Burnout is a very real problem, especially for solopreneurs. Even though partnerships can have their ups and downs, at least you have someone to handle some of the stress and responsibility. Solopreneurs are by themselves and feel the entire weight of their success on their lone shoulders. This large responsibility often leads these business owners to work 14+ hour days and lose track of what’s happening at home with their families. But is focusing so much attention on your business a wise decision?
No, not if you want to achieve a work/life balance that makes you and your family happy. Even if you’re single, making time for self-care and relaxation will improve your overall health and mental wellbeing. Let’s talk about the signs to look for that indicate you might be headed toward a burnout.
1. Insomnia. If your brain can’t shut down because you’re consumed with work, your sleep pattern will get disrupted, leaving you overtired, lacking energy, and possibly lacking the mental energy to make wise business decisions.
2. Procrastination. Do you cringe at the length of your daily to-do list? Did these tasks once excite you but now they make you want to crawl under a rock? Procrastination leads to missed deadlines and opportunities to promote your business.
3. Fatigue. The human body is only capable of handling so much stress on limited sleep. Certainly you’ve heard the phrase “burning the candle at both ends”? That’s what happens when you work yourself to the bone and don’t give your body and brain enough time to recover before starting another high-stress day. At some point your body will want to give up, causing severe fatigue and possibly other illnesses that will keep you out of the office.
4. Changes in appetite. For some people, stress causes them to overeat; for others, stress reduces their appetites. Neither extreme is good for your body. For optimal health and mental clarity, take lunch breaks away from the desk and choose natural, healthy food choices instead of fast food items.
5. Anxiety. High stress causes anxiety, which can cause crippling fear or other physical symptoms. Keep in mind: there’s a big difference between the anxiety you feel when stepping out of your comfort zone versus stress-induced anxiety that doesn’t seem to go away.
Think about this: as a solopreneur, if you are not physically able to run your business, what happens to it? Chances are, you’d have to close your doors and any streams of income you currently have will disappear. Let’s avoid this happening! Take care of your whole body, mind, and spirit. Take quiet time to relax. Get outdoors and breathe in some fresh air. Unplug for a whole weekend and live in the moment with your family. Reconnect with old friends. Start a hobby. The choices are limitless.