Being your own boss isn’t easy. It takes a lot of your energy, focus and time to manage every aspect of your business. And sometimes, it just doesn’t come together the way you want it to. You may find yourself thinking about work during family time. Or, you might find yourself losing track of projects because you’ve simply taken on too much.

When you invest everything – financially, physically and mentally – into your business, it is all too easy to put your self-care on the back burner. But in order to thrive professionally and personally, you must recognize that your wellbeing is priority number one.

The Struggle is Real

You know the struggle. You’ve dedicated yourself to your business and are determined to be successful. You spend hours meeting deadlines, networking, marketing, paying bills – juggling every responsibility to stay afloat. Day after day, you expend your energy and time to perfect your business. Maybe you’ve gotten used to skipping breakfast or working through lunch. Or perhaps you’ve given up any semblance of a personal life because your business just takes up too much of your time. Whatever the case may be, it’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to put their own self-care last on the priorities list.

But putting off your self-care has real consequences. And, without tending to your physical and mental health, you are certain to be headed for a nasty case of burnout.

What is Burnout?

You may have already experienced burnout without realizing it. As entrepreneurs, sometimes we pride ourselves on our ability to push through the pain. We keep working even when we’re mentally and physically exhausted. And, in many cases, that stubborn refusal to give in when you’re tired is applauded by those around you. They praise your work ethic and admire your dedication to excellence. These are admirable qualities in an entrepreneur. But the ability to accept your limitations could be the key to preventing burnout.

Some of the physical and emotional signs of burnout include:

  • Fatigue
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Change in Appetite and Sleeping Habits
  • Decreased Immunity
  • Feelings of Helplessness, failure and self-doubt
  • Loss of motivation

How to Recover from Burnout

If you begin to notice some of the symptoms of burnout, it’s important to act quickly. Treat yourself to a much-deserved vacation to recharge your batteries. Your business will still be there when you get back. And you’ll be better equipped to manage your business with a clear head and well-rested body. Once you return back to work, schedule time for your self-care in your daily routine. Schedule gym time, a walk in the park, coffee with friends, or just an hour of peaceful pleasure reading. Don’t forget to make good nutrition a priority as well. Eat healthy foods that give you the energy needed to run your business. By making yourself a priority, you will be more aware of your emotional and physical well-being, and better able to prevent burnout in the future.

The goal for any successful entrepreneur should be to create a thriving business without sacrificing personal and family life. A healthy work/life balance requires a dedication to self-care as much as to your business. Without it, you cannot thrive as an entrepreneur.