We went to LA and the surrounding areas recently for a vacation and it was magical! Trust me, I’m not here to talk about all the fun things we did on our trip.
I want to talk about something I see a lot of us doing and I think it’s the reason a lot of us are burnt out. Did you know that burnout is actually a real thing? I took a poll on Instagram to see if anyone else has felt it or experienced it and it was a 95% yes and 5% no.
According to helpguide.org, “Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.”
I have to say, 2019 has been an amazing one but one where I’ve seriously pushed myself to the limit, including being more flexible when interacting with people when it comes to my business, and not having any boundaries whatsoever. I’ve been so burnt out a few times to the point of not feeling sick, tired, or lazy, but actually just needing to sit and stare at a wall or watch TV and think of nothing because I just couldn’t move or “do” for a little bit. Once I got onto that couch I couldn’t even move for a few days. That helped, but those small resets are temporary. Some serious resets and learning to take care of myself and setting boundaries had to take place.
So, on this vacation, which was very much a hard earned trip and reward for all the accomplishments so far and a way to unplug which I never do, I did something I’ve never done in my business before…I took a vacation and WAIT FOR IT…I didn’t answer anyone while I was away, except for my friends and family. I saw messages on social media come in and work e-mails and I just didn’t reply. I had my auto-responder on that said “I was away and wouldn’t respond until…” and I honoured it and myself.
I’ve been on trips before where I’ve been somewhere but still posting and pretending like I wasn’t away and running the business while on the beach – not very relaxing and actually just plain stupid. I wasn’t giving myself that time to heal or truly reset from the chaos (it’s fun chaos – but sometimes stressful) of being a business owner.
I’m sure this sounds so ridiculous to those of you who work a regular job and don’t even think about work while you’re away. When you’re a business owner and mostly a one person show, it’s a different story. It’s your “baby” and to not get back to people can give us a serious case of FOMO. For me, since my business relies on sales of furniture or custom work, the potential of missing out on a sale for when I get back wasn’t out of urgency, it was out of habit and pressure. Self-induced pressure, that is.
I’ve learned that I’m a people pleaser at heart and if I don’t get back to people immediately I feel like they will go to someone else. And I’m sure that’s sometimes the case, but what I’ve learned is people will wait for you or your product if you’re the right fit for them.
I’ve recently been inspired by my friend and freelancer Laurel Brown who seems to really have her act together and a great business. We’ve been working together a lot recently and I’ve discovered her habits and how she works and I admire it. She sets boundaries and was the one who told me to not even look at my phone while I was away because she knew how hard I had been working before I left.
HOW DID IT FEEL WHILE WE WERE AWAY
Amazing. Phone and social media what? What is it anyways?! I love it but it’s also become a habit and addiction. I didn’t really think about anything, anyone, dogs at home, business. All I did was experience and have a great time with the person I was with and living in the moment. That’s what life’s all about!
If this sounds a lot like you or you’re experiencing burnout – set boundaries for yourself in your business, at home, in life and especially on vacation. Letting chaos or people’s questions interrupt you during your down times is not on them, it’s on us for not honouring our own boundaries. We need those downtimes to be able to reset and be the best, most patient versions of ourselves during regular hours.
So tell me – how do you set boundaries for yourself while running a business? Or if you don’t have a business, just life in general? Let me know in the comments below!