Business is stressful, at least for some of us, sometimes. It’s the nature of the beast. Being a business owner, while it is invigorating, satisfying and fun, can also be overwhelming and stressful.
The problem is, many of us don’t even realize we’re on the brink of burnout (or explosion) until we’re in the aftermath. This is clearly not good. But while we all know that we should take a step back and take a break, that is much, much easier said than done.
Here are a few ways you can reset, regroup and revitalize yourself before you are too far gone and can’t reach that big red button.
Get the Heck Out
It’s an obvious one, and it’s extremely difficult for most of us to do. I just got back from a week-long, non-working vacation (only checked in twice), and I can’t even begin to explain how good it felt to shut down and leave work behind. I’m not sure how I survived without it for so long!
But vacations take a lot of work and planning to pull off successfully. Not to mention, it’s not always realistic to walk away for a week. But taking shorter breaks is completely reasonable and necessary. If you feel like you never have enough time in the day, and can’t even imagine taking time off, then you probably need it the most. Start small; take a 30 minute break from your computer, emails, Internet, phone, etc. Schedule it in as if it’s another meeting or task. And do it regularly.
Start Saying “No” … Without Feeling Guilty
No good comes from trying to be everything to everyone. You may be the do-er, the fixer, the one who always comes through, but doing everything everyone asks you to do and picking up the slack for others is dragging you down. I know this, and I know you know this. We just need to make ourselves do something about it.
Bernice Wood has an excellent post on her blog, Living the Balanced Life, that provides a few tips for saying no. It’s a must-read.
Change Your Pace
Maybe you’ve been nose to the grindstone on a big project for weeks, barely coming up for air. Or maybe you have a personal goal that is driving you to work in overdrive with laser focus. Or maybe you just love your work so much, you do it for 14 hours a day by choice. None of these are bad situations until they start to eat away at your psyche, making you resentful, anxious and frustrated.
If you’re doing the same exact thing day in and day out, and you’re losing your passion and desire to stick with it, you’re on a fast track to burning out. Resetting can be as simple as temporarily moving to a new part of the project. Administrative, planning and logistical tasks are often great ways to step back and slow down without losing momentum.
Scream, or At Least Blow Off Some Steam
When is the last time you vented? Told someone how stressed out you were, cried about your over-packed schedule, punched a pillow? Venting doesn’t make you a complainer, or ungrateful, or selfish. It makes you human, and it makes the stress a lot easier to deal with. Read this Lifehack post that shares 6 ways to vent your frustrations, including crying, punching, writing, exercising, talking, and creating something.
Blowing off steam is especially important after (or in the middle of) a particularly stressful day. You need to decompress in order to refocus, and you don’t want the frustration and stress to build and create a time bomb. Find something that can act as your reset button and hit it to defuse the situation.
How do you know you need to reset, and what is your big red reset button?