By Lindsey Hobbs
There’s no denying it– running your own business or side-gig is a time-suck, and an energy-suck. Most entrepreneurs would be able to tell you that at some point in their journey to achieve their dreams they hit a wall. One of those no passion, no motivation, no energy, “do I even really want to do this?” walls.
I won’t sit here and tell you that it is impossible to fall out of love with a dream or a passion. It happens all of the time. Maybe you get there and you realize that it’s not what you had hyped it up to be. But if you’re at that wall, and you’re doubting yourself right now, it’s important to take a step back to make sure that wall isn’t just a pesky little thing that ends dreams every day … I’m talking about Burn Out.
No one is immune to Burn Out and it happens to the best of us. How do you know that you’re burned out, though, and not over your dreams? To figure this out, take a step back and analyze your life lately. A few combined factors lead to Burn Out and fixing them can be the key to getting your drive back.
1. How are you eating lately?
The time and energy required to run your own business can often lead to poor eating choices. Food that is fast and easy is rarely good for you. But it’s important to remember that food is fuel for your body and if you’re giving your body crappy fuel, then it’s not going to run to its best ability. You plan everything else in your life as an entrepreneur, so why not do some meal prep and planning? One hour of meal prep each weekend could be the difference between fresh and healthy meals and fast food. Don’t let a poor diet bog you down.
2. How are you sleeping lately?
The struggle is real to get sleep when life’s a grind. After all, you’ve got to fit in productivity whenever you can, right? But the truth is that those “recommended hours of sleep” aren’t just guidelines. This year, the National Sleep Foundation released a year-long review of current sleep recommendations and then gave an updated list of their own. If 7-9 hours is laughable to you, at least try to get to bed before 11. That way you can be alert and productive before the sun comes up if that suits you.
3. How many times have you sweat this week? This month?
You’ve seen that shirt on Pinterest, right? “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make people happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” And happy people just don’t get burn out either! Take out your frustrations on a punching bag, work through some things over a long run, meditate during a yoga class, just get some exercise plain and simple! It nourishes your mind, your body and your soul.
4. When was the last time you did something for fun?
I know that it can be hard to take your mind off of work, but scheduling some “me” time to enjoy your favorite hobby and unplug from work can make all the difference between getting Burn Out and avoiding it. And don’t do it half-heartedly, either! Put away your phone during this time, so you’re not tempted to respond to emails.
So have you checked all the boxes? If you recognize in yourself some not-so-good habits in this list, you may be the victim of some pesky Burn Out. Don’t give up on your dreams just yet. Refresh and replenish your body and mind and you may just remind yourself that you love what you do and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Lindsey calls Columbus, Ohio her home, where she is an online marketing strategist by day, and a red wine sipper and budding kickboxer by night. You can read about her mission to learn programming at the614project.com or fuel her Twitter obsession at @hobbsie11.