How to avoid burnout: Stack of matches with one burnt out

How To Avoid Burnout When You’re Running A Side Hustle

You’ve been working your butt off at your day job, then coming home to work on your side hustle. You’re exhausted but don’t want to give up on your dreams.

You know you need to take a break, but you don’t want to lose the progress you’ve made. Is there a way to take a break and still stay on track?

Yes! Mindfulness and meditation can actually help you avoid and overcome burnout. In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about how to avoid burnout and share 5 tips on using mindfulness and meditation to avoid burnout when you’re running a side hustle.

What Is Burnout?

Ah, burnout. That feeling of being completely and utterly exhausted, both mentally and physically.

We’ve probably all experienced this at one point or another, especially if we’re constantly grinding away at our side hustles. And let me tell you, burnout is no joke. Trust me, I know from experience.

So what exactly is burnout? Well, it’s a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.

Burnout can happen to anyone, but it’s especially common among entrepreneurs and other high-achievers who constantly push themselves to the limit and try to meet deadlines.

How to avoid burnout: Man leaning his head on his arm looking very tired
How to avoid burnout: Burnout affect the mind and the body

Why Does Burnout Happen?

So, you’re hustling away on your side hustle, and things are going great! You’re putting in the long hours and finally starting to see some progress.

But then, all of a sudden… you hit a wall. You just can’t seem to muster up the energy to keep going. Welcome to burnout.

Burnout is a very real phenomenon that can happen to anyone pushing themselves too hard for too long.

When you’re running your own business, it’s easy to get caught up in the grind and lose sight of your personal well-being.

Before you know it, you’re working around the clock and feeling completely drained.

When you don’t have a healthy way to manage your stress, it can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Over time, this can lead to burnout.

Recognize Your Signs of Burnout

The first step to avoiding burnout is to recognize the signs.

Everyone experiences burnout differently, so it’s important to be in tune with your body and mind. Here are some of the common symptoms of burnout:

You’re exhausted all the time.

You’re dragging yourself out of bed in the morning, struggling to make it through the day, and counting the minutes until you can finally collapse at night.

It’s an all-encompassing fatigue that leaves you feeling completely drained.

Your work is suffering.

Your work performance is suffering, and you find yourself making mistakes you wouldn’t usually make.

You seem unable to get any work done, and anything that does get done takes about a billion times longer than it should and requires a Herculean effort.

You can’t concentrate or focus on anything.

Your brain just can’t muster up the energy to focus on anything. Everything feels like too much effort. Even simple tasks can feel daunting. And it’s not just that you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. It’s like your brain has gone on strike and is refusing to do any work.

You’re feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.

Your to-do list is a mile long, and you can’t seem to find the time to take a break. You’re juggling a million things, and it feels like you’re about to drop the ball on all of them. You might even feel like you’re failing at everything you’re trying to do.

You’re irritable and snappy all the time.

You’re tired, stressed out, and feeling just a little bit frazzled. But instead of taking a step back and taking time for yourself, you power through and keep going. And then, one day, you snap. You blow up at your boss, partner, or even a stranger.

You’re not taking care of yourself.

Eating? Exercise? Who has time for that when there’s work to be done? You stopped caring about your clothes long ago, and now you wear whatever is clean and doesn’t smell too bad. Your hair is greasy, you haven’t shaved in weeks, and you’re so tired that you can’t even be bothered to shower on a regular basis.

You’re isolating yourself from your friends and family.

You don’t have the energy to keep up with social obligations and start canceling plans left and right. You might even begin to avoid your friends and family altogether. You just want to be left alone to wallow in your exhaustion.

You’re no longer enjoying the things you used to love

You used to be passionate about your work, but now it feels like a chore. You used to love going for runs, but now you can barely muster the energy to put on your sneakers. Everything has lost its sparkle, and you can’t seem to find joy in anything anymore.

burnout - matches partially burnt
How to avoid burnout: Recognise the signs of burnout

Side Effects of Burnout

If you’ve ever found yourself working late into the night, skipping meals, and neglecting your social life to meet a deadline, then you know a little something about burnout. And it’s no surprise that burnout is on the rise. We live in a culture that values productivity and achievement above all else. As a result, more and more people are working longer hours and taking on multiple jobs.

But what you may not realize is that burnout can have some severe consequences on your health: Here are some of the ways burnout can take a toll on your body:

  • Weaken your immune system
  • Increase your risk of heart disease
  • Lead to anxiety and depression
  • Increase your risk of obesity
  • Cause headaches and migraines
  • Lead to stomach problems
  • Make you more accident-prone
  • Cause memory problems
  • Increase your risk of heart disease
  • Cause insomnia

This list is no exaggeration. Burnout is a real problem that can seriously affect your health. And if you have a side hustle, these problems are only compounded. Not only are you juggling multiple demands on your time, but you’re also trying to do it on your own.

How Can Mindfulness and Meditation Help?

The good news is that there’s a way to avoid all these negative effects of burnout. And that’s where mindfulness and meditation come in.

Mindfulness and meditation can help you manage stress, focus your attention, and find calm in the chaos. And while it’s not a cure-all, it can definitely help you cope with and avoid burnout in the first place. Here are just a few of the ways mindfulness and meditation can help:

  • Help you control your emotions
  • Help you focus your attention
  • Increase your resilience to stress
  • Boost your immune system
  • Help you to sleep better
  • Increase your overall sense of well-being

If you’re feeling burned out, I recommend giving mindfulness and meditation a try. It might be just the thing you need to help you avoid burnout altogether.

How to avoid burnout: Using mindfulness and meditation can help

5 Tips to Avoid Burnout Through Mindfulness and Meditation

So, how can you use mindfulness and meditation to avoid burnout? Here are our best tips:

1. Start the day right with morning meditation

If you’re like most people, your day begins with a race to get out the door.

You bound out of bed, throw on some clothes, grab your keys and phone, and head out into the world.

But what if there was a better way? What if, instead of starting your day in a frenzy, you took a few moments to relax and reflect? 

By taking just 10-15 minutes to meditate in the morning, you can set the tone for the entire day.

This is a great way to focus your mind and ease into your day without feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done.

Just a few minutes of deep breathing and mindfulness can help to center your mind and body, giving you the clarity and focus you need to tackle whatever the day may bring.

Try this 10-minute morning meditation to help you feel relaxed, centered, and ready for the day.

2. Take meditation breaks throughout the day

If you’re like me, your to-do list is always a mile long and only seems to be getting longer.

You’re constantly being pulled in a million different directions, and it’s easy to feel like you’re never going to get ahead. This is a great time to take a few minutes for a quick meditation break.

Stepping away from your work for even a few minutes can help clear your head and refocus your attention.

This helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list and increase productivity.

Consider trying a 10-minute work break guided meditation to help you feel relaxed and rejuvenated throughout the day.

3. Practice loving-kindness meditation 

You know that feeling when you’re just struggling to keep your head above water? When it feels like no matter what you do, it’s just not enough?

When you feel like you’re constantly running on empty and just one step away from burning out? This is where loving-kindness meditation can be helpful.

This loving-kindness meditation involves sending positive, loving energy to yourself and others.

It’s a great way to soothe your mind, ease feelings of stress, and cultivate compassion for yourself and others. The goal here is to remind yourself that you are doing your best and worthy of love and compassion.

4. Stay in the present moment

I know what you’re thinking: “How am I supposed to stay in the present moment when I have so much to do in the future?”

Here’s the thing: when you’re constantly worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, you’re not giving yourself a chance to rest.

Your mind is always racing, and you never have a chance to relax and be in the moment. As a result, you end up feeling stressed and anxious all the time.

But when you stay present, everything is just as it should be. You’re not worried about what’s happening tomorrow or what happened yesterday.

You’re just focused on the here and now, so you can relax and de-stress.

Check out the 11 Best Tips to Be More Present.

5. Practice mindfulness throughout the day

The day is a blur of meetings, deadlines, and obligations. You get so bogged down in the hustle and bustle that you don’t even have time to think, let alone relax.

Maybe you even catch yourself on autopilot, completely unaware of what you’re doing or where you’re going.

Throughout the day, there are countless opportunities to practice mindfulness. Whether taking a break to eat lunch or going for a walk around the block, take a few deep breaths and focus on the present moment.

Over time, you’ll find that living mindfully will help you avoid burnout and appreciate the good things in life again.

Related: How Being Mindful While Making Coffee Can Transform Your Life

The Takeaway

While having a lot going on may make you feel productive and like you’re grinding toward your goals, it can also lead to serious negative consequences if you don’t know how to manage it all.

Learning how to meditate can help you focus your attention, ease anxiety, and avoid burnout– even in the midst of a hectic day.

Why not look at some of these gifts to help you feel less stressed?

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