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Burnout is what happens when you experience feelings of being so empty that you genuinely struggle to function. It is when you are so depleted by the daily grind of work. Burnout leaves you unmotivated and almost ineffective, especially in relation to your job.
You feel an inner emptiness that is emotionally draining. And it never seems to end. These feelings of mental distance from your job/occupation/business, your persistently negative thoughts about doing what you once loved, and these moments of exhaustion are all indicative of burnout.
Chronic unmanaged stresses can also exacerbate the symptoms of this syndrome called burnout. Stress makes you feel anxious, while burnout leaves you feeling low. The heightened emotions from stress are simply dulled with burnout. In addition, stress can make your work seem extremely meaningful but with burnout, it is meaningless.
As a small to medium business owner, you face pressures that a non-business owner does not face. A junior doctor makes decisions with limited resources and unrealistic targets. Administrative assistants do the roles of three people due to ever-increasing cutbacks. Educational professionals, especially teachers, are susceptible to burnout. Your work, beliefs, personal life and personality can contribute to this syndrome.
The Covid-19 pandemic showed us that there are more effective ways of running a business or working; this, in turn, has highlighted the shortcomings of how we function in our professional and personal lives. It has forced us to question why we do – what we do – the way we have been doing it.
You can seek professional help, e.g., through therapy. Take a break from your daily routine to recharge yourself, and in the case of a business owner, aim to delegate/outsource some tasks. Spend regular quality time with people who love you because they keep you grounded and offer emotional support for you in unspeakable ways. Develop self-empowering routines such as going to bed at a set time, daily exercise, maintaining healthy eating habits, listening to uplifting podcasts, yoga meditation and prayer rituals. Also, remember to be kind to and speak positively to yourself.
Perfection is an illusion. Nothing will happen the way you plan it all the time due to the many variables that come into play. Variables that you seldom can control. What you can control, however, is your response to these variables.
It is in your best interest to control as many factors as possible through strategic planning, organised teamwork, effective collaborations, acknowledging what you are good and valuing what you do. Your business suffers if you fail to take care of yourself. However, if you have failed to do so and are on the verge of burnout, the good news is that you can do something about it- starting right now.
Mental wellbeing is as important as physical wellbeing. The mind, body, and soul connection is not as airy fairy as it may sound. It is both useful and very rewarding.
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About the author
Malik Muhammad was raised and educated in Jamaica, read law in London and is the author of Coffee & Contemplation. He created The Empowerment Mastery System to influence, help and inspire businesses to cultivate their visions in a specified time. Malik enjoys vegan cooking and quad biking. He is a voiceover artist, ghost writer and convenes empowerment masterclasses globally.