Burnout is something we are all too familiar with... if you’re a business owner, it's more than likely that you’re intimately acquainted with the dreaded B-word. Any business endeavour that you’re passionate about can so easily take over your life and quickly overtake your personal needs. But as we all know; this can be very dangerous.
The responsibility that comes with owning a business means that everything falls upon your head, if it’s anyone's fault, it’s yours. So naturally, you’re working day and night to ensure everything is running smoothly, which is somewhat necessary, and equally, hard to escape.
The issue begins when a habit is formed of failing to uphold boundaries, and as a result, neglecting your personal needs. When you’re forgetting to eat after 8 consecutive hours of being sat at the desk when you’re losing sleep over emails that need to be sent or failing to take a single day off from work. Once your entire existence becomes work, there’s an issue, a big one!
Burnout hits hard and fast, you feel constantly tired and overwhelmed, unmotivated to do anything with an overall low mood or feelings of depression. This can lead to losing time, opportunities and even money.
So, what do we do?
A simple search on YouTube will land you an abundance of videos talking about recovery from burnout, most address the issue of working too much and, the solution is to ‘work less and take more breaks’... But with such a big commitment and so much at stake, it's impossible to drop everything and still stay afloat.
So, before you crash, let’s pause, assess, and try and new strategy.
You may or may not have heard of it, but try introducing Play; this notion has been mentioned by a few different individuals in the context of avoiding burnout. The idea is that you scrap your mundane associations with work and introduce some fun. This means doing something for NO other reason than the purpose of pure enjoyment.
It could be as simple as bringing a ball to work and playing some games with the team during your lunch break (yes, you have to take a real lunch break). Or if you’re currently a lone wolf, taking it upon yourself to call a friend and arrange some minigolf one evening after work, which would require you to set a time to finish and stick to it... (boundaries, hooray).
A theory that supports this finds itself in Adlerian psychology, which illustrates your ability to change your experience by changing your association with the things that exist in your life. Let’s adopt this notion for the sake of your health. Ultimately, you are in control of your perception and approach, and in taking responsibility, you are freer to choose differently. You have the power and consequently are no longer a victim of your circumstance. So, take some responsibility in putting the joy back into your working day, even just a little bit.
To play is more than just childlike entertainment, it’s a means of alleviating tension, building stronger connections, giving the working mind a short rest and intentionally implementing some fun into your day.
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