When you decide to build a business around wellness, fitness, and coaching, you most likely want to help others feel good. But, as with any job, it’s important to keep an eye on your own well-being to avoid burnout. Burnout is often considered to be the result of working long hours but other variables can often become part of the issue, too. As you’ve likely instructed your own clients, be sure to pay close attention to your own physical and mental health states.
How to recognize burnout
According to this article from Psychology Today, these are some signs of burnout to look out for:
Physical symptoms such as chest and/or stomach pains, loss of sleep, shortness of breath, increased headaches, and illness.
Psychological signs like loss of motivation and focus, feeling trapped or hopeless, increased states of anxiety, worry, panic, sadness, anger, or frustration.
Behavioral signs such as a change in appetite (overeating or skipping meals), increased use of alcohol or drugs, closing the door on your friends and family, and less productivity despite long work hours.
How to address your burnout
If you identify with any of those signs, then you may be facing burnout – but there are a few ways to get back on track. Even if you aren’t experiencing any of the listed symptoms, it’s always a good idea to be mindful of how you’re feeling physically and mentally as burnout can often sneak up quietly and suddenly. Once you realize that you are running on empty, there are some tactics you can try to refill your tank:
Take care of your basic needs. Focus on your sleeping, eating, and drinking habits. Make sure you are receiving enough rest, eating consistent and nourishing meals, while drinking plenty of water. Re-calibrating these habits will help you establish a strong foundation.
Make time for your hobbies and relaxation. There are many well-known stress management tools like meditation, yoga, acupuncture, massage, and so on. If any of these are effective for you, then be sure to make time for these activities. But, if your business involves wellness or fitness, it’s also a good idea to carve out time for an activity or hobby that isn’t related to your business.
If you’re thinking, “Hobbies? What are those?” then give this a try: Think back to when you were a kid. What activities did you love? Drawing? Writing? Horseback riding? Roller skating? See if you can revisit these long-lost hobbies and give your mind a break from your day job. Even though we know you love what you do, it’s really important to find time for activities that we can do purely for fun and enjoyment.
Connect with your people. Consider the closest people in your life. Are they providing a positive influence? Are there are any negative individuals that are impacting your own energy? Take a break from the negative people that zap your energy and drag you down. This may be easier said than done depending on your relationships, such as an immediate family member, but if possible, let go of influences that are depleting you. Focus on connecting with the people who help you feel good and lift you up.
In addition to these suggestions, practice patience. Just as burnout can take time to transpire, it can also take some time to bring your energy back. Compassion and patience are key in self-care. If any of the signs or symptoms of burnout continue to persist, we recommend reaching out to someone for further support and advice. There are some great resources available from the National Institute of Mental Health. Visit their website at www.nimh.nih.gov.