Remember the days of childhood when summer meant vacation? School was out, bedtimes were put on hold, and you had long days to do whatever you enjoyed. There was the ice cream truck, playing with friends, and pure enjoyment.
Fast forward to the present day. Summer might not even resemble what it used to. You work long days, have a hard time finding time for activities you enjoy and feel like you really shouldn’t indulge in that Snickers Ice Cream Bar from the freezer.
Adulting isn’t always easy or fun. But, there is a business to grow, bills to be paid, and a family to support. And, if you aren’t careful, these responsibilities can lead you to experience burnout. As a leader, that’s a dangerous place to reach.
The impact of burnout
When you are burnt out, you aren’t motivated to do your best work. You feel like you’ve lost the passion that you used to have for your business, and you might even struggle to enjoy things in your personal life.
And, as a leader, what do you think happens to your employees when you experience burn out?
They lack the direction that they need and they lose motivation in doing their work. You may thing that you’re doing a good job of hiding your lack of motivation and stress, but your employees can sense it.
Eventually, your burnout is not only going to take a toll on you, but your team, and business as well.
The signs of burnout
I’m guessing that you know if you’re burnt out or not. But, just in case you are overlooking it, here are some of the signs:
- You struggle to get the sleep that you need at night.
- You’re constantly tired and lack the energy you used to have.
- It’s hard for you to remember things.
- You’re having physical symptoms like headaches, dizziness, chest pains, or shortness of breath.
- You notice a change in your appetite.
- It feels that you’re constantly under stress. Your anxiety levels are rising.
- You’re more irritable with those around you. You lack patience.
- You’re performance is suffering at work.
Avoiding burnout with self-care
It’s easy as a leader to forget about self-care. You’re busy taking care of everyone else and everything else. You just don’t have time to worry about taking care of yourself properly.
But, if you don’t take care of yourself now, your anxiety levels could reach the point that you will be forced to address it. Your mental and physical health will suffer. You may experience physical symptoms or start to experience symptoms of depression.
So, to help avoid burnout this summer, here are some things to remember:
1. Get outside more
Being outside is so good for you and now is the perfect time to do it. The fresh air and sunshine goes a long way in releasing endorphins in your brain that help to boost your mood.
Instead of eating lunch at your desk, go outside for a walk or simply sit on a bench in the sunshine.
2. Learn to stay “no” and delegate
As a leader, you can’t do everything. In order to grow a business and keep your sanity, you have to learn not to take on everything yourself.
Protect your time.
- Learn to say no. You don’t have to go to every networking event and meeting that you get an invitation for. Take a look at your schedule and see if you can find anything that you can cut out. What activities do you not need to be a part of? Where can you cut something out that you don’t have to do in order to make more time for things that you want to do.
- Delegate what you can. Learning to delegate is crucial as a leader. It’s good for your employees that want to grow and develop and it’s good for you because you can give your schedule a break.
3. Pay attention to what you eat
I know the food from the vending machine or food truck is super convenient when you’re already busy, but think twice about what you eat. A big part of self-care is paying attention to how you nourish your body.
I’m not saying you have to follow a keto, paleo, vegan, or any other specific plan. Just make sure you’re eating balanced meals and not overdoing it. Have the Snickers Ice Cream Bar, just don’t eat the whole box of them in one sitting.
4. Take time to do things you enjoy
Don’t forget to make time for hobbies and things that you enjoy. This could be fishing, reading in your hammock, hitting the beach, or playing on a rec baseball team. What you do doesn’t matter as long as it’s something that you enjoy that helps to recharge you.
A few more activities
Only self-care activities that people find helpful include:
- Deep breathing
Encourage your employees to do the same
Leaders aren’t the only ones that experience burnout. Your employees might be feeling the same way. Look for the signs of burnout in them as well. Encourage them to include self-care habits in their daily lives.
Now, get out there are start enjoying your summer!
Looking for help with your leadership skills? Give us a call to explore your options. We are SPEARity, a local Milwaukee leadership coaching firm that specializes in business coaching, executive coaching, and leadership development training.