Published Articles on Stress and Burnout featuring Snowden McFall

Investors Business Daily

Learn To Fight Burnout With A Healthy Attitude
BY MOREY STETTNER INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

Entrepreneurs do what they love. So burnout isn't a problem, right? In truth, business builders are prone to running aground. That's because they may immerse themselves so deeply in their work that they deplete their energy and creativity.

While it's normal to feel besieged as an entrepreneur, take notice of chronic tiredness during the day and sleep difficulties at night. You're also at risk of burnout if you grow increasingly impatient with people closest to you at work and home.

For Snowden McFall, the red flag was a fainting spell at work in 1986. It occurred three years after launching her firm, Brightwork Advertising and Training. "I didn't realize it was burnout," said McFall, author of "Fired Up!" "My doctor told me that I had to slow down and take two weeks of vacation a year, which up to that point I hadn't done." Following her doctor's orders, she returned refreshed and energized after two relaxing weeks off. Today, she credits that "wake-up call" as a pivotal moment in her career.

Despite severe fatigue and exhaustion, some entrepreneurs refuse to believe they're burning out. McFall warns that unless they acknowledge and address the problem, they may lose what they've built, face illness and ultimately fail to reach their goals. Over the last 20 years, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based motivational speaker has adopted a series of steps to fight burnout. McFall started meditating in 1990. She usually takes 15 minutes in the morning to engage in deep breathing exercises and sometimes devotes 30 minutes or more during the workday to calm her mind.

"It's like food or water to me," she said. "I have to have that timeout."

McFall also exercises regularly by engaging in activities such as tennis and ballroom dancing with her husband. She enjoys these physical workouts, which double as a healthy form of stress release.

Over the years, McFall has discovered another way to combat burnout - help the less fortunate. By spending an hour assisting the homeless or simply dropping off clothes at a domestic-violence shelter, she gains perspective on her work.

"Service changes everything," she said. "You're humbled. And you shift from a state of stress to gratitude."

Entrepreneurs who are subject to burnout may dwell on their ever-expanding to-do list and full plate of business worries. By focusing on your small triumphs, however, you can displace mounting anxiety with satisfying thoughts. McFall writes at least 10 "successes" in her journal every day.

"Because I worked until 3 a.m. last night, getting up early was a big success," she said with a laugh. "So I wrote 'got up this morning.' If you intend to do something and you follow through, you feel a sense of accomplishment writing it down."


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