5 Steps To Help Yourself When Dealing With Burnout From Work
Burnout is REAL! How I Am Dragging Myself Through It- And You Can Too With 5 Easy Steps
I’m burnt out. It’s one of those things that is overused like “literally” or “Im starving”, which when most people say it they don’t actually mean REAL burnout, they just mean they are tired. What I am talking about is the real deal burnout. Where your mind, body and soul just seem incapable of dealing with everything and anything, even a task as simple as planning dinner.
Businessdictionary.com defines burnout as:
1. Feeling of physical and emotional exhaustion, due to stress from working with people under difficult or demanding conditions. Burn out is followed by signs such as chronic fatigue, quickness to anger and suspicion, and susceptibility to colds, headaches, and fevers.
Being a small business owner is AMAZING. I love it with every fiber of my being, but it is hard my friends. You can’t ever really shut your mind off. You are constantly thinking of new ideas to grow, create and learn. You are constantly having to put out fires, create opportunities and grow your company. Even when you aren’t at work you are still working in some way.
By nature, I am an overachiever, been called an “energizer bunny” and a serial entrepreneur. I think I can tackle everything on the planet and say yes to every opportunity because you don’t know who you may meet or what may come from it. I guess I thought I was unable to tire.
I have my 3 brands- The House of Perna which is a luxury made to order clothing and handbag brand, Neon Bohemians where we make RTW Clothing in small batches, along with jewelry and partner with artisans to make one of a kind bags, and Amanda Perna Studio- where I style celebrities, do events like fashion illustrations and customized denim, and this blog. I’m also a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend. All of these things are so important, and being the perfectionist I am, I want to be perfect at all of them. Well, being a perfectionist and an overachiever has led to the burnout.
The first thing that I think is worth mentioning is hopefully you never get to this point, but if you do, heres how I identified it and how I’m fixing it. I hope this helps!
Am I really Burnt out?
Rewind back to a month ago. I started feeling extremely physically exhausted, grouchy, hyper sensitive (I was getting defensive or crying over nothing). I constantly had headaches, which I attributed to being a “normal” kind of tired. I couldn’t make ANY decisions, when my husband asked me what we should make for dinner you would have thought that he asked me how I was going to create world peace. Then it hit me, could I be burnt out? I couldn’t believe I had asked myself this question. I mean, I have worked in NYC as a fashion designer, I have been on Reality TV, I have done a lot of things and had no sleep and had always been fine.
I took a moment to think and had realized that this feeling had been creeping in for a few months. I was on set a ton, working on collections, illustrating a kids book (more exciting details soon I promise), working on some HUGE collaborations and being a Mom. All super exciting things, but all require a ton of time, concentration and focus. I was sleeping an average of 3-4 hours a night. I realized OMG, I AM BURNT OUT!
I obviously took to the internet for advice, but the changes I have been naturally making have been helping.
Step 1- Assess the situation- Look at what is exhausting you.
I made a list of all of my responsibilities, deadlines and things that I had to do, and what could be eliminated, pushed back, or passed on to someone for help. Obviously taking care of my daughter was priority number one and I want it to be me taking care of her majority of the time, and then after that I started making priority lists from these lists. I started asking myself why I was doing all of these things and started grouping them into categories. Are they lucrative for my business? Are they things that help others in need? Do they fulfill a personal goal or mission? Then I was able to start eliminating.
Step 2- Ask For Help- A lot of the time, when you are “strong” people don’t realize you need it.
I started asking my husband to watch my daughter in the evening once a week so I could meet a friend for happy hour to chat, laugh and decompress. I started asking members of my team to do things i knew they could handle that didn’t have to be done by me. I asked friends who could help me make connections with people they knew instead of me having to do it the hard way and cold call people. I started sharing with my loved ones that I was feeling burnt out. Ask for help, if you don’t ask people don’t know you need it.
Step 3- Get outside
It is hot AF in Florida right now, so this felt like the worst idea I could have. I started going in the pool with my family, spending more time in my garden and just sitting on my porch with a cup of coffee. I swear fresh air does wonders for your mind and body, and IT’S FREE!
Step 4- Get off social media
I realized that I was trying to keep up with the Joneses. I was feeling like I wasn’t doing enough so I kept doing more, more, more. And you know what? I was doing enough all along. I realized I don’t like doing all of the things I was doing but I kept doing it because social media made me feel like I had to go to all of the events “that mattered”. Instead, I started making a list again. I started going to things only if I knew people I would enjoy would be there, if it was going to immediately impact my business or if it was something that seemed like a ton of fun. This made a huge difference in my life. It gave me more free time and it also gave me more joy when going to the events I really wanted to be at.
I also realized how much time I was spending on social media and how that time could be better spent on relaxing, doing something I enjoy or working on a project that was important to me.
Step 5- The BIG ONE- Set boundaries
As you are starting to heal, the biggest thing you have to do is create a list of boundaries and rules for yourself as well as others. You don’t want to have all of your hard work be undone. You need to decide what you want, are willing to do and be prepared with a response if you are approached with something that doesn’t fall into the list of things you really do want to do.
i hope this helps my friends! Please feel free to reach out.