I know I’m feeling burnt out lately. The Inner Circle meeting yesterday morning confirmed this. Everyone is feeling at least stressed and for good reason. Business owners and leaders have been operating in an uncertain business environment for at least 10 months. Uncertainty over a period of time raises your stress levels. Add the regular stresses in life that occur no matter economic conditions and a business owner is ripe for feeling burnt out.

Are you aware of the signs?

Are you doing something about it to get relief?

Burn out signs are myriad and everywhere. And while I won’t go into them in detail right now, if you’re feeling listless, unmotivated, sleeping poorly, irritated more easily than usual, or everything seems difficult, than I’ll bet you are very stressed and probably heading into the burnout zone.

I’m pretty sure the answer that first comes to mind isn’t the first thing to do. So many people jump into “just working harder” to overcome it. Our group yesterday focused on another answer. “Take a break, give yourself a break. Break up the routine.”

Ultimately, when you are burning out, you need to do something both short term and long term to refresh your spirit. But first you need to fess up to yourself and admit you’re burnt out. Give yourself permission to take that short break from work daily to hit golf balls to clear your brain. And long term make sure you are taking time away from work on weekends and evening to focus on other things, your kid’s swim meet, long naps, things that take your brain and your nervous system away from work. Refresh your soul. Then you’ll be more effective and have fresh view of the obstacles so you can turn them into opportunities.

And we all agreed that the macho position of “you can’t let them see you sweat” hinders your ability to lift the stress from your shoulders. It only adds pressure. Find a group of peers you can confidentially and confidently admit your stress to. This always works. It’s one of the main values of a peer group like Inner Circle.

Obviously it’s much more complex than this, but by paying attention to this you’ll find solutions and get back on track.

What “refresh your soul” techniques do you have that others might benefit from?