Want to avoid feeling burnt out?

I’ve talked about stress and feeling burnt out in previous blogs, but I feel the need to talk about it again. Why? Because I’M TOTALLY FEELING IT!

Lately my medical issues are encompassing my brain and not allow me to think about anything else. This, my friends, is what happens when you’re an overthinker. It’s just natural to hone in on something and allow it to control every thought in your mind. It’s not good.

In addition to that, I’m just exhausted. For over a year now, I’ve been working a full time job and running a business full time on part time hours. It’s a lot. At the end of my full time job, I just want to come home and rest. But at the same time, I know I’m working toward a bigger goal.

“So how do eliminate feeling burnt out?”

I get this question all the time. The honest answer is, I don’t. I feel it just like everyone else. I’ve been feeling it ever since I started this blog. You can read my first post about burnout here. But I do three things regularly to help me manage the feeling. I’m sharing them with you today because over time, what I’ve done has changed. My routines have evolved because they have to. My hope is that at least one thing I share today helps you reduce that burnt out feeling for you too.

Prioritize Self-Care

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it every time I talk about it – Self-care is NOT only bubble baths or facials. You’ll hear every other personal development expert say this too. Yes, those things can be self-care but I want you to go deeper. Instead of thinking of self-care as pampering, think about it as true self-care. For me, it’s my nighttime routine.

  1. My phone goes on DND (do not disturb) at 8:00 PM
  2. I go to my bedroom when I’m ready to sleep without my phone (it stays in the bathroom overnight, not on my nightstand)
  3. I take my CBD Sleep Gummies and spend about 30 minutes reading

I also don’t spend a ton of time on social media. I am on it periodically throughout the day to manage accounts for my clients, but you won’t often catch me Doom Scrolling.

The things I mention here are things I do to “shut off my brain” or at least that’s what I call it. As an overthinker and someone with self-diagnosed ADHD, if I don’t go through this routine, my mind is like a ticker tape all night. No sleep makes Jenn a beast and no one wants that. Trust me.

I also take one day a week to do absolutely nothing. Or at the very least, have nothing scheduled. On these days, I play video games, watch documentaries on Netflix and usually you can find me in my pajamas until noon. To me, THIS is true self-care. What is it for you?

Boundaries don’t lead to feeling burnt out

This one was (and still is) hard for me. When I first started a side hustle, I was horrible at setting boundaries. I said yes to just about every request, I jumped whenever a client asked me to do something and I literally allowed my personal life to be washed away. It was kind of sad.

In 2024, I made significant changes. Now I define everything. My working hours, when I respond to emails, texts and Slack messages and when I can do work for my clients. If there’s something that doesn’t work for my schedule or something I can’t fit in, I say so. Now I’m more realistic with the time I have.

To any small business owner or solopreneur reading this, you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Please remember this. Your work life is just as important as your personal life. Don’t do what I did. Even if you’re trying to turn your side hustle into a full time career (like me), don’t beat yourself up trying to do so.

Reverse Engineer Everything

I learned this tactic a few years ago. If you’ve never heard of it, what I’m about to say is going to change your life. When I learned about this idea, I was hesitant. My brain didn’t really understand the concept. But after years about being stressed about something I had to do, I knew I had to give it a shot.

Basically you take your big projects and goals and break them up into smaller ones. I call it “chunking down” or “baby steps”. I use the terms interchangeably. Here’s an example:

If I have to get 30 social media posts created and scheduled for a client, that’s a few hours worth of work. That’s a lot! Instead of looking at it as 30 posts and a few hours, I break up the work. First I get all the posts created and downloaded, then I schedule them. I focus on one thing at a time.

Simple as that. Making the large goal smaller, separate tasks makes it much easier to swallow.

So if you’re feeling burnt out, stop for a second. Take a breath. Then, and only then, figure out what you need to do to feel like yourself again. Ultimately, you want to keep moving forward. How you do it is up to you.

If you’ve got a tip that really works for you, share it in the comments! I’d love to hear it and share it with others going through the same thing.

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