Don’t be a Burn Out
Show of hands, who has ever been stressed and angry at work? If you’re not raising your hand I guarantee you’re lying to yourself. Stress can be a killer literally and figuratively, especially if you’re not taking care of yourself.
Stress shows up in so many aspects of our lives on a daily basis, it can be direct and personal or indirect. Things can happen before you get to your shift behind the bar and screw your whole night up. You could have a fight with your boyfriend or girlfriend, finals could be coming up at school, or even a death or illness in the family. Deadlines might pop up at work, maybe you had 3 meetings in a row on a prep day and things didn’t get done and got pushed to another day. It’s really up to you, how you deal with your stress and how you relieve it, hopefully in a positive way.
In our industry, if stress and anger build up over time without any relief, most likely it will lead to burning yourself out. I’ve definitely been there before, trust me it’s not fun. It’s just about along the same lines as a panic attack and nervous breakdown. Letting every little thing get to you isn’t worth it. The last thing you want to have happen as a creative person (which I think bartenders are), is a burn out. It’s like writers block for a writer. Adding stress in your life usually slows your creative thoughts and can impact your work and personal life. The last thing one of your customers at your bar wants to see is a crotchety, pissed off bartender. Most likely they won’t be your customer anymore and your money just walked out the door.
The only reason I really write about things like this, is that maybe it will reach some young bartender out there to accept the fact stress happens. Everyone is affected by it, but there’s ways to make life less hectic. It’s OK to get mad, it’s not a bad thing, it’s a normal human emotion. Working behind a bar is meant to be fun! You literally get to work with some of your best friends, be creative with cocktails and talk to random strangers from all walks of life. I don’t know a lot of other careers that will give you the opportunities we have.
Learn to prioritize your life and your work (work/life balance). Make checklists for things to accomplish, both on a short term (daily) and long basis. For me getting back in the gym has been the best stress reliever out there. Counseling also is another great resource, especially if you don’t want to feel like you’re burdening your friends or family (which you’re not) with issues you’re trying to overcome. I’m not ashamed, but I’ve been talking with counselors for years and I think it’s extremely helpful. Find what’s best for yourself, when you find your happy place, you’ll know it and appreciate life even more.