How to Recover from Burnout for Entrepreneurs


Being an entrepreneur is equal parts rewarding and thankless. It is an all-consuming passion with long and grueling work hours and an overwhelming burden of performance. The emotional highs can be cathartic, while the lows can plummet you down a path of mental anguish and crippling existential crisis.

The result of these constant highs and lows and not recognizing their impact on you is burnout, where you are caught between a rock and a hard place. Burnout can drain you physically, mentally, and emotionally; navigating your way out of it is imperative, or you risk losing everything.

The good news is that it is possible to defeat burnout as long as you acknowledge it and are willing to make adjustments to your work-life balance.

Recognizing Burnout: The Path to Recovery Begins Here

The path to recovery starts with recognizing burnout, as it will help you prevent it from occurring in the future. Some of the most common symptoms of burnout include emotional exhaustion, lack of motivation, constant headaches, muscle tension, and lower productivity.

If you notice an uncharacteristic dip in self-esteem, you may have a nasty case of burnout. Many entrepreneurs derive a sense of satisfaction from their work and feel pride in their achievements. But burnout makes it impossible to feel fulfilled.

Despite the strong hold that burnout has over so many entrepreneurs, recovery is possible. We've rounded up 6 tips to help you recover from burnout.

Identify Your Stressors and Avoid Them

The first step is to identify your sources of stressors so that you can avoid or reduce interacting with them to the best of your ability. Try to identify people, situations, or incidents that put you in a state of stress. Try to avoid them as much as possible.

Pro Tip: For some people, something as simple as flipping through the news can be a source of stress. As you distance yourself from the stress, you will notice an uptick in your productivity.

Create a Work-Life Balance

Creating a work-life balance as an entrepreneur is easier said than done - almost impossible if you aren't good at delegating tasks. But escaping burnout requires you to prioritize your work-life balance.

You can do this by doing more of your favorite activities, going on a vacation, or even taking some time off from work.

Failing to establish a work-life balance will result in a steep decline in productivity levels. But if you manage to create boundaries in your work-life balance, your business should become more successful. This is an obvious win-win situation.

Get Enough Sleep

Failing to sleep at least 8 hours a day is a huge detriment to your mental health and will eventually disrupt your productivity levels. Some entrepreneurs treat sleep deprivation as a virtue and go out of their way to sleep less than 3 to 4 hours a day. In practice, lack of sleep is the fastest road to burnout because of the simple fact that your brain is completely drained of energy.

To get more sleep, you should try to establish a sleep routine and stick to it. Make sure to turn those electronic devices off because they can offset your circadian rhythm.

Pro tip: Buy a sleep mask to block light from entering your eyelid. This creates an illusion of darkness for your brain, which makes it easier to fall asleep.

Saying "No" Is Crucial

Learning how to say "no" without triggering a cycle of guilt and anxiety is a skill that few entrepreneurs possess. If you plan on avoiding burnout, you need to have to learn the art of saying no.

Many entrepreneurs are too keen on accommodating every single request, even if it comes at the cost of their own health. Instead, try to take control of your life and live it on your own terms.

Explain to yourself in the moment that saying no isn't the end of the world. The business will move on without stopping for a minute. It will feel weird at first as you try to process the negative emotions of having 'offended' someone for refusing to do a certain task.

However, you will learn an important skill that will play a crucial role in helping you manage your time.

Learn to Delegate

Just because you're an entrepreneur doesn't mean you're a one-man army. Take a cursory look at today's most successful entrepreneurs, and you will learn that their most common denominator is being able to delegate.

If you've burned out, you need to start delegating. Either hire an employee or outsource your work to a contractor to manage part of your responsibilities for the time being.

For example, is it really smart for you to spend hours in the day marketing your business on social media? You could outsource this task to a social media manager and focus on improving the core areas of your business. Similarly, you can hire firms or experts to handle things such as HR duties and payroll.

Besides, it isn't practical to scale the business on your own. Delegate and your business will grow.

Do the Things That Make You Happy

We all have hobbies that we are passionate about. No, your work is not your hobby – at least not when it leads you to burnout.

The best way to recover from burnout is to introduce fun in your life. For some people, this could mean working out, going out in nature, or simply connecting with yourself and your thoughts.

For most people, spending just a few minutes outdoors can provide them with the much-needed respite they need from work. Listening to music can also help and make all the difference in your mood. Create a playlist for work that helps you relax and unwind.

Try to reconnect with your friends and family because they can help you get out of your headspace.

Focus on the positives instead of the negatives. This means creating a list of achievements to help you keep motivated.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, a look at how you can manage burnout as an entrepreneur. If you can recognize burnout, you should be able to turn it around and rediscover the lost passion for your work and business. You may need help along the way from friends and family, so don't be afraid to ask for their support.