Physical exhaustion you can control. You can take a break or sleep a little longer. Go on vacation or just Netflix and chill until you get your energy back.
The other type of burnout is mental. This one is harder to detect and not that easy to fix. Mental burnout impacts us all differently, and I am not here to offer medical advice – just my method for detecting and minimizing my burnouts.
Like most of you founders working on your dream startup, I am working on my fourth venture – Schoolio.io. My frustration with the public school system, the lack of support for parents, and the cost of after-school, 3-party programs have me working 15 hours a day to challenge the current system and support (we hope) millions of families worldwide. Burnouts are real, and at 46, it’s also scary.
When I start to feel burnout coming on, I notice a few symptoms,
- I stop shaving. It takes less than 10mins per day, and when I can’t find the motivation, I know something is off.
- I start to crave sugar more than average.
- My hours of work remain the same, but productivity dips dramatically.
- My thoughts get cloudy with each passing today.
- I spend more time scrolling on IG and TikTok than average.
These are five of the many symptoms I have noted over the last ten years by journaling. If you do not journal, I highly suggest you start! Start with the answer to this ONE question – HOW AM I AM FEELING TODAY?
- Be honest with your answer
- Days where you are not feeling amazing, try to capture any life changes or worries you can jot down
As you document your thoughts and feelings, you will start to notice a pattern – that’s how I caught my sugar cravings!
So, now what? What steps can you take to minimize the impact of mental burnout?
I only know ONE method – fill my inspiration cup!
Activities that directly contribute to inspiration helps to minimize the impact of mental burnout. When your ‘inspiration cup’ gets full, the positive effects last a long time. To fill up, here are a few things I do.
- Movies – I have a playlist that includes films like RUDY, Coach Carter, anything with Denzel Washington
- Working out is another excellent idea. Studies on mice and humans indicate that cardiovascular exercise creates new brain cells—a process called neurogenesis—and improves overall brain performance.
- Music – Nothing beats an hour of your favourite album – headphones on and away from the world!
- Reading – but not anything business or personal-help related. Find authors who tell stories that stir your imagination.
“I can’t just ignore my work!” – I have said that line a thousand times. The truth is, your work, your company, and your team need the BEST version of you to show up. Learn to delegate! Be open with your team when you need some downtime.
There will also be another day waiting, more customers, more issues that need your attention.
There is ONLY ONE YOU.
I am sharing this today as I see some of my symptoms, and for the following weeks, I will be working on filling up my inspiration cup.