Burnout blues: how self-employed people can avoid exhaustion
As a self-employed person, you face a lot of stress. You have to manage your clients, your workload, your time, and your income. It’s a lot to take on. It’s also very easy to overwork yourself and forget to take breaks. It’s important to take breaks, especially longer-term breaks every now and again. Without recharging from time to time, it’s extremely easy to get into burnout mode. This is a special type of exhaustion that doesn’t just impact people physically, but mentally and emotionally too.
It’s especially easy for self-employed people to get fatigued to spend too much time in overdrive in this fast-paced, digital world. Many people overbook themselves and find they have little time left over for themselves. This is not ideal. Avoiding exhaustion and burnout requires balance.
If you are feeling the burnout blues and experiencing symptoms of exhaustion, consider these tips.
Up your water intake
Staying hydrated is super important. Your body relies on water to keep running efficiently. Dehydration contributes to fatigue and low energy levels. Not drinking enough water may disrupt sleep as your sinuses and mouth become too dry. This often leads to snoring and even hoarseness. to keep your body running at optimum levels. Studies show that decreasing the amount of water you drink can lead to fewer feelings of positive emotions, satisfaction, and calmness.
A healthy, balanced diet can boost your energy levels. This means taking in enough solid nutrients, which are usually found in fresh, whole foods across all main food groups. Humans need unrefined carbs, protein, fiber, and other anti-inflammatory foods for the body to operate at optimal levels. This can also contribute to healthy digestion, which is an essential function that cleanses the body.
Everyone knows exercise can be good for you. Working out releases endorphins, which are natural energy-boosters. Exercise can also contribute to higher quality sleep. One study showed that exercising regularly leads to decreased symptoms of fatigue. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (or the equivalent of 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity) each week. For some people, it is helpful to hire a personal trainer or to workout with a friend. Find a way that works for you and stick to it.
Sleep is super important and can also make or break energy levels. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest, try to start relaxing before you actually get into your bed. It might be helpful to do some stretching or meditation before bed as well. Avoid bright screens at least a half hour before going to bed and keep your sleeping area clean, clear, and comfortable. If you’re really not feeling the sleep vibes, consider other things that might contribute to better rest. Do you need a new mattress? A new pillow? Also be sure to wear comfortable clothing that is loose-fitting.
Boost mental health
Mental health is also strongly connected to energy levels. Burnout affects all areas of a person, including mental well-being. It’s important to do mental check-ins to gauge how you’re feeling from time to time. You may be experiencing anxiety without even realizing it. Are you feeling worried? Irritable? Nervous? Restless? These may signal that you are struggling with anxiety or depression and can lead to physical effects, too. If you think you may be dealing with mental health issues, consider talking to a therapist or other mental health professional.
See your doctor
While some feelings of exhaustion may stem from too much work or too many activities, sometimes it’s harder to pinpoint the source of low energy. If the feelings of fatigue persist and your energy does not return over time, it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor. You may have an underlying condition and it may continue to interfere with your everyday routine. It could also be something more serious. If you are feeling pain, have a fever, or are experiencing headaches alongside the fatigue, see your doctor as soon as possible.
Decent health plans offer free primary care so you get unlimited access to your primary care physician for $0. We’re here to support the doctor-patient relationship, which is why all of our plans are centered around the Direct Primary Care Model. Get a free quote today to see if our plans are a good fit!