3 Important Signs of Entrepreneurial Burnout and How to Overcome It Most people experience burnout at least once in their life. Some of us experience it multiple times. Here's how you can avoid it altogether.

By Lewis Howes

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Most people experience burnout at least once in their life. Some of us experience it multiple times.

Chances are you are reading this article because you are a business owner or want to be a business owner -- or a creative, or someone looking to take their career to the next level. If so, then you most likely have an appetite for productivity and are hot on the trail of success.

But this means you are also a prime candidate for burnout if you aren't careful.

The first and often most difficult step to avoiding and overcoming burnout is identifying it. This can be tricky because it doesn't always look like you might think.

Related: 5 Insanely Inspirational Quotes For Entrepreneurs

Here are some different ways it shows up:

1. Running on empty

The typical burnout exhibits in the form of utter and complete exhaustion -- when you feel as if you are running on empty and no amount of rest seems to be enough, ever. You lose your drive, your joy, your life force.

2. Anxiety and panic attacks

Sometimes when a person has never experienced a panic attack before and he or she has one, it may seem like a life-threatening situation that sends the person straight to the ER. Despite the shortness of breath and pain in the chest, the doctors say it was "just an anxiety attack."

Burnout can cause a constant state of anxiety and stress where your senses are on overdrive and you are on a "fight or flight" plane of existence.

3. Feeling overwhelmed

Before you were always king or queen of your domain, winning at life and taking names, but now you want to stop the world and get off because everything seems to be just too much to handle and you want to crawl into a hole and not come out.

Because burnout is a common thing for entrepreneurs, if you find yourself experiencing it, be sure to go easy on yourself. Remember you are human, your body has limits and you can only push it so far. You will tell yourself you are lazy and try to keep moving forward but, in true burnout, you will not be able to keep going.

How to overcome business burnout

The most important thing to do when you have hit the burnout wall is to focus on self-care. If you have been working on chasing and building your dreams, you have probably had tunnel vision for quite some time and left your self-care far behind you.

When you have already reached burnout status, these are some things I do to get back to health sooner. You can try them, too.

Related: Letter to a Young Entrepreneur: 3 Things to Remember

Massage and reflexology: You really can't get too many of these when you are in burnout mode. Your nervous system is frazzled and massage can help to calm it. That's why I do this once a week if I can.

Acupuncture: One of the most effective methods I've found for ridding anxiety that doesn't involve medication. Also one of the most restorative naps you will ever take with needles in your skin (scary at first, but I find one of the most relaxing things you can do for yourself if you surrender to it).

Sleep: Focus on getting plenty of sleep, and good sleep hygiene means going to bed and waking at the same time each day. Your mind and body need sleep more than you think.

Play: In other words, get a life. Take a fun fitness class, hang out with your friends, toss a Frisbee at the park, play a game of chess with a friend, spend time wrestling with your kids. Laugh your ass off.

Eat well: Get your eating on a schedule and fuel up regularly with healthy stuff like greens, veggies, fruit and lean protein. You are probably guilty of skipping meals in lieu of working straight through the day and then eating a large supreme pizza by yourself at 11 p.m. finally, then staying up half the night with heartburn only to do it again the next day. You want to minimize caffeine and sugar intake as well, as these things can heighten anxiety.

These are just a few of the fundamental things you can do to overcome burnout, and you will probably find your own methods for restoring your motivation and energy. The way to avoid burnout altogether is to keep these strategies in your regular routine of self-care maintenance so your work is more productive and sustainable.

Make these tactics daily and weekly priorities and you can set yourself up for the win indefinitely.

Related: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream

Wavy Line
Lewis Howes

New York Times Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur, Coach

Lewis Howes is a New York Times bestselling author of The School of Greatness and The Mask of Masculinity. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high performance business coach and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete. He hosts a top 100 iTunes ranked Apple podcast, The School of Greatness. Howes was recognized by the White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under 30. Details magazine called him one of “5 Internet Guru’s that can Make You Rich.”  Howes has been featured on Ellen, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The New York Times, People, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health and other major media outlets.

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Business News

'I'm Not a Very Good Businessman': Kevin Costner Is Risking a Ton of His Own Money on New Project

The "Yellowstone" star discussed how he bankrolled his new epic movies — and his accountant isn't happy.


The Rise of Nano-Influencers: How the Smallest Voices are Making the Biggest Impact

The bigger an influencer is, the more beneficial it is for a brand to collaborate with them, right? Not necessarily.

Business News

'I Am Just Floored': Woman Discovers She Won $1 Million Lottery Prize While Checking Her Email at Work

Initially, she thought the email was a scam, but went to lottery headquarters and walked away with a six-figure check after taxes.

Business News

Woman Goes Viral For Brow-Raising Email Signature About Working Moms: 'Everyone Is Feeling This'

The email signature was created in response to pressure to answer emails within 24 hours.

Science & Technology

How AI Is Transforming the Accounting Industry — and What the Future Will Look Like

It's time to harness the power of AI and transform bookkeeping.


Which Hiring Strategy Is Right for Your Startup? My Experience Says This One

Startup businesses face a unique environment when it comes to adding the talent it needs during their earliest stages of operations, and every hiring decision is critically important to get right the first time.