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From Stressed to Success: Leadership Strategies for Managing Burnout

Sophia was a hard worker known for her dedication at her law firm. But she began struggling. During a big case, she found she couldn't understand a paragraph after reading it five times. Her sharp mind felt slow and stuck. There was just so much work and pressure! She realized she was experiencing burnout. It had gradually made her lose interest in her work. Sophia knew she needed to make a change to regain her passion and love for her job.

To be an effective leader, you must take care of your own mental wellbeing and foster the same in others. Recognizing the signs of burnout and actively combating them is crucial. This newsletter offers strategies to safeguard your mental health and sustain your professional vitality ✊

Understanding Burnout

⁉️ Am I experiencing burnout? Burnout can be recognized by persistent feelings of exhaustion, cynicism towards one's job, and a sense of diminished personal accomplishment or effectiveness.

πŸ“ˆ Prevalence and Impact: Employee burnout contributes to 50% of workforce turnover, including high-stress leadership roles.

πŸ’” Burnout and Physical Health: Burnout not only causes mental exhaustion but also increases the risk of physical health issues like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, emphasizing the need for early intervention.

πŸ“± Burnout in the Digital Age: Constant email connectivity (multitasking) disrupts work-life balance and increases burnout, necessitating digital detox strategies.

πŸ’‘ Impact of Burnout on Decision-Making: You will make worse choices, or will not be able to make a choice. This will impact your life in so may ways.

πŸ‘₯ Leadership Styles and Burnout: Empathetic, supportive, and communicative leadership can lower employee burnout by promoting a positive work environment and work-life balance.

Common causes of burnout

There are different causes of job burnout. They include:

πŸ”’ Lack of control. Job burnout can stem from inadequate control over your work, including schedule, assignments, workload, and resources.

❓ Unclear expectations. Confusion about what's expected can undermine job satisfaction.

βš”οΈ Conflicts. Issues with colleagues, office bullying, or overbearing boss increase job stress.

βš–οΈ Workload issues. A dull or overly demanding job depletes focus and energy, leading to burnout.

πŸ‘ Insufficient support. Lack of support at work and personally heightens stress.

What can you do?

πŸ’‘ Consider your options. Discuss honestly your concerns with your boss to see how you can manage the workload or the work environment.

🀝 Seek support. Request aid from colleagues, friends, or family. Sharing can improve coping and sense of belonging, mitigating burnout. Utilize services from employee assistance programs if available.

βœ‹ Set Clear Boundaries. Establish clear boundaries between work & personal life. Start saying no to things that aren't important. Try to schedule 30-minute meetings instead of one-hour ones. If possible, conduct walking meetings.

πŸ“΅ Tech-Free moments: Spend the first hour of your day without your phone & news. Give your brain time to reflect and focus without early distractions. Do the same after 6pm - no phone, no emails!

πŸ‹οΈ Get some exercise. Regular physical activity can help you cope with stress. It also can take your mind off work. Even 5 min HIIT can do magic! Try THIS

πŸ§˜β€β™‚οΈ Yoga Nidra: A powerful mid-day practice for regaining focus and energy, and it takes 5-10 min only! Try THIS

πŸš€ Action Item!

In your next meeting, whether you're a team lead or not, suggest starting with the question "How are you, really?” One of my students proposed this a year ago, and it led to honest sharing in the class about the pressures students face. As a result, two students sought office hours & counseling support, which they wouldn't have done without this check-in.

πŸ“š Book of the Week

To further explore strategies for managing stress and preventing burnout, I recommend reading "Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle" by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski. This insightful book offers scientific explanations and real-world solutions to help you break the stress cycle and reclaim your life.

✊ Until next time, give yourself, your mind, and your mental health the best possible treatment it deserves!

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