“Burnout” is one of those things we can’t really understand until we experience it for ourselves. On the outside it seems strange to think you’d ever need a break when things are going well. Why would you need a vacation just when your work is humming along smoothly? Why would you get bored just when things are getting interesting? Then when burnout hits, it suddenly makes sense. It’s possible to love what you do and get a little sick of doing it sometimes. After all, working in the health and beauty industry means working long hours, having lots of people drawing on your energies, and spending a lot of time on your feet.
Don’t feel ashamed if you experience burnout. Treat it like you would any other problem in your business: with care and attention. Just because you love what you do doesn’t mean you have to love doing it all the time, every minute of every day of every week. It’s okay to need a break or a change. In fact, you owe it to yourself. Take it from us: Take burnout seriously, before it’s too late! That might sound dramatic, but taking the time to nip feelings of exhaustion in the proverbial bud can have great payoff for you, your emotional well-being, and your business itself later on. But how do you tackle burnout, especially if you’ve not yet experienced it? Read on, and let us help you identify the signs and symptoms. We also have some helpful strategies for dealing with it, too.
First, understand burnout.
Burnout occurs when your work/life balance isn’t, well, balanced anymore. Don’t feel alone; it’s super common. Everyone struggles to balance living their lives with having to perform the work necessary to do that.
For people who work in the health and beauty industry, you’re constantly having to follow a schedule. If you work in a salon in Lawton (as opposed to leasing a mini salon suite), you have to abide by the salon’s rules, follow a dress code, and serve anyone who plops down in your chair. That would wear anyone down, even a person who loved providing haircuts, color jobs, manicures, or massages. Even if you have leased a mini salon suite from Salons de Beauté, being a small-business owner brings a lot of pressure to take every appointment, day or night, weekday or weekend, and holidays too. You’re always trying to grow your business, after all.
The biggest cause of on-the-job burnout is when your work takes over time you usually spend on yourself. How do you avoid it or fix it once it sets in?
Define your work/life balance.
Have you ever thought about what your ideal work/life balance would look like? Like, really thought about it? If not, take some time to imagine living your best life. In fact, you should write it down. If it seems goofy to do this, remember that you can’t work toward a goal you don’t fully understand. Think about it. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you like a day off here and there or do you always want a weekend with your kids? Do you see yourself working on holidays? How much vacation time do you need to feel whole? Do you want the comfort of keeping the same hours every week or the excitement of a different week every Monday?
Once you know what you can do while staying happy, healthy, and balanced, you’ll also know when you’re pushing too much. Everyone needs to work longer hours sometimes, whether it’s at the holidays or to make up for that summer vacation, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is letting those extra hours creep up and become normal. Know your limits so you can push when you need to and come back to balance afterward.
Once you know what you really want out of your work/life balance, you’ll be able to…
Understand what you’re capable of doing (and don’t be afraid to say “no.”)
Once you’ve clearly defined your ideal work/life balance, you’ll be able to see what you’re capable of doing and what you’re not able to handle. Don’t be embarrassed about this. Just be honest. It doesn’t matter if your friends and acquaintances work more hours or different hours. They’re not you. They don’t know your life or what you need. They might be secretly burning out as you watch them in envy. Be honest about who you are, what you want, and what you need, and you’ll be much more likely to succeed long-term. Say no when you need to. Even if you lose out on a bit of cash in the short term, you’ll be better off in the long term.
Start your day with priority items.
Do you check your phone when you get up? What if instead of getting sucked into Facebook, Instagram, text messages, ads, emails, and Twitter threads, you polished off your most important tasks? Wondering how? It’s easy, but it does mean using a pencil and paper. Before you go to bed at night, write down the next day’s most important tasks. If you forget to do this the night before, think about them before you pick up your phone or open your laptop in the morning. Then check them off one by one. It’s so satisfying; try it!
Make time for personal wellness.
Standing on your feet for eight, ten, even sometimes twelve hours a day is hard. Avoiding burnout means taking a break, whether it’s a fifteen-minute breather, an hour for lunch, or an impromptu spa day. Do whatever is small enough or large enough to get your balance back. And take your breaks away from your salon in Lawton, otherwise you may spend your break doing “little things” for the store, and that’s not really a break at all. Take it from us: Get out, find a relaxation space somewhere nearby, such as a park or a coffee shop, and go there. A gym for that hour lunch break is great too. A few reps and sets will keep you fit and on your feet!
Be open to change.
Take our advice. Use visualization to take charge of your work/life balance to avoid burnout. And don’t be afraid to visualize big. Maybe, just maybe, if you’re working for someone else, your burnout might be remedied by looking into going into business for yourself with a salon suite of your own.