Dealing With COVID Burnout in Business

Something we sometimes hear from business owners is “Running a business is harder than I thought.” or when things get really tough, “I just feel like quitting!” These are completely normal feelings. Running your own business can be hard – but it’s worth it!

Related: Imposter Syndrome and Small Business Owners

Add COVID to the mix, and starting and running your own business can be understandably frustrating. The pandemic has caused higher demand in some industries, lower demand in others, and a labor shortage across the board. With the constantly changing guidelines in regards to masks and social gatherings and the scary realization that many businesses just aren’t going to make it through, many business owners can’t plan ahead.

According to a CapitalOne Business survey released in early 2022, 42% of small business owners have recently experienced burnout. Over half of them reported not having taken a vacation in the past year, and 62% said they’re working longer hours – and many respondents admitted to feeling run down and exhausted.

45% said that running a business during the pandemic has had a negative effect on their mental health, and 26% said that their work-life balance is worse than it was before the pandemic. No wonder business owners are feeling burned out. So what do you do when you’re feeling defeated by it all?

Set Boundaries

Probably the most important thing you can do when it comes to dealing with burnout is to set boundaries. This doesn’t necessarily mean with other people. Sometimes the person you need to set boundaries is with yourself! You have to make rules for yourself to follow like, “I won’t work past 6 p.m., no matter what. It can be done tomorrow.” or “I took some time off to spend with my family, so I won’t be taking any business calls or emails.” You, of course, sometimes have to set these boundaries with colleagues or clients, as well. The important thing is that you make your boundaries clear – and stick with them!

Take Care of Yourself

Self-care isn’t selfish – it’s necessary! If you’re not sleeping enough or eating right, how are you supposed to run a business? You might think you’re doing your business (and therefore yourself) a favor by working late hours and answering those emails at home, but you’re not.
When you overwork yourself – and you step over those boundaries between work and home – you’re bound to reach burnout status.
Self-care includes all the basics, like eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising, and taking care of your physical health, as well as things like making sure your needs related to mental health and your personal life are being met.

Remind Yourself Why You Started

Sometimes you just need to reframe how you think about things. As we saw with the results of the survey, a lot of business owners are feeling the same way right now, and with good reason. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up! A great way to gain some perspective and renew your motivation is to remind yourself why you started your business. When you think back to what sparked this endeavor – your passion for or expertise on your product or service, a great idea you couldn’t wait to share with the world, or the encouragement and support of your colleagues, family, and friends – do you still feel like quitting? Or do you start feeling excited again?

Combat Burnout with Other Business Owners

We believe that together, we go farther. That’s why we created National Business Connections.
With a membership, you can connect with other business owners for support, collaboration, and encouragement, and you get access to a variety of education opportunities, including masterminds, lunch & learns, and workshops, as well as the chance to put your business in front of potential customers and build your brand with our unique member-highlighting opportunities.

Interested in taking your business to the next level? Consider becoming a member today.