How To Avoid Burnout In 2021

OK, so 2020 may have got the better of us. In fact, not many of us ended the year the same shiny, optimistic people we’d been at the start.

For many people, the stress and struggle of trying to stay afloat in 2020 was just too much. They hit the wall and found themselves exhausted, anxious or even depressed. And, they suffered burnout.

I was definitely one of those people!

But, that’s OK – 2021 is another year! And this year, I’m committed to taking a different approach – to practise self-care and put my physical and mental health first.

And, I challenge you to do the same as the world starts up again and we get back on the treadmill of life.

Signs of burnout

First of all, burnout occurs when you’re physically, mentally and even emotionally overwhelmed and exhausted from too many demands and too much stress for too long. As a result, your body, mind and soul start breaking down.

And, burnout can be very serious and you can end up in hospital if you ignore it.

Moreover, you can’t be a good leader, worker, parent or friend if you’re burnt out. It’ll affect every aspect of your life.

And, things don’t have to be going badly for burnout to occur – things can be going very well. For example, this happens when your business grows too fast and you don’t have the people or systems to manage it. Believe me, I know, it was only a few weeks ago I felt the dreaded effects of burnout on the soul.

Symptoms of burnout include:

  • exhaustion, low energy and lack of enthusiasm
  • inability to sleep
  • sore muscles
  • headaches
  • inability to make decisions (second-guessing yourself)
  • colds and flus due to a low immune system
  • irritability and anger at small things
  • anxiety or depression.

Note: If the symptoms go on, you might become severely depressed or sick, so you should get medical or professional assistance.

I know for me, my body literally was telling me to chill out. In fact, I couldn’t stop crying, I felt sick and unmotivated. And, I didn’t want to leave my bed or answer any calls. Now, as you can imagine, as the Managing Director that’s not on.

I was beginning to spiral.

Bouncing Back:

So, I booked a 5 day solitary recharge, stayed close to the beach and rejuvenated. Watching the sunrise, reading books on the beach and hearing the sounds of the ocean helped remind me of how beautiful this world is. Slowly, my creativity came back. My motivation was starting to return and I bounced back.

7 Tips To Avoid Burnout

Get quality sleep

In other words, this means turning off your phone and other devices, getting 7–8 hours and creating a quiet, dark space to get high-quality rest. (Obviously, this can be tougher if you have children!)

Eat well

Then, nutrition: Try not to reach for the coffee and sugar when things get tough. If you can break the sugar craving and give yourself nutritious meals throughout the day, you’ll have more energy and your body will thank you.

Get exercise

You don’t have to become a gym junkie, but you shouldn’t sit in your office chair all day either. Go for a quick walk once or twice a day and get some sun. Just taking these breaks can clear your mind and make you feel better.

Decide what you can actually achieve

Be realistic about what you can do in a day, week and month. If you’re always working towards a goal that’s far out of reach, you’ll feel like you’re failing and lose hope. Set smaller goals and milestones, and always celebrate the wins!

Learn to say no and delegate

Some of us find it hard to say no and feel we need to do everything ourselves. Make 2021 the year you change this! Be very clear on what you want to achieve and let go of the other shiny things. Then see how much you can delegate to others. The more successful you become, the more difficult it’ll be to do everything yourself.

Separate work and play time

This is especially important if you work from home. Set a specific time to finish your work, close the laptop and walk away. Don’t continue to check emails and answer calls. Take time to relax and play. Watch some Netflix or visit a friend. Give yourself permission to stop.

Talk to someone

Finally, it can be lonely out there in entrepreneur land. Therefore, if you’re feeling any symptoms of burnout, talk to someone you trust about it. Sometimes just sharing it can put it into perspective and make you feel better. And, you’ll feel less alone.

Look after our insides to perform at our peak

I love meeting new people so if you want to connect, send me an email or connect via social.

In short, 2020 was a year of isolation and stress, but I think we’ve had enough of that now. So, let’s be there for ourselves this year – find our balance and not return to the way things were.

To this end, after experiencing burnout myself, I rolled out a mandatory self care day in my company. Indeed, we need to take the time to look after our insides in order to perform at our peak!

So, I’m committed to it. And, I hope you are too!

Got any questions? Feel free to contact me!

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