Is there a connection between lack of self-care and potential burnout? Let me set the stage and see if you can identify with any part of this scenario. You set the alarm, but after tossing and turning most of the night, you get up before it goes off because you have so much to do (always). But, you are type-A, (maybe a little ADD like me), self-employed, laser-focused, and you love what you do, so you jump out of bed, shower, get ready, grab your water, coffee, and maybe some breakfast and head out to start on your to-do list. You know what needs to get done and (usually) as a solopreneur you have only yourself to manage all the tasks at hand. You might grab lunch and you usually work through dinner, saying no to invites and any play dates because you “don’t have time for that right now.” You’re building a business after all and that takes concentration and hard work, right?
This scenario is all too common in today’s world and, believe it or not, even occurs in the spa world. We preach self-care all the time, but do we practice it? A life lived on-the-run without taking time for self-care can and will lead to burnout. We are wondrously made and come equipped with hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that are just for stressful situations, but calling on them all the time is harmful to the body and can lead to potential physical illness.
WHAT IS BURNOUT?
Burnout, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is a result of chronic workplace stress that can lead to depression, physical exhaustion, low energy, feeling separated or negative about your job with a reduced ability to complete tasks with lowered efficacy. They have included it in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11); stating that although it is not classified as a disease, it is instead termed a “occupational phenomenon.” They go on to say it does not or should not refer to or be applied to describe other experiences in other areas of life. I’m not sure I agree. There are too many studies and life experiences that show that what happens to us stress-wise will eventually affect our health. I believe that we are one holistic (whole body) being and what happens in one area of our life will bleed into or affect the other parts. It is not a matter of if, but rather a matter of when. The Calmer website agrees and says that burnout can lead to a lowered resistance to illness.
What can you do to keep on your path of success without having to take the burnout turnout? Luckily, there is an easy answer – self-care.
Here are a few suggestions to create physical and mental strength while working to build your business success.
Find and do something that brings you joy each day. This is personal and unique to each of us and you know what makes you happy, so make time to do some of it every day.
Find time for this every day. I suggest putting it on your calendar or electronic scheduler. If you don’t, it won’t happen. Go somewhere quiet (I love going outside into nature and just be still for a few minutes.) We need this for many reasons, as it grounds us, gives us peace, improves creative juices, and even increases short-term memory. Learning how to include meditation or bringing quiet into your life will connect you back to yourself and a higher power.
I know, you’ve heard it many times before, but it works. So, start noticing all that you have to be grateful for by not only acknowledging it, but sharing that attitude with others by giving.
LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT
Did you know that dogs are the most present beings? They literally focus on the current, present moment. And, have you ever noticed how inherently happy they are? We can do this, too, but it does take practice for us humans. The next time you are doing something, try paying attention to only the task at hand or the person you are with (put the cellphone away) and notice the difference it will make. Be present right here and right now.
Becky Kuehn is founder of Oncology Spa Solutions, author of Life Changing Esthetics, and a licensed master aesthetician, cosmetologist, holistic cancer educator, and hope coach. Her journey started at the age of 18 when she was diagnosed with cancer. She had already lost friends and family members to cancer, so she was very familiar with the chaos and trauma associated with diagnosis and loss. As a cancer survivor for over three decades, she has made it her mission to discover and develop ways to turn around the devastating side effects of cancer treatments and return quality of life to those in need. Kuehn is the founder and owner of Oncology Spa Solutions, now the leading oncology training for spa, salon, and medical professionals. She is the author of “Life Changing Esthetics,” and a contributing author in the “Estheticians Guide to Outstanding Esthetics” Vol I and II. She has been part of the expert judge panel for The Skin Games’ Holistic, Compassionate, and Compromised skin categories. And, she provides advice and educational articles for newspapers and industry leading magazines and is an invited speaker for oncology training at conventions.