Let’s face it, we all face unique challenges at work. Depending on the size of your funeral home and staff, that might mean you have to wear multiple hats. At any given time, your career may require you to demonstrate expertise in event planning, accounting, grief support, transportation logistics, or cosmetology. This list could go on forever.
The point is, being a funeral director requires a lot of time and energy.
To make things even more difficult, the tasks mentioned above often come with pressure to meet short deadlines and help a family overwhelmed with grief. To say that sounds difficult would be an understatement.
Feelings of burnout or compassion fatigue are normal and experienced by many funeral professionals. With so much to do and a limited amount of time to get it done, it’s natural to feel like you’re spreading yourself too thin. To help with this, below are 8 ways to avoid feelings of burnout and lower your stress.
Regular exercise is not only good for your body, it’s good for your mind. By taking some time each day to get moving and exercise for a bit, you can improve your overall sense of well-being. No one ever feels bad after a good workout. Finding just 30 minutes to an hour each day can do wonders to improve your mood and feel ready to help meet the needs of others.
Helping people through their grief and being there to support them can be mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. One way to help with this by starting a journal. By taking some time each day to practice gratitude and reflect on the positive things in your life, you can help improve your mood. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, reviewing the different things your grateful for can be a big help and lift your mood.
It can be difficult to trust others to complete a job to level of quality and satisfaction you expect. But by not letting others take on more responsibilities, you’ll never create more free time for yourself. If you find yourself wearing multiple hats every day, it might be time to hire some help, or find a product or service that will save you more time each day.
How do you like to spend your down time? Finding a hobby that helps you separate from your professional life can be a helpful escape from stress. Doing something you’re passionate about that requires a different skill set creates a nice break from the weekly grind. For me, my escapes are golf and BBQing. Whenever I need some me-time, there’s nothing like a nice round of 18 or smoking a rack of ribs in the backyard to help clear my mind. What’s your escape?
How often do you find yourself grinding to finish a large task? I still remember the nights in university where I locked myself in my dorm room and couldn’t leave until that paper due the next morning was done. It sucked. Time seemed to crawl, my energy would fade, and the process to complete the assignment seemed to take longer than it should have. That was until I started learning about Ultradian rhythms. Essentially, it’s a basic rest activity cycle our bodies experience. Typically the cycle involves alternating periods of 90 minutes of high-frequency brain activity followed by 20 minutes of lower-frequency brain activity. When we don’t stop to take breaks, it adds stress to our bodies. By being aware of these natural cycles, you can get yourself into a flow state. By taking a brief break every 90 minutes or so to reset, you can avoid the mental fog and stress that pushing your body too hard creates.
It’s important to have a good work-life balance. If you’re entire day is spent at the office and then that fill’s your thoughts each night, you’re not really ever away from your job. Don’t be afraid to unplug and just enjoy the moment with friends and family. The little things you do like going for a walk, or taking your spouse out for a lunch date can do wonders to improve your mood and relieve stress.
If you’re to-do list is looking a little overwhelming, it might be time to make some adjustments. Obviously you don’t want your business or families being served to be impacted, but try to see if there are any less essential tasks you can delegate to another staff member or push to a later date. It can be difficult to say no to certain requests, but for your overall health, it’s important to be mindful of what’s already on your plate, what’s the most important, and do you have time.
Even if it’s just for 10 minutes each day, meditating can help clear your mind and help you refocus. By focusing on your breathing and relaxing, you can quickly find yourself restored with new energy and focus. Not only that, but taking some time for self care sets a great example for the rest of your team.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, if you’re like most funeral professionals you’re probably wearing multiple hats a day. If you’re looking for different ways to lighten the load, we’re here to help.
As a full service marketing agency, our team manages the digital marketing strategies for hundreds of funeral homes. By letting us take care of your marketing efforts online, you can have more time to focus on serving families and the things you’re passionate about.
It’s not just our services that can save you time. By using our award-winning management software, you can significantly reduce the time spent completing paperwork. Built to save you time and money, the Pulse Business system use a single entry logic so you only need to enter information once before it populates across the different forms and contracts it’s needed on.
This tool and our marketing services are just a couple of different ways we can help relieve stress and make things easier for you, your staff, and the families you serve.
To learn more about our tools and services, click here to schedule a quick 15-minute call.
Tommy holds a Communications degree from Laurentian University and an Integrated Marketing Communications Graduate Certificate from St. Lawrence College. He is a Content Marketing Specialist at FrontRunner and focuses on producing engaging content that funeral homes can use to connect with families. In addition, Tommy crafts SEO content for clients and specializes in helping the general public connect with the death care industry as a whole.