4 Ways To Prevent Leadership Burnout

Sadly, burnout is a chronic issue in today’s workforce. Especially for employees with the added responsibility of leading people. In fact, one survey reveals that 66% of leaders experience burnout, with stress as a prominent factor. After all, leadership has become more demanding in the modern workforce. Though many are glad management styles now lead and empower compared to the simple “command and control” style of the past, employees generally expect more from their bosses, from increased empathy to a more hands-on leadership style. For those that don’t naturally have these skills or traits. This added pressure increases stress levels, often leading to burnout. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to prevent leadership burnout. Below are four of them:

Maintain a healthy diet

Due to your responsibilities as a leader, you may forget to take breaks and eat meals. This is a habit you should avoid. After all, maintaining a healthy diet has been proven to result in a lower level of burnout symptoms. This is because the stomach and central nervous system have been found to be tightly linked. When healthy food is consumed, the brain takes this as a good sign and allows for positive mood changes. Before your workday starts, plan your meals ahead. Include fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates like bread, and protein in your dishes. At work, make sure you take breaks to eat and rest. If you cannot afford to take breaks, then have healthy snacks on hand like nuts or chopped fruit. Plus, remember to stay hydrated, as this is a part of maintaining your health for burnout prevention.

Become more mindful

One common strategy that is being taught to reduce employee, management, and leadership stress is mindfulness. The more present and mindful you are as a leader, the easier it is to lead from a place of empowerment and ease, than a state of disease. The more you learn to slow down and focus on one task or person at a time, the more mindful you will be of your thoughts, actions, and reactions. This naturally improves a leader’s awareness of self and others.

Set boundaries at work

As a leader that people depend on, you may have a difficult time rejecting additional tasks or favours that are outside your workload. This can be a common cause of burnout because it burdens you with more responsibility outside your usual workload. To conquer this, learn to say no to additional tasks. Know your
responsibilities at work and stick to doing those. To politely decline, you can tell the person “Sorry, but I already have prior commitments” or “Sadly, I am not qualified for that type of task”. Acknowledging your limits is better than taking on too much and wanting to give up midway. By learning to say no, you are able to prevent the stress that can lead to burnout.

Properly distribute tasks

Micromanaging is a habit that many leaders fall into. Because they want everything to be perfect and according to their standard, they tend to hover over everyone and their jobs. However, trying to manage every little thing can quickly cause you to burn out. Instead, communicate to your team your goals and visions. Tell them how you want a project to turn out and why it has to turn out that way. When you do this, they will know exactly what you want to see. As a result, they’ll perform their tasks in a way that reaches your goals. You are then able to better trust your team and properly distribute tasks, thus preventing burnout.

STOP and take breaks

Working through lunch and tea breaks is an unhealthy habit that many leaders and employees fall into. This chronic busyness and often inability to switch off and relax is a major cause of chronic anxiety, chronic stress, and chronic burn-out. It is important to lead by example, and take time to switch off throughout the day. Even short 5-minute breaks can help move the mind, body, and emotions off the stress response.

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Learn how to relax

Forms of relaxation have been proven to reduce stress in individuals. In a test group of people who performed muscle relaxation techniques, it has been found that their stress and anxiety lessened after the activity. Take time to practice relaxation techniques in order to prevent leadership burnout. Progressive muscle relaxation techniques can help. Some are a simple two-step process that only takes 10-20 minutes. The first step is to tense particular muscle groups in your body, such as the neck and shoulders. Next, release the tension and pay attention to how your muscles feel as you relax them. This helps lower overall tension and stress, helping the body enter a state of relaxation. As a leader, you are vulnerable to experiencing burnout due to your responsibilities. However, you can conquer this using the natural ways listed above and will soon be back in top leadership shape.

As a leader, you are vulnerable to experiencing burnout due to your responsibilities. However, you can conquer this using the natural ways listed above and will soon be back in top leadership shape.

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