Coping With Stress And Burnout As A Leader

Leaving the office doesn’t always relieve the sense of stress or frustration you feel. You often carry it home. There, you unleash that frustration on those closest to you: your family.

You know this isn’t right. Yet, the stress and impending burnout pull you in this negative direction. You’re not yourself; you’re someone who’s angry, broken, and bitter.

You want to be better than this. You don’t want to snap at your spouse, yell at your child, or fume angrily.

Did you know it’s possible? You don’t have to live a life of frustration. You don’t have to burnout. You can be something more than this.

Identifying Sources Of Stress And Burnout Of Leaders

What causes undue amounts of stress for leaders? Why do leaders burnout? 

I’ve heard these questions asked again and again. I’ve seen the results of stress and burnout. They’re not pretty. 

If we can identify the sources of stress or burnout, you’ll have a much better tenure as a leader. Here are 4 common sources of stress and burnout in the office.

1. Long working hours: Long work hours cause stress because you’re not caring for yourself. You find yourself burning the midnight oil while failing to care for yourself. You feel yourself slipping into a state of depression and frustration. 

2. Leadership loneliness: They say leadership is lonely. I’ve found that to be true, but only when I let it. When we silo ourselves from our team members, friends, or others in leadership, we can feel our stress amp up. 

3. Conflict: Conflict always brings stress. We must be cautious of how much stress we’re allowing into our lives.

4. High-stakes responsibility: Whenever there’s high-stakes responsibility, there’s high stress and the chance of burnout. Don’t fret. High-stakes responsibility is a part of leadership, but it’s not something you have to live in every day.

How To Reduce Stress Levels As A Leader

Reducing stress isn’t rocket science. We just get so caught up in our daily grind that we forget to care for ourselves. When we learn to take care of ourselves, we find our stress levels decrease. Here are 5 ways you can reduce your stress as a leader.

1. Delegate: Learn to delegate. The more you can take off your plate and give to someone who can do the work better, the less stress you have. You free up time to tackle the things only you can do.

2. Eat healthy: Many of our stresses come from a stressed-out body. How does our body become stressed out? On top of the mental stress, we stress our bodies with the fuel we put into it. Find healthy, easy to consume foods that you can eat at the office or on the go. The better fuel you put in your body, the less stress it’ll feel.

3. Create positive relationships: Our relationships have a significant impact on our stress. When we think everyone is out to get us, our bodies go into a hyper-vigilant mode looking for ways to avoid conflict. Begin to foster positive relationships where it’s not a win-lose or lose-lose relationship. You can have win-win relationships where both of you are helping one another succeed.

4. Manage your time: Leaders can be one of the worst at managing their time. They forget meetings, and important events, and lose track of time. Then they wonder why nothing is getting done. Learn to manage your time. You’ll soon have breathing room along with less stress.

5. Seek help: If you’re feeling too stressed out or on the verge of burnout, seek professional help. Talk to a counselor or a trusted spiritual advisor. Listen to them and take heed of what they’re saying. They’re there to help you get back on track.

How To Recognize Burnout

With the amount of stress in our lives, burnout can happen more often than not. It’s not something we want or need to experience. By recognizing the signs of burnout, you can prevent burnout from happening to you.

Here are 4 signs of burnout coming on:

1. Loss of pleasure: If you’re no longer enjoying the things that once brought you joy, you might be on the road to burnout. Watch out for a lack of pleasure in the things you do.

2. Emotional exhaustion: While leading is exhausting, we have to watch out for emotional exhaustion. If you’re feeling drained, overwhelmed, or unable to meet constant demands, you may be experiencing symptoms of emotional exhaustion and burnout.

3. Cognitive problems: A lack of focus, forgetfulness, or a lack of attention to detail also signals burnout. Pay attention to see if these issues worsen or continue. 

4. Chronic fatigue: You get enough sleep, but you still feel tired. This is chronic fatigue and a sign of burnout. 

Coping With Stress And Burnout As A Leader

When you begin to recognize stress in your life or the signs of burnout, you’re at the starting point of coping with stress and burnout. You’re able to identify what symptoms you’re experiencing. That’s great. 

You also have to be able to understand how to deal with these stressors. Use the tips above to work on yourself and cope with stress. 

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