There's no denying that being the owner of a micro business is challenging, particularly so, the last few years. As the biggest asset in our own businesses, we need to prioritise our own mental and physical health, watching out for signs that our levels of stress and daily challenge haven't turned into something more serious & long lasting like burnout.
Burnout is often associated with those with big corporate jobs and it could easily be assumed that those of us who have chosen to run our own businesses will be immune to it - no boss, carving our own way, less pressure.
But burnout, 'recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an ‘occupational phenomenon’, is a thing that can affect all of us at some point and the sooner we realise some of the signs, the quicker we can take actions and build new resilience.
Signs of burnout to watch out for:
feeling tired or exhausted a lot of time
feeling detached or disconnected from others, maybe alone in the world
having a fixed or negative mindset
feeling helpless or trapped
self doubt that persists
losing motivation or becoming a procrastinator
feelings of overwhelm
taking a lot longer to complete tasks
you may be anxious or irritable
physical symptoms like repeated headaches, stomach issues etc
If any of these strike a chord with you, there are ways to help yourself and seek support.
Here are some ways to help, taken from the MIND website as well as my own experiences.
Find ways to get rest or take time away from your business. This could look like digital free time, switching off, an actual holiday or creating working weeks which have one day away from the business each week.
Prioritise sleep. Working longer hours doesn't always make your business run more smoothly.
Less is more in a micro business. If your workload exceeds the 24 hours you have in the day then you need help not to work longer or harder. Start to think about delegation and ways to get help.
Set boundaries around your own priorities - both for work and for yourself.
For yourself that might be time to rest, exercise, have fun with friends, help at home etc.
For work, that might mean setting auto responders on your email, limiting when you work and when you rest or getting the additional help you need.
Ask for help - not easy! But find your tribe, the people who you can be open and honest with and share how you feel. Being overwhelmed or worried is not just you and the right people will help and understand.
Reach out to avoid isolation. The more we're worrying or feeling stressed, often the less we ask for help. Make the most of connection - whether it's in an online forum, meeting with friends or finding someone to mentor you.
Simply Club is also here to support you. We have some brilliant experts in the community including coaches, counsellors and well being professionals. Plus, we have our online Forum for chat, to ask questions and our monthly Thrive Sessions.