You might think that one of the advantages of having an online business is the escape from career burnout. You finally have control over your life to set your own schedule, make decisions, and follow your passion. Do you really? Or, are you trading one form of burnout for another?
What It Means to Burnout
According to clinical psychologist, Dr. Sara Denning, “Burnout happens when you’ve been experiencing chronic stress for so long that your body and your emotional system have begun to shut down and are operating in survival mode,”
Traditionally, it occurs in demanding professions, among high achievers or part of working conditions with long hours and time-sensitive deadlines. While neither men or women are immune, women are more likely to burnout than men.
In addition, the economy has shifted. It’s now suggested “… 64 percent of [North American] employees report high levels of stress, extreme fatigue, and feeling out of control. Even college students report burnout while still in school.
Three Signs of Burnout
You qualify if you are experiencing these three characteristics.
- Extreme mental and physical exhaustion
- Cynicism and detachment
- Feeling ineffective and lack of accomplishment
You’ll find a more detailed breakdown in Sherrie Bourg Carter’s book High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout . Or, get a quick summary in her article The Tell-Tale Signs of Burnout … Do You Have Them?
What Burnout Does To Your Brain
There’s no question that chronic stress leads to burnout which “… is not just a state of mind, but a condition that leaves its mark on the brain as well as the body.”
Burnout leaves its mark on the brain as well as the body. Click To Tweet
Most noticeably is a significant loss in the brain’s ability to
- Concentrate and focus
- Retrieve memory
- Solve problems
- Make decisions
- Create or innovate
Less noticeable but far more dangerous is —
- Pre-aging thinning in the medial prefrontal cortex which affects the areas of memory and decision
- Damage to neuronal circuits due to chronic fight/flight responses
- Elevated and chronic cortisol release affecting immunity function and the onset of coronary heart disease
Where Does That Leave Your Business Brain?
As an online entrepreneur, you may think you’ve escaped the craziness of the workplace. Actually, your business brain is as likely to be on the burnout path.
It’s time to ask …
How many hours have you spent in front of your computer, when you should have been in bed?
How consumed are you in building your social media followers?
Do you feel the need to blog every day?
Do you respond to every comment posted?
Are you unwilling or unable to delegate and pride yourself on doing it all?
How many online forums or networking groups are you actively engaged in?
Is your day planner the fattest thing in your handbag?
Do you have to write into your schedule fun time and bathroom breaks?
Trying to get to a six-figure income as fast as you can?
Are you gung-ho on doing whatever it takes?
Can’t hit the send key unless it’s perfect?
Not satisfied your marketing copy is good enough and needs more tweaking?
Are you still in your pajamas at 3:00 PM.?
When’s the last time you got Vitamin D from sunlight rather than a gel capsule?
Are you starting to resent success is not happening fast enough?
Do you feel that no matter what you do it’s not working?
What’s The Cure?
It’s everything you alway say you should be doing – addressing stress and balancing your work/life relationships.
- Make more time for sleep
- Get more exercise
- Eat healthy
- Engage socially with others
- Allocate time for self-care
- Spend time disengaging from anything digital
- Do something fun that you’ve been putting off because you have no time.
Is this your wake-up call for stopping business brain burnout before it happens?
Image: Pixabay 2276051
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