How To avoid Summer Holiday Burnout When You Work For Yourself.

Do you work for yourself? Have you ever suffered with burnout? You are not alone! Last summer I suffered with massive burnout because I was SO stressed out trying to give the children the best summer holiday as well as keep on top of my work that I do from home. It manifested in my jaw predominately and I suffered terribly with TMJ, a muscular jaw pain that came on every day and seemed to get worse the more I tried to settle it down. As well as heightened hormonal stresses and overwhelm.

I adore my work. I write freelance, I create YouTube videos, content for social media and of course write here on my travel and lifestyle blog! But the trouble when you work for yourself and do something that you love, is that the lines are very blurred and the boundaries of working and living are easy to break.

With the summer holidays coming up I am really aware that I need to approach them this year in a totally different way so that I don’t burnout again. I wanted to share some of the practices I have been doing recently to help maintain a healthy balance, build resilience to stress and importantly, enjoy the summer holidays with my children. I really hope they help anyone who works for themselves, if you found it useful please share this with those who you think will benefit too.

ways to deal with summer burnout when you work for yourself letter board that reads you've got this

Ways to Avoid Summer Holiday Burnout

Wake up 20 minutes earlier.

I know this probably sounds crazy when you are already likely to be exhausted from the additional workload and pressure, but waking up before your children rise affords you the luxury of a moment to collect your thoughts and focus on what you need to get done during the day ahead. Having 20 minutes peace to have a cup of tea while the sun comes up or even use it to get a load of washing on or write your to do list really helps me feel clarity and composure for the day ahead and starts me off on the right foot.

Call on friends – do a childcare swap.

This is great if you have friends who also work and who have children around the same age. It’s free of course and you can find that having more than just your own children there will entertain yours even more, giving you a little more time to do what you need to do while they are playing. It also feels great knowing you’re helping a fellow self employed business owner feel less stress too during this busy time.

Get outside early.

I love getting the children out early and letting them burn off some energy so that they are tired out, but also the mum guilt is lessened if I have to work in the afternoon because I know they have had a really fun morning with me. I also book in a few days where we are out of the house all day, so these quiet afternoons are actually needed by them to help them recoup their energy too.

laptop on desk with pretty background and Rescue stress relief lozenges to help avoid burnoutlady holding a tin of Rescue stress relief pastilles in front of camera

Try Herbal Remedies For Stress Relief.

Last year I rediscovered Rescue Remedy, something I had taken many times during my teenage years for stress relief around exam times. The range has seriously expanded since I first started using it and they kindly sent me a selection to try out recently which I have absolutely loved using. They have some amazing new herbal remedies for combating stressful times that I have found are really really effective. They even have a Plus range which has added vitamins, my favourite is the Rescue Plus Spray and the lozenges (which taste delicious too!) for when I am sat at my desk as they give me amazing clarity and help me focus on the things I need to do, allowing me to feel much less overwhelm when I have a lot on my plate. I also love the Rescue liquid night melts and dropper to help me get a restful sleep naturally so I am on my game in the morning. There’s lots of helpful mental health tips over on their website too which you can check out here.

Ways to reduce stress and avoid burnout by getting a good nights sleep

Stop Procrastinating

Don’t try and do all your tasks in one go.

Giving yourself a huge to do list is totally overwhelming and nothing good comes of it generally. You’ll end up feeling under accomplished and like you’ve failed which is not going to help with the feelings of burnout. Instead, list 5 things you want to achieve today, and number them in order of importance. Check out the Pomodoro Technique for amazing ways to beat procrastination if you suffer with this – I know I do!

Focus on your productive times.

For me, I am most productive in the evening. So it makes sense to try and do the most of my work in the evening. But this means that when I am with the children in the day I mustn’t try and fit too much work in because I know I will be working all evening. If you are more productive in the mornings then switch up some of the previous tips, so taking the children out in the afternoon instead and dedicating 100% of your attention to them at that time. Trying to do both at 50% really doesn’t work so definitely try and assign the time to each role as parent and business owner and be committed to that task.

lady on computer typing ways to deal with summer burnout when you work for yourself

Adjust your standards.

Perfectionism can be a major source of stress and anxiety, but often it is what we are projecting onto ourselves, but it doesn’t actually need to be that way. It’s ok to lower your standards when time is not on your side, sometimes getting the job done to a “satisfactory” standard is enough.

What Contributes To Your Stress?

Learn to identify stress and deal with it straight away.

I know that my mood and patience with the children can sometimes switch up immediately if I read an email that makes me feel under pressure. A brand who want something back straight away or an article that needs editing immediately. So, because I have identified that I can manage that from happening so much. I make sure I look at my emails throughout the day when I have time to deal with whatever may have come through to my inbox, rather than looking at them as soon as they come in because if I can’t actually do anything about it at that moment then I shouldn’t be looking at the potential issue coming in – it will stress me out, I will take it out on the children and for no resolution. Think about adding an out of office to your email to inform people when you will be available and to expect a delay.

Learn to say no.

The summer holidays are not the time to be taking on additional work that you don’t have the time for, especially if it is pro bono or something with a low fee that you’re just doing to help someone out. Don’t be afraid to say no to the things that aren’t going to bring you any benefit as they are just adding to your to do list and potentially make you burnout without bringing any advantage to you.

write a list to help with burnout

Avoid Burnout : Make Sure You Go To Work.

Work from a work only zone.

This is so important for being able to shut off at night. Working from a dedicated space means that when you “go to work” you are in work mode, and when you finish work, you’re able to relax. Letting the sofa become a place where you work, (or even worse the soft office – your bed!) means that the lines of work and rest are totally blurred, and you’ll never truly relax! Making time to shut off from the online world is so important and can really help with reducing your stress levels.

Connect with others who work for themselves.

You may work in a team, but the likelihood is you work on your own without a team to share the stress and strains of self-employed life with. But there are tonnes of Facebook groups for different industries and I find this a really nice way to connect with like-minded business peers and share support, ideas or even just find a friendly ear to have a good old rant to with others who might feel feelings of burnout.

So, these are my ways to help beat burnout this summer, I have another post coming up soon with even more tips so keep an eye out for that, but I’d love to know if you have any additional tips to add, please get involved in the comments and share your tips.

flatlay of a work office set up with a notebook and coffee on blog post discussing burnout at work

This post is written collaboratively. Thank you Rescue for sending me a selection of amazing products and sponsoring this post, all views are my own.

Check out these videos if you want more ways to reduce stress and be more mindful.

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27 Comments

  1. July 22, 2019 / 8:18 am

    Some great tips here, I am looking forward to spending more time with the kids though

  2. July 20, 2019 / 10:12 am

    These are great tips. It’s so easy to try and be a superhero but it’s important to be realistic!

  3. July 19, 2019 / 3:56 pm

    We are doing childcare swaps, although I seem to be having more kids at mine, but it will be fun for them

  4. Alexandra Cook
    July 17, 2019 / 11:11 pm

    This is something that I need to remember every single day. Definitely needed this. Thank you so mich for sharing.

  5. July 17, 2019 / 10:57 pm

    These tips are very useful. Waking up early is so important. It gives me additional time to work without interruptions. By doing this, I feel more efficient and less stressed.

  6. July 17, 2019 / 6:39 pm

    Lots of great tips here to stay focused and motivated. I find when I tackle one project at a time, I get more done and have a more productive day than when I try doing it all at once which only ends up leaving me overwhelmed and feeling out of control. Such a motivating read 🙂

  7. July 17, 2019 / 12:55 pm

    Hi, I’m a stay at home Dad and also have some businesses, I just love your ideas. They’ll surely bring back the fun in the family. Great post and thanks for sharing.

  8. July 17, 2019 / 9:50 am

    This is great. I believe it will go a long way in preventing a burnout for people like me who work from home.
    Thank you for sharing these tips.
    Janie Melcher recently posted…Best Bath Toys For 5 Year OldMy Profile

  9. July 17, 2019 / 6:37 am

    I totally agree with waking up early, that way I have more time to play with. However, I do need to re-charge for 10 mins in the afternoon.

  10. Naza Holliman
    July 17, 2019 / 3:52 am

    Such great tips. I love all of these.

  11. Rosey
    July 17, 2019 / 3:34 am

    Working from home is difficult. Even moreso if you are the sole breadwinner. I tried it and couldn’t make the bills, so now I am back in the workforce. I can see how it is stressful when it’s good (it’s hard to quit working) or not so good (it’s hard to find consistent pay). I agree, it’s pretty easy then to suffer burnout. Knowing ways to prevent it matter.

  12. July 17, 2019 / 1:49 am

    This is really great advice, even if you don’t work for yourself!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. July 16, 2019 / 11:18 pm

    This hit home. Working for myself is awesome and a huge learning experience. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  14. July 16, 2019 / 10:25 pm

    These are some great tips as I work for myself as well. I hadn’t heard of these pastilles before. Looks like a great product.

  15. Claire
    July 16, 2019 / 8:53 pm

    Loving these useful tips! I totally agree with you 🙂 As a business owner it’s so busy and hectic but you gotta plan it out!

  16. July 16, 2019 / 7:41 pm

    Starting my day off early has really helped avoid holiday burn out. More time to relax if you start early.

  17. Lisa
    July 16, 2019 / 7:08 pm

    This is fantastic advice Lara! I felt I was reading about me in this post. Waking up a little earlier really helps. Procrastination was something I used to be terrible at, but now I’m much better and just get on with it!

  18. July 16, 2019 / 12:04 am

    Great tips you have there and waking up early is crucial so I have extra time to work but I also take a nap in the afternoon to recharge. By doing so, I feel more efficient.

  19. Suzanne
    July 15, 2019 / 7:23 pm

    I think it’s important to take breaks even if for a day to prevent burnout. You can’t expect to keep going without any rest.

  20. July 15, 2019 / 3:04 pm

    the summer holidays can be tricky. Certainly running a holiday business and having 6 children of my own the summer holidays have always felt like a mad whirl of 6 weeks. Some lovely tips here to halp stay in control.

  21. July 15, 2019 / 1:23 pm

    These are great tips. The summer burnout is a real thing when you work from home, especially when you have kids. Between trying to get your work done and do all the kid stuff, it can sap you.

  22. July 11, 2019 / 9:06 pm

    I always try and do as much as possible before the holidays so that I can just fight fire where work is concerned over the summer but I always have to find time to work at some point! x

  23. July 10, 2019 / 11:09 pm

    This summer will be my first where I’ll be working from home and I’ve no idea how it will work with looking after 3 kids too. Thanks for the great tips so I can be prepared!

  24. July 10, 2019 / 10:42 pm

    Some great tips, thank you. This is something I always struggle with. I like the sound of the rescue remedy that contains vitamins as well, I think that’s exactly what I need. I hope you manage to enjoy the holidays, it’s a fabulous, difficult time all rolled into one!
    Nat.x
    Plutonium Sox recently posted…Sustainable hen do party bagsMy Profile

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