If you’re reading this right now I know for a fine fact that whatever you’re doing in life you’re killing it, you little boss babe you, but is girl bossing burning you out? The problem with being a millennial woman is the pressure that’s put on us, not to mention the pressure we put on ourselves. We always want to do more, be better… but we have to keep an eye out to make sure we aren’t going overboard and working ourselves to the point of being mentally and physically exhausted.
Trust me I get it – I work 60 hour weeks at work and on my blog (when you love what you do it’s hard not to do it), but I think the person that said if you love what you do you’ll never work in a day in your life was taking it a bit too far, personally. We’re all guilty of doing too much and being too hard on ourselves, and so what we need to be able to do is recognise the symptoms of burnout and nip things in the bud there and then before it’s too late.
Here’s some ways I handle burnout:
1. By taking time off
I know I know, this is probably the most basic and generic piece of advice I could give you but also – in my opinion, at least – the most important. This is something I refused to do for *sooo* long. “Take time off? And where the hell will I find the time to take time off?” I’d mutter under my breath when anyone so much as suggested the idea, but after the inevitable happened and I well and truly done myself in I came to appreciate the importance of taking time out and recharging my batteries until I’m good to go again. You can’t burn a candle at both ends, and you can’t run on empty (trust me, I’ve tried). You also can’t look after a business if you’re not looking after yourself, so live a little. Whether it’s scheduling some time in your day to take a walk and clear your head or something a bit bigger than that like travelling – make a bit of time for you to do you, boo.
2. By asking for help
There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it – in fact – one of the smartest things you can do is outsource skills. If you have the means to do it and you aren’t the best writer in the world, why not hire a copywriter? Or if your admin is getting out of control and is too much for one pair of hands to handle, why not hire a PA? And if you don’t have the means it’s important to point out here that asking for help doesn’t have to cost you a penny. You could ask for your partner to relieve you of some of your chores or for your friend to come round with a bottle of merlot or two for a wine and whine night – whatever you need, ask for it. If you don’t ask you don’t get, or as they say where I’m from, “shy bairns get nout”!
3. By learning how to say “no”
Many of us – and especially if we’re British – are “yes” people. We agree to do things by default, even if they’re the worst thing in the world for us to be doing. I don’t know whether it’s because we don’t want to disappoint or because we want to be well-liked, but regardless of the whys and the wherefores I think it’s so important for us to learn how to say no. Nobody has infinite time and resources so say “yes” to the things that matter, and “no” to the things that don’t.
4. By unplugging
Scrolling through social media every 2.3 seconds can be a real energy drainer – on you *and* your iPhone battery so set aside some time at the weekend to detox from all things digital. Once a week my fiancé and I like to do something we call “no phone Friday” where we completely disconnect from the online world and make sure we’re present in the offline. This not only works wonders for our work lives as it gives us the space from it we so desperately need, but for our personal lives as well. When you unplug you’re able to talk – and I mean really talk – with your partner in the way that you did on your first dates. Notifications won’t be distracting you from your conversations when you’re offline that’s for sure.
5. By getting a good night’s sleep
I can bet my bottom dollar that most of you reading this aren’t getting enough sleep because, that, according to experts is 8 hours. I know, right? *gulps* I can also just about guess what you’re thinking – ‘if I have to be up at the crack of dawn to commute and I’m not getting in until beyond time because of those after-work drinks that are oh-so good for networking, I’m barely left with enough time to get my makeup off and have 6 hours of sleep never mind 8…’ or are you? I’ll refer you back to points 1 and 3. As much as drinks sound fun – you know as well as I do that work’s work any which way it’s tarted up. Sometimes you need to take time off and sometimes you need to say no – you need to be able to switch off and sleep properly to be able to do your job at all so get practicing some good sleep hygiene habits goddammit!
So those are my five ways for handling burnout. Do you have any? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love nothing more than to hear from you!