How to Recognize & Deal with Burnout as a Woman Business Owner

Burnout is caused by excessive or prolonged stress that eventually causes emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. Unchecked burnout can lead to a mental health crisis and physical health problems And, women report symptoms of burnout at a higher rate than men. Because burnout is gradual, and does not happen overnight, you can easily miss the early signs However, if you are a woman business owner and you catch it early, you can do something about it.

According to a Gallop study conducted in January 2020, burnout is reaching crisis levels for full time workers.

“Nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23% of employees reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burned out sometimes. That means about two-thirds of full-time workers experience burnout on the job.”

“Employee Burnout Main Causes” Gallup

That is a huge amount of the workforce! And that was before the world experienced a global pandemic. I’m sure the numbers are skyrocketing! You can deal with burnout if you recognize the early warning signs. But many women are not aware of how their bodies deal with stress and cannot recognize the signals.

How to Recognize Burnout

If burnout is caused by prolonged stress, then the solution is to deal better with your stress. Your body will give you clues if the stress levels has become unmanageable. These are some symptoms to look for.

  • Mental exhaustion
  • Unmotivated (especially if you were easily motivated in the past)
  • Critical or cynical thinking or behavior
  • Increase irritation or irritability with customers, clients, or staff
  • Using unhealthy coping mechanisms to make yourself feel better (food, alcohol, shopping, binge watching Netflix, etc.)
  • Unexplained headaches, stomachaches, or bowel problems

If you said yes to 2 or more of these symptoms, it is time to tackle the coming burnout. And quickly.

“People who used to be happy, motivated, friendly, and engaging become withdrawn, cranky, and disengaged from coworkers and clients or patients, as a result of prolonged work stress and the resulting burnout.”

Susan Biali Haas M.D.

Dealing with Burnout as a Woman Business Owner

There are three steps you can take if you are a business owner dealing with burnout. They are not hard, but they might feel drastic. But your life and business depend on your acting quickly. Here is how.

1. Celebrate Your victories

We can get tunnel vision in the day-in day-out tasks of building a business. That habit will lead to burnout very quickly. You must celebrate your victories. Especially the small ones that seem like they could be failures. For example, you sold two products when your goal was to sell 20. Celebrate those 2 sales! It will keep you excited and motivated instead of burnt out.

2. Take Time Off

Women Business Owners often forget that taking time off is critical to avoid burnout. You can’t keep your nose to the grindstone and expect to not feel burnout eventually. Get in the habit of taking time off and blocking vacation time on your calendar. Even if you don’t go anywhere. You need to take your eyes off your business once in awhile and recharge.

3. Set Work Hours

One of the first things I have my coaching clients do is set business hours. So many of them are working way too much or too sporadic to see any progress. There is no right amount to work. The magic is in the consistent work hours. Once those hours are set and adhered too, you can create better boundaries around your life and business.

Burnout is common. But it does not have to cause emotional, mental, or physical health problems if you recognize it early. Know the symptoms so you are aware of what burnout looks like. And, if you recognize the signs of burnout choose to deal with it quickly. Celebrate your victories, take time off, and set those work hours and you will be able to recognize and deal with burnout early!

With grace and grit,

~ Raychel

Before you go, here are three ways to stay in touch: 

How to Build Resilience During Covid-19

Resilience: The ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy. 

As I write this post, we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic with Covid 19. It’s crazy times guys! If you are reading this in real time you are probably practicing social distancing and staying home to do your part to not spread the virus to our vulnerable populations.  

Business are having to pivot, Schools are closing, hospitals are filling up, and we all find ourselves in uncharted territory. Now is the perfect time to focus on that skill of resilience.  

Resilience means you can recover quickly from adversity. You bounce back when life gets hard and challenges come. Like a rubber band.  

You can stretch it and stretch it and it still comes back to its original shape. That’s resiliency. It doesn’t mean the hard times don’t change you or stretch you or feel difficult. They do. It means you don’t snap permanently under the pressure.  

Adversity means hard times, disasters, trouble, and difficulty. 

Not to state the obvious but we are all in a major adversity. And the people who will get through this time and bounce back stronger will be the ones who are resilient. If you are a leader (which simply means you have influence or power over someone else’s actions, behaviors, or opinions) YOU must practice resilience during times of crisis.  

Here’s some good news- You are already equipped to bounce back from this pandemic. 

Because you have faced challenges and adversity in the past. Albeit it not on a global scale before. But the fact that you have survived every disaster that has come your way should give you confidence you can do it again.   

I’ve had to face difficult situation, too. Challenges I thought I didn’t have the strength to overcome. But what I’ve learned about myself is I am strong and capable and brave, and I can figure things out. And right now, when I have fear and doubt creep up I remind myself that I was born and appointed for such a time as this and while I don’t like it- I can handle it.  

We have all had to bounce back from hard days and difficult situations. That character quality that makes you able to bounce back is RESILIENCE. Resilient people live differently. They make different choices in how they respond to hard things than others. Here’s a couple of ways you can practice being resilient:  

#1 Assess the situation  

Take an honest assessment of where you are right now, personally and professionally. The more knowledge you have of where you and what assets you have the steadier you will feel. What does your pantry look like, how are your finances? Where can you cut the fluff from the budget? How can you be of service to your clients during this time? Put an action plan together of what the next months could look like in this new normal and feel empowered from having a plan.  

#2 Find solutions  

Resilient people don’t expect change to just happen. They actively work towards solutions and making things better. When you have a plan and knowledge of the situation you can create better solutions. And you won’t be wasting time and energy on problems that are not even there.  

#3 Take good notes  

Document this time in your life. You will need the reminder of how you overcome this global crisis for the next crisis you experience. Look for lessons they can learn from the situation. Every time you overcome a challenge or adversity you are gaining something. You gain knowledge, wisdom, experience, empathy, compassion, courage, and confidence.  You maintain resilience and flexibility when you have the mindset that I might not like what I’m going through but I can do it and I can learn from it.  

Resilience means you have the ability to bounce back when life gets hard and challenges come. Like a rubber band. If you assess your situation, create solutions, and take good notes you will adapt to the changes easier. It won’t feel so bad to stretch and bend because you will be flexible! We will get through this and we will be stronger more empathetic leaders because of it!  

With Grace & Grit,  

~Raychel  


Before you go, here are 3 ways to stay in touch: