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How to Avoid Burnout as a Female Entrepreneur
Today I am sharing something that is very near and dear to my heart. With our fast-paced lifestyles, never ending to-do lists, constantly striving to be more and to do more, more and more women are experiencing burnout. I know this all too well because before I went into entrepreneurship, I myself was going a million miles a minute, doing “all of the things,” never resting and constantly pushing myself to do more and more, all at the same time.
In my early-mid 20’s, I experienced extreme burnout which also resulted in major fatigue, insomnia, digestive problems, anxiety and memory issues. I went to many different doctors, alternative healthcare professionals and I had to work very hard at changing my lifestyle, to get my health back. At the time, I was very upset that this had “happened to me,” not taking responsibility for what had happened and that my lifestyle actions were contributing to my extreme burnout. Years later I learned what a blessing and a gift this was, because then I could speak about my experience and help other women avoid this, which is a gift if I am able to see someone struggle less than what I had.
Now as an entrepreneur, I am very careful and I keep myself in check constantly, to make sure I do not return down this road, as I am a “recovering perfectionist” and A-type personality, which I know can easily cause me to fall back into the trap of never resting, doing more and more and more and not giving myself credit that I deserve and not taking care of myself along the way. I see so many women going down the same path that I was, so I wanted to share some insight into how you can avoid burnout as a female entrepreneur.
Avoid Burnout by Asking for Help, More Often and Sooner
Asking for help is one of the best things that you can do for your mental and physical health, as well as for your business.
Many women want to be able to go it alone and they feel “more than capable,” to do everything on their own. It’s not about whether or not you are capable to do something, it is ALL about your energy and your time though. When you are trying to do everything yourself and don’t want to ask for assistance from others, this leads to your energy being completely drained, which means that you aren’t able to show up as the person that you want to in your business, you aren’t able to be the person that you want to be in your relationship and for your family, because you simply don’t have the mental bandwidth (the brain power) and your energy just isn’t there.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of courage because it takes courage to ask for help, so don’t think that by asking for help you are showing weakness, it is, in fact, the opposite.
When you do try to be a lone wolf and do everything yourself, I can guarantee you that you are going to struggle so much more. And that breaks my heart because when you are struggling, you are in pain, you don’t feel calm, relaxed, abundant, free or any of the feelings that you want to feel in your life, you just feel suffering.
What Kind of Help Should You Ask For?
There are so many different ways that you can ask for help including from family members, your significant other, your kids, friends, parents, a neighbor and/or hiring someone to help out with the “little” tasks, so you can focus on the most important things.
There are so many different things that you can ask for help with including:
- Household chores
- Planning meals, picking up groceries, making meals
- Running errands
Even if you just had someone to help you pick your meals for the week, it would save you the time to think and decide on them, and instead you could just write a grocery list and even ask your family members to pick up the groceries for you when they are done work/school, etc. The energy and time that this will give you back, can be used for more important tasks, that only you can do.
When it comes to specific tasks that you can for help with in regards to your business, I have written a post on The Top 6 Things that You can be Outsourcing as an Entrepreneur, that you can read here.
Making Sure You Take Time for Self Care to Help Avoid Burnout
Most women know that they need to be taking more time for self-care, but they say that they don’t have the time. I can tell you this, I was that woman and when you don’t take the time for self-care, you will be forced to take time for self-care by getting sick, experiencing health problems and you having zero energy to get through your days. It will also cost you so much more than it would have if you would have done it as you went along your journey.
Self-care doesn’t happen IF you have time, self-care happens because you made the time. Too many times people think that self-care means going to the spa for a weekend, doing something crazy extravagant or expensive. The self-care that I am talking about is the daily and weekly little things, that really add up to being the big things.
Some examples of daily/weekly self-care that will help you to fill your cup, rejuvenate your soul and body and allow you to have enough to pour your energy into others without feeling depleted are:
- Hair & face masks, foot scrubs
- Bath with Epson salts
- 5-15 minutes of daily meditation, in whatever form of meditation looks like to you, my meditation practice is very different from others and for me, it doesn’t involve sitting straight up for 15 minutes, I meditate the way that feels good to ME
- Taking CBD oil to help support your body when you are experiencing, stress, anxiety and exhaustion
- Sitting and eating your meals in silence, not eating on the go, not eating with distractions or noises or looking at your phone
- Reading a book that fuels your soul or knowledge
- Calling a girlfriend or a family member, like back in the day when people used their phones to call other people
- Having a Zoom video chat with someone you want to talk to, but also be able to see them at the same time
- Going for a walk
- Exercising, moving your body
- Walking outside in bare feet and really grounding yourself to the Earth
- Watching some Netflix
- Putting on your favorite music
- Dancing in your kitchen
- Taking your dog for a walk, don’t have a dog? Go to your local humane society or animal shelter and fill your cup by looking at dogs there (side note – I personally did this when I went back to school and moved 8 hours away and was missing my husband and our dog and it really did help)
- Go to the movies, or even go to the movies alone!
- Anything else that fills your heart
All of these self-care practices are not ones that are elaborate, they are ones that you can do consistently. And the consistent part is one of the most important parts of self-care, your body truly does need it.
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If you have a hard time with being consistent with self-care, schedule it into your calendar, actually. This will help you to remember that it needs to happen and that you can’t book your days so full that you aren’t doing a single thing for yourself.
Trust me, it 110% does catch up with you and the price you pay when it does, is a very steep price, emotionally, mentally, physically, in your relationship, your career, your energy and financially as well.
What You Eat, has a Huge Effect on Your Body and Steering Closer to or Farther from Burnout
When you are feeling exhausted, not taken care of and like you are doing everything for everyone but not yourself, we often try to fix how we are feeling inside, by food. Often this turns out to be more processed, refined and simple carb, sugary or unhealthy fatty foods. We are trying to use food to help us feel better, which it only usually last for a few seconds and then those feelings go away. But we can easily become addicted to trying to feel that “high” after we have eaten a particular food, so we continue to consume more of it.
These foods that we are consuming are taking a taxing toll on our bodies. It further drains our energy, doesn’t provide any important vitamin and minerals for supporting and replenishing our drained bodies, it affects our blood sugar levels which also greatly affect our moods, feeling the “afternoon slump,” our productivity and our earning potential.
Choose Foods that are More Nutrient Dense
Everyone knows that need to be eating more vegetables, but making it a priority is absolutely necessary to help our bodies steer away from burnout. Making sure that we are taking in adequate clean water, fiber, vitamin & mineral rich foods, will help to actually replenish our bodies, so we have more energy and so we feel more like ourselves.
Swap out chocolate bars, chips, pastries, cakes, cookies, granola bars, juices, pop, energy drinks and French fries, for truly healthier options, more often.
If you feel like you need coffee in order to get through your day and thinking about a coffee shortage gives you incredible anxiety, that right there might be a sign that you need, to realize that you need to really implement more of these strategies to help your body to not continue down the path of burnout.
The drinks that I consume are either just plain water, some herbal tea or mushroom hot cacao. But my favorite drink that allows me to feel all warm and fuzzy inside and actually support my adrenal health, which helps me to stay on the path to keep my health, is Four Sigmatics mushroom hot cacao drinks. I love to drink a cup in the morning that contains cordyceps, it’s called Revive with Cordyceps, which is an energizing mushroom powder. In the evening I love drinking Four Sigmatics with reishi, that helps to reduce stress and helps me to wind down in the evenings, but doesn’t contain sugar like most hot chocolates do that wreak havoc on your body. If you want to try Four Sigmatics, you can do so here, and use the code “mandyy” at checkout to save yourself 10%!
Using hemp sourced CBD oil has many benefits to help with the effects of stress and anxiety. CBD is a natural ingredient in hemp that is safe, legal and non-psychoactive that can be very beneficial for the nervous and immune systems in your body. Soul CBD is a product that I use, I take a few drops under my tongue daily and it has been really beneficial for my stress and anxiety, which were huge contributors to my burnout that I experienced years ago. By supporting my body and taking daily measures such as a few drop of CBD oil, to help manage my stress, it has been a huge part of preventing me from falling back into burnout. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I would think of hemp oil CBD as I hadn’t tried anything like that before, but I gave it a try and I really liked it. The specific brand that I use, Soul CBD doesn’t contain THC which was something that was important to me. Now it is a daily ritual for me to take Soul CBD because I know how much it has helped with my stress levels. My personal favorite is the orange flavor!
Use Your Voice, Say How You Really Feel
This was a huge one for me. One of the biggest things that was causing harm to my body was that I wasn’t saying how I truly felt, I wasn’t standing up for myself and for my needs and for my feelings. I wasn’t honoring my truth and saying how I actually felt or why I felt the way that I did.
I was too afraid how other people would react, what they would say, so I bottled my thoughts and feelings up. These negative thoughts and feelings manifested in my body as digestive problems and then later on, anxiety.
One of the most therapeutic things I did was when I finally opened up and said how I felt and why I felt that way. When I stopped fearing what other people may or may not say, and I finally put my health mentally and physically first. When I finally started to fight for my health, I was able to start to get it back.
Opening up and being honest with your core is one of the most incredible ways that you can respect and honor yourself. If I wouldn’t have opened up, so many beautiful things wouldn’t have happened in my life and I wouldn’t have got my health back.
We All Need to be More Patient
One of the things I see many entrepreneurs struggling with and something I have struggled with as well too, is not being patient enough. In our society we are so used to everything happening right now, right when we decide we want something or when we think that we are ready, we get discouraged when whatever we want, doesn’t happen immediately for us.
We have to constantly remind ourselves that things actually do take time and that in fact, Rome was not built in a day, but how incredible it is now, because those who built it, were patient. If they weren’t we wouldn’t be able to experience the immense beauty and culture that it embodies.
Yes, we need to show up consistently, but we also need to be patient and to give ourselves the credit that we deserve, far more often.
We need to celebrate our “little” wins as I like to call it.
Every time that you accomplish something that gets you one step closer to achieving your goals, celebrate it! Each time you get a new client, book a new service or a sell a new product, celebrate it! When you finish your day being productive, celebrate it!
Don’t wait until you have achieved that big goal that you have in mind, that very specific monthly financial goal or any other larger goal, celebrate ALL of the little things that are happening along the way to getting you to your big goal.
Play More Often, Remember to Laugh
Often with entrepreneurship we can get really serious, really focused and totally forget to bring simple joy into our days. We stop laughing about the little things.
Isn’t the reason that you went into entrepreneurship so you could have more freedom, flexibility, be more creative, feel more fulfilled and purposeful and to be able to live your dream life? In your dream life and feelings all of those feelings, you would be laughing and smiling more often, so why have we become so serious and completely forgot to have fun in the process?
Include more ways to have fun in your everyday life and it will have a huge effect on your mental and physical body.
- Watch a funny video
- Look up a meme that has you almost rolling around on the ground laughing, that you can send to a friend
- Watch clips from videos that are your favorite comedies or scenes that will help you to lighten the mood when things get tense and very serious
- Do something completely different and don’t be afraid to be a beginner again and laugh at yourself as you are learning
Avoiding burnout is something that we have to consciously work at every single day, just as we work on our businesses, it is a part of the process that is absolutely just as important. When we treat our businesses with more importance, that is when our health starts to slip and go downhill. There are many things that we can do to be proactive.
Click here to download my free favorite business systems and tools list to make your business more organized and to get your time and energy back, so you can be more productive and profitable!
If your finances are a constant state of anxiety and stress for you, focus your energy on improving your finances so you are actually able to reduce this stress instead of living the rest of your life with it. If you are struggling with credit card debt, work with a financial coach that walks you through the step by step actions of getting your credit cards paid off and keeping them paid off.
I am very active on Instagram, follow me here for more financial tips & tricks: http://instagram.com/mandyythomas (@mandyythomas)
Do you have any questions or anything to add? Leave me a comment in the comments below and I will respond back to you!