- Recognize if you are an introvert or an extrovert. Dive deeper than just claiming to be shy or outgoing. How you gain your energy defines whether you’re introverted or extroverted. Introverts, while they can manage just fine in social settings, prefer to recharge their energy by spending time alone. And extroverts, while they can spend time alone, recharge their energy by being around others. So, acknowledge what you are (needing alone time or needing social situations) and spend time recharging your energy.
- Plan something for yourself that lights your fire, excites you and makes you smile. Whether it be a massage, a trip to Target, a weekend getaway, a girl’s/guy’s night out or just 5 minutes of quiet time, plan something for yourself that starts to refill your tank.
- Establish control over a specific situation. Often times when we start feeling the burnout, it’s partly due to lack of control. You have lost your say in how you run your business, you and your ideas aren’t being heard, or you have been unable to say “no” when others try to add to your workload. Recognize something you wish you had more control over and make a stand. After all, it’s your business and your life. At the end of the day, you are the only one in control of your happiness. No one else. So take ownership and make your own decisions.
- MOVE! And no, I don’t mean rent a U-haul and start packing. I mean move your body. This should be a no brainer, especially for trainers, but we all fall prey to becoming lazy and stagnant, especially when experiencing burnout. When you exercise, a chemical is released that can boost your mood, reduce stress, and alleviate anxiety. (Resource #3) So move your body, even if it’s just for 20-30 minutes. Your body and mind will thank you.
Now that you have some tools to course correct when you feel the burnout creeping up, let’s specifically focus on the job of the boot camp trainer.
When you do a job like this, you are constantly pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into others, day in and day out. Time and again I have seen that trainers (myself included) pour into others but rarely, if ever, into themselves.
Imagine driving your car to and from work every day. It does its job. It’s reliable. It gets you from point A to point B. It can even run on fumes for a while.
But what happens when you drive that car for weeks at a time and you forget to put gas in it?
Bad things. Expensive things. Irreversible things. That’s what happens.
The same applies to you with your health and happiness. When you go weeks on end pouring into others but neglecting yourself, you are putting your physical and mental health in jeopardy.
During my own times of burnout, I found myself “faking it until making it.”
I would show up to set up for my bootcamp, plaster on a smile, hand out dozens of high fives, and say all the right things to my clients.
But deep down I was miserable and wanted to be anywhere else but there because pretending to be peppy and upbeat when I felt so empty was just exhausting . . . so exhausting that once class was over, I would often cry.
Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do. It is one of my callings in life, and I am great at it!
BUT, when my tank was empty, no amount of feigned excitement could remedy the problem. It wasn’t until I focused on myself that I finally snapped out of these unhealthy habits.
I started taking solo overnight trips to Fredericksburg, TX, with my two dogs to just unplug and unwind. (Hello Texas wines!)
I would enjoy the beautiful 2-hour drive to the Hill Country while singing along to fun road jams! Sitting outside with beautiful scenery and a glass of wine allowed me to reflect on what I do and why I do it.
I recognized that as an introvert, my energy is recharged when I am alone, so I would make great efforts to take these quick trips as often as I could so that my tank wouldn’t ever again be empty. I would come back refreshed and refocused and with a greater sense of caring for all things.
I want to challenge you!
Wherever you are in your career, whether you are just starting out or you are a veteran trainer, start taking action now to prevent burnout. Even if you feel great right in this moment, plan ahead, knowing that these seasons of burnout do come around.
Accept that burnout happens.
Acknowledge when you are starting to see the signs in yourself, and take action to recharge your energy.
Let’s face it. Happier trainers are healthier trainers. And healthier trainers are what the world needs.
People’s lives depend on you. Quite literally. You are helping add years to their lives, so they need you to stick around.
So do this world a favor and become the happiest person you can be!
I’d love to hear from you!
Comment and let me know what you have done in the past to deal with burnout and what steps you plan on taking to avoid it in the future.
Marissa Prude is a Boot Camp Instructor and creator of Boot Camp Library, an online platform that helps Boot Camp Trainers avoid burnout and build their business to 6 figures and beyond.
Follow Marissa at https://www.facebook.com/BootCampLibrary/
Read more info on Signs You’re Burned Out.