Prioritizing personal wellness to avoid small business owner burnout

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Your passion and drive encouraged you to start and run your own business. Now, as the person in charge, you likely take on multiple roles, juggle varying responsibilities and often work countless hours to ensure your company thrives. It is a rewarding venture, and certainly fun at times, but all that hard work and dedication can take a toll on your health and sometimes lead to business owner burnout.

This scenario is all too common for small business owners who invest a large amount of their savings into their businesses. While working hard is important, it’s equally crucial to prioritize your personal wellness to avoid burning out so that you can fulfill your goals in the long run.

By focusing on your personal wellness as much as your work, you can avoid small business burnout, maximize your happiness and achieve success while running your enterprise — without sacrificing your health. In this article, we’ll share how you can avoid business owner burnout, and why it’s vital that you find healthy ways to do so.

A business owner looks burned out on a laptop

The real impact of burnout

Small business owner burnout can have serious negative impacts on your physical, mental and emotional health, as well as on your business and the people around you. It can lead to decreased productivity, creativity and motivation, and it can also strain relationships with customers and employees, not to mention your loved ones. To avoid burnout, it’s important to make time for self-care, self-development and your social life.

For example, meet Julius, a restaurant owner who always puts his business and customers first. Julius works long hours, sometimes seven days a week, to ensure that his establishment is a hit. He skips meals (even though he’s surrounded by food), cancels plans with friends and family and rarely takes breaks.

Julius’s dedication is admirable, but after nearly a year of this routine, he’s feeling burnt out and stressed. He’s tired, irritable and struggling to manage everything he needs to do. Despite his passion for cooking and feeding people, Julius is starting to question whether owning a restaurant is worth it.

Finally, his closest friends realized something was up and they came to him to see if they could help. Together, they crafted a plan to create more balance in Julius’ day-to-day life so that he could make time for self-care, self-improvement and activities outside the restaurant.

How to support wellness and prevent burnout

Here are the main things Julius implemented into his life that you can do for yourself to avoid small business burnout.

1. Make time for physical activity.

One of the most effective ways to prioritize your wellness is by making time for physical movement. Exercise can help reduce stress, boost your energy levels and improve your mood. Not only that, but it can also help you perform better on the job, whether you run a bakery or a bridal boutique (dough and dresses can both be heavy!). Whether it’s going for a walk, practicing yoga or hitting the gym to run or lift weights, regular physical activity is essential for maintaining good health.

People participate in a group yoga class

2. Prioritize sleep and eat balanced meals.

Getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet are also vital. Lack of sleep and poor nutrition can impact your energy levels, mood and overall health. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night and try to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.

3. Practice self-care.

Practicing self-care is essential for avoiding burnout and maintaining good health. Whether taking a relaxing bath, reading a book or getting a massage, haircut or manicure, engaging in self-care activities can help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.

VistaPrint Tip

Outsourcing tasks that fall outside your wheelhouse, like designing marketing and promotional materials, can help alleviate your workload and free up more “you time.” VistaPrint’s design services and custom printing offerings can help you create high-quality marketing materials that showcase your business and attract new customers, without cutting into your workout or self-care routines.

4. Take regular breaks.

Another way to prioritize your wellness is by taking regular breaks throughout the day. Stepping away from your work can help you recharge, improve your focus and boost your productivity. Whether it’s playing sudoku on your phone for 15 minutes, doing deep breathing exercises or simply taking a few minutes to relax and clear your mind, taking breaks is essential for recalibrating throughout the workday and avoiding business owner burnout.

5. Connect with friends and family.

As a small business owner, it’s important to make time for non-work-related activities that bring you joy and help you recharge. Spending time with friends and family is another necessity, as it can be an excellent way to relax, connect, have fun and improve mental health.

A group of friends laughing at dinner

Key takeaways for avoiding small business burnout

It’s clear that prioritizing your personal wellness is crucial for avoiding small business owner burnout and supporting your daily efforts.

By making time for physical activity, taking regular breaks, practicing self-care, getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals and connecting with friends and family, you can enhance your health and well-being while also improving your performance at work and your personal life.

Remember that it’s not just OK to take care of yourself; it’s essential to your long-term success so that you can continue to grow your business and achieve your goals.