Self-Care & Being A Virtual Assistant: Burnout Part 3

Self-care Burnout 3

Practicing self-care and being a virtual assistant is essential to protect you from burnout and this is part three on the topic of burnout. If you missed the first two blogs in the series be sure to read those first. 

Part 1

Part 2

In the first two blogs we addressed the six main causes of burnout according to Harvard Business Review which are largely external. In this blog we’ll be discussing the internal causes of burnout according to expert burnout coach Cait Donovan.

The internal causes of burnout are:

  1. Lack of boundaries
  2. Negative mindset
  3. Perfectionism
  4. Past trauma
  5. People pleasing
  6. Low self-worth

  1. Lack of Boundaries

As a virtual assistant you have probably created boundaries with your clients. If not, you’ll want to do so immediately. However, what about the boundaries you need to set with your family and friends?

Working from home is just that – work. Not to mention your own personal time needs to be respected so you can do the best work and be the best version of yourself. 

Without boundaries, both personal and professional, you won’t ever be able to stick to a strategy of self-care because no one will be able to respect what they don’t understand. It’s as simple as letting others know during specific times you are not available and then reminding them if and when they forget and try to cross your boundaries. 

2. Negative Mindset

You get to choose to make each day the best it can be. You get to choose to take control of your thoughts. The sum of your daily thoughts makes up your overall mindset. Without a strategy to know and realize when you are not thinking your best and planning for the worst you’ll constantly be digging yourself out of a hole. 

  • Start each day with three things you are grateful for to put you in the right mindset. 
  • Be mindful of what you are consuming each day and how much time you give to it. You may find some of your favorite songs are actually making you sad. The news that you consume at night might be manifesting in your subconscious overnight causing you to get little rest and wake up uneasy. Time spent scrolling through social media could cause you to have issues with how you perceive yourself. 
  • End each day thoughtfully. Have a routine for ending a workday, even if you didn’t get to everything you wanted to do. Make a plan for your following day and instead of focusing on what didn’t go well, applaud yourself for all that you did accomplish. 

To focus on the negatives is to have a negative mindset. To focus on the positives is to find the positive in your mind and in the world. 

3. Perfectionism 

Perfectionism is something many VAs see as a badge of honor. It’s the thing that allows you to be sought after by clients and why your work is impeccable. There are many drawbacks to being a perfectionist. Particularly, being hard on yourself when mistakes are made and since we know mistakes happen even to the best of the best, this is something you’ll need to take control over. 

Additionally, there is a catch to being a perfectionist. You know there are things you excel at and those things where you get them as close to perfection as possible. What about when you are asked to do something outside your comfort zone? Unfortunately, your perfectionist tendencies don’t go away. 

As a business owner and entrepreneur, your comfort zone will be constantly tested if you are growing. Don’t let perfectionism keep you from growing into the best version of yourself. 

4. Past Trauma

Whether it’s a past client that didn’t work out, a project that didn’t work, or a failed launch, it’s easy to bring these into our current future. Learning from past failures is positive. Being traumatized by them is negative. Let the past be the past and learn from it, don’t live in it. 

5. People Pleasing

Is there such a thing as an assistant who isn’t a people pleaser? The key is to make sure you are capable of pleasing the right people. You won’t ever be able to please the wrong client. Most importantly, your job isn’t to please anyone. First and foremost, your job as a VA is to meet the agreed upon expectations for your work. You are not responsible for anyone else’s feelings. The only thing you are responsible for is doing your job. 

6. Low Self-Worth

As a virtual assistant, don’t tie your worth to your work or how much money you are making. Every business experiences highs and lows. Your personal worth has nothing to do with these high and lows. What you want to make sure of is that you are in a like-minded community and supported by others who can help pick you up when you’re down. Much like the clients you assist, you were never supposed to do business alone. In isolation, it is easy to feel stuck and have a low self-worth. When sharing with a supportive community, it is much easier to bounce back!

The AVA is committed to providing virtual assistants the resources, tools, and like-minded community in Slack to practice self-care and avoid burnout.

To be supported in your daily self-care join the AVA

We see you. We hear you. We value you.