’s tailored one-to-one coaching, Your Next Act has identified common burnout symptoms. Although the emotional fallout can be challenging, when you know what to look for, you can empower yourself to make positive changes.
Additionally, consider adopting some healthy habits that can help you prevent and overcome burnout and transform your stress into success.
Recognizing the Signs of Burnout
Success is important, but it doesn’t guarantee happiness. Entrepreneurs and founders like you often find themselves pushing harder, working longer hours, and taking on more emotional stress in pursuit of their passion. Over time, the grind of starting and running a business can take an emotional and physical toll.
Some of the most common signs of job burnout include:
Emotional and Physical Exhaustion
If you find yourself feeling utterly exhausted no matter how much sleep you get, you might be starting to burn out. This burnout symptom may be marked by difficulty feeling motivated or getting started on important tasks, a lack of energy that affects your productivity, and changes in your sleep pattern.
When you are exhausted from work, you may experience dramatic shifts in how you think, feel, and act. Frequent irritability and impatience are only the beginning. You may also lose interest in your work or feel an increase in cynicism. Over time, these feelings can worsen into depression, persistent feelings of sadness, and an emotional disconnect.
Reduced Efficiency and Productivity
Many people experiencing burnout report a loss of creativity and inspiration. You may feel like you have lost your zing, and your work may start to suffer. Burnout can trick you into feeling like you don’t really know what you’re doing, which can inhibit your problem-solving ability, focus, and concentration while causing increased procrastination.
Similar to the way depression leads to physical symptoms like back pain, changes in appetite, and trouble sleeping, burnout can also make you feel physically ill. Common complaints include unexplainable stomach and digestive problems, headaches, and other physical ailments. Some people also turn to alcohol or drugs to help themselves feel better or numb their emotions.
The Healthy Habits That Can Help You to Bounce Back
Your Next Act’s Dr. Manuel Astruc is well equipped to help people suffering from burnout because he has been there himself. In his book “Happiness Rules: Beat Burnout, Embrace Happiness, and Become a Better Entrepreneur,” Dr. Astruc details the practices he developed over decades of work as a psychiatrist. These practices for caring for yourself physically and mentally are what he used to pull himself out of the depths of severe burnout.
Happiness is a complex emotion, creating a feeling of joy that goes with meeting your own potential. As you journey through life and blaze your own trail, there are bound to be challenges and difficult moments. You won’t always be happy in every moment, but you can embrace the “suck” and achieve far more than you ever dreamed.
First, it’s essential to work on your mindset and break free of the daily grind that is tearing you down. Working on resiliency by doing hard things and making time to break away from the day-to-day grind is equally important.
Managing a thriving business can be incredibly fulfilling, but it can also push you to a state of supreme dissatisfaction and utter exhaustion. When you adopt a few simple habits to nurture yourself, you can become a better, more effective leader. Even better, you may find yourself enjoying the journey — both the ups and the downs.
The Power of Mindfulness and Meditation
Research supports the power of mindfulness and meditation in lowering stress levels and reducing burnout while increasing job satisfaction and self-compassion. It can help you break free from negative self-talk, increase mental resilience, and boost your confidence.
Mindfulness and meditation require you to take time away from your day-to-day responsibilities to check in with yourself. Start by simply focusing on your breath or the moment. You may opt to use techniques like breathing methods, guided meditation, and yoga to help lower stress and anxiety levels while relaxing your mind and body.
These practices actually change your brain’s structure and activity, helping you cope with stress better and react less frequently to challenges with negative thoughts and emotions. Additionally, it can increase your ability to focus, which can be a powerful tool in furthering your career.
The Benefits of Physical Activity
Research published by the National Library of Medicine shows a direct correlation between cardiovascular and resistance training in reducing burnout. After just four weeks, participants in the study reported increased feelings of well-being and personal accomplishment. They also reported feeling less emotionally exhausted, distressed, and stressed.
Physical activity, even as little as 30 minutes a day, can help your brain recover from all the stress it experiences. It also may boost your organizational skills, critical thinking and reasoning, and memory. Exercise can help your nervous system function more effectively and regenerate after periods of stress. Choosing an activity that you can enjoy consistently will help you reap the benefits and build your brain’s ability to withstand the pressures of building a business.
The Importance of Self-Care
Self-care alone is more than just a buzzword or a trend. It can be part of an effective solution and preventive plan. Self-care allows you to prioritize filling your own cup to overflowing, which in turn gives you more to give to others. People who practice self-care often have more energy, engage more effectively, connect more deeply, and work more productively.
Ways to care for yourself include knowing your own limitations, setting and honoring boundaries, and taking time for yourself to tend to your well-being. Acknowledging your feelings and working through them can also help.
Perhaps one of the most essential things to do for yourself is to get professional help. Whether that help comes from a therapist or an executive coach, working with a neutral third party can be instrumental in helping you prevent and recover from burnout. A professional offers a different perspective, reminds you to take time for yourself, and helps you find your purpose.
Happiness Rules: Prevent Career Burnout
Job burnout has been running rampant throughout the work world for the past few years, with leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, and founders at particularly high risk. Adopting healthy practices can make all the difference in swapping those burnout symptoms for true joy and success.
If you are exhausted from work and ready to overcome career burnout, consider reading “Happiness Rules” on your road to positive change. Hearing Dr. Astruc’s story, along with the tips and tricks he successfully used to recover from burnout himself, can help you begin your own journey to healing while becoming a better leader.
Learn more about how Your Next Act can support you, freeing you from the cycle of burnout and stress to change your outlook and the outcome. Call us today at 518.583.7410.