Feeling the effects of burnout

This week I wrote a post on LinkedIn confessing that I’ve been feeling the effects of burnout.

According to Mental Health first Aid England, the signs of burnout include:

1) Flatlining, and a feeling exhaustion.
2) Cynicism and a feeling of detachment from our day job.
3) Frustration and a feeling of a lack of accomplishment.

I wonder how many people that read this, this morning will be feeling similar? My guess is, a lot.

It got me thinking about business failure.

There are tons of stats around business failure but one I read recently was that 20% won’t make it a year, and 60% won’t make it 3 years. Whatever the actual stat, the indisputable fact is that the majority never make it.

I wonder how much of that stat boils down to burnout?

Starting, running and maintaining a business is HARD. Things in my experience take twice as long and cost twice as much. Maintaining a business takes gargantuan levels of grit, resilience and hard work. The fact is, it’s tough at the top. Tough and often lonely…

And when things are tough, lonely, take longer than expected, and cost more that you want or budgeted for, it can cause stress. When you couple stress with the inevitable tiredness that comes from working hard, for long periods of time, is there any wonder that people get cynical and feel like they aren’t accomplishing.

Tiredness + Cynicism + Frustration = BURNOUT

Is it lack of sales? Is it cash flow issues? Or is the primary source of business failure much more simple? Is it the fact that we just burn out?

I often acknowledge that I’m grateful for my battles with depression, because I learnt the hard way about coping strategies, and which ones help when I feel this way!

I’ve learnt that I have a few positive coping strategies for dealing with burnout that some may find useful. When the shit hits the fan for me, and my cup overflows there are a few things I do to cope.

1) Go for a run – Exercise is scientifically proven to release feel good chemicals
2) Practice Affirmations – I literally trick my brain into thinking I’m better
3) Talk openly and honestly with people about the way I’m feeling.

What are the positive coping strategies that work for you?

So there you have it, I’m feeling the effects of burnout, and you may be too. If you are, and you haven’t got anyone to talk to. I’d be happy to listen, get in touch.

Onwards and upwards my friend


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