A year and a half living through a global pandemic and the constant changes are more than enough to deal with, then throw in burnout on top of work, kids, life in general, working from home, and everything else?! We’re all feeling it, now more than ever, emotionally, physically, and mentally. The stress and constant race of having to keep up. It can be very overwhelming and can damage you and everything around you, personally and professionally.
When I started my at-home business back in February of 2019 right before Covid hit, (talk about timing!) I didn't know how important this was so now I want to share it with everyone! I had trouble sleeping, constant stress headaches, feeling so overwhelmed that my kids felt it too, so I know all too well how hard it can hit you. I had to make a change. So how can you prevent getting so burnt out? Here are my tips to avoid work from home burnout and how to reduce the overall stress from your workday. It's all about making small changes to your day-to-day and if you don't like change, you may find it hard, but look at them as small steps. The first step is to schedule time for each step. The steps become new habits (the changes) and the new habits become new routines.
First of all, it’s admitting something has to change and making the changes a priority.
I know being a business owner, wife and mom can be hard, but I have experienced firsthand what burnout can do to you! Believe me, it's worth investing time in yourself. You cannot move forward or grow as a business, it's that simple. Once you realize this, your life will change.
Here are a few tips to incorporate into your monthly calendar (scheduling time for each one is the first step!):
Eliminate unnecessary time-sucking meetings. I remember when I work full-time thinking this could’ve just been in an email! Take one day a week for the important necessary ones only.
Set Boundaries. It took me a while to do this, but setting boundaries are crucial to your mental health and personal growth as a business owner. For eg. Learn to say no. You can't take on everything, it's physically impossible. No work calls texts or emails after a certain time of day. Own your calendar. Be a boss and define your boundaries clearly, and be open about it to clients so there is no confusion. Your working relationships will be stronger for it and you’ll be happier in your workday!
Eat a good breakfast. I’ve always had to eat breakfast. I know some people can’t eat breakfast, but I’ve even managed to change my husband’s routine as he has always been a coffee-only guy. He’s now reaping the benefits of having a healthy smoothie before he starts his workday! You are what you eat. Fuel your brain. It will thank you I promise! Even if you have something in your belly, a handful of nuts, even a piece of fruit, yogurt, high protein cereal, something. You’ll be more inclined to avoid junk food and binging late at night!
Take breaks for your mental health! Schedule time to walk away from your desk for a break, schedule a day off! Get outside and take time to keep yourself healthy. After all, we all know self-care is key to remaining positive for our mental health and being the best version of ourselves personally and professionally!
Have a simple clear system that works for you. Use one to three tools max for your day-to-day operations. This avoids confusion, eliminates the extra time to learn to switch between others which then causes extra stress, when then leads to mental exhaustion because your time is wasted which then leads to unnecessary burnout. Do you get the picture? It's all about simplifying as much as you can.
Make socializing a priority. Now more than ever I am feeling this and have had to schedule time for catching up with friends, whether that be a Facetime call or on the phone if I can’t meet in person with COVID restrictions. Again, if you don’t schedule TIME it won’t happen!
Stay hydrated. Keeping water or a beverage close to you at home really helps, especially if you get into your zone of genius! I like my Contigo water bottle and try to drink at least 4 of these throughout the day after my coffee and breakfast!
Declutter your digital content. This last one is a big one that will improve your mental well-being more than you know. It's a daunting thought but schedule an hour to declutter your desktop, delete unwanted apps & cell photos (especially in texts) destroy old devices, and back up sensitive documents. You won’t get through all of what needs to be done, but you’ll feel happier and less stressed out because you did a little, which then will turn into a monthly to-do that you’re used to! PLUS you will save your cell phone battery and storage space which will improve your overall phone speed, which will improve productivity! Schedule it. Even a half-hour!