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Thriving in the Face of Stress: Self-Care Strategies

🌱 Harnessing Your Neurodiversity Gifts 🌱

Thriving in the Face of Stress: Self-Care Strategies for Leaders with ADHD and Non-Neurodiverse Leaders


There are many factors which make leadership more stressful than it was just 5-10 years ago.


The advancement of technology has produced more and more data points which a leader must understand and can be measured against. Email, instant messaging and home working have seen the pressures of work creep into the home. Even the growth of employee rights and employee diversity - something which should absolutely be celebrated - has put additional responsibilities and pressures onto leaders.


For executives with ADHD, the stresses and strains of leadership are often experienced particularly acutely. Workplace norms do not always align with the ADHD-wired brain, which can exacerbate feelings of stress during challenging periods of work.


However, it’s not just those with ADHD who could benefit from self-care strategies. Today’s fast-paced world can lead to neurodiverse and non-neurodiverse individuals alike to experience burnout, stress or overload.


In this article, I want to share self-care strategies that could help all leaders manage the pressures of modern work. First, let’s explore the ways in which those stresses can overwhelm.


Common Challenges

Most of us are familiar with the common stresses of modern work, which can include challenging deadlines, increasing work complexity, intense pressure, or being asked to do more with less.


However, the impact of this stress manifests itself in different ways. This might depend on whether you are neurodiverse or non-neurodiverse, the particular pressures you are facing at that moment in time, or simply where your strengths and weaknesses lie.


Common burnout challenges include:

✔️Emotional Exhaustion

Constantly juggling responsibilities and managing high-pressure situations can lead to emotional exhaustion, where you feel totally drained and overwhelmed. More specifically, you might feel apathy, a lack of motivation, or suffer from physical challenges like headaches or a lack of sleep.

✔️Work-Life Imbalance

Balancing professional commitments with personal and family life can be challenging. When the balance becomes skewed towards work instead of restorative leisure and family time, your stress levels increase and there is a negative impact on your overall well being.

✔️Mental Fatigue

The demands of decision-making, problem-solving, and multitasking can lead to mental fatigue, which affects focus and productivity. In turn, this can lead to other types of stress; when your productivity dips, deadlines and tasks build up more quickly.

✔️Role Overload

Taking on too many responsibilities, or feeling the weight of expectations, can quickly lead to emotional exhaustion or burnout.

✔️Chronic Stress

Prolonged exposure to stress, or prolonged challenges like those above, can lead to ‘chronic stress’. Without effective coping mechanisms, chronic stress can have a serious negative impact on both your physical and mental health.


Powerful Self-Care Strategies

The common burnout challenges above do not make for pleasant reading - and most of us will have experienced them at some point in our lives to some degree.

However, there's a number of powerful self-care strategies which are proven to positively transform your reaction to stress and pressure.


✅ Prioritize Rest

Allow yourself regular periods of rest and relaxation. Take breaks throughout the day, practice deep breathing exercises, and engage in activities that rejuvenate your mind and body.

Suggestion:

Ensure that your designated breaks are truly restful by taking a short walk, or at the very least leaving your desk to stretch your legs. Lunch breaks are the perfect time to take a longer walk, for example around a local park.


✅ Set Boundaries

Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Allocate dedicated time for self-care, hobbies, and quality time with loved ones.

Suggestion:

Devices such as laptops and smartphones blur the boundaries between work and personal life. To help re-establish those boundaries, consider muting work notifications, shutting down your laptop, or even going phone-free for part of your day.


✅ Practice Mindfulness

Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine. Engage in activities such as meditation, journaling, or mindful walks to enhance self-awareness and reduce stress.

Suggestion:

You don’t need to book a wellness retreat to practice mindfulness! You can access mindfulness via a simple piece of paper for journaling, exploring one of the many mindfulness apps, or by closing your eyes and listening to calming instrumental music.


✅ Delegate and Collaborate

Learn to delegate tasks and embrace collaboration. Distribute responsibilities among team members, allowing you to focus on high-priority tasks and alleviate the burden.

Suggestion:

This is an action that you simply have to ‘do’. Don’t put it off, don’t overthink how best to do it - trust yourself, trust your team, and start delegating!


✅ Seek Support

Reach out to mentors, coaches, or support networks such as The Bloom Method. Your support networks will give you insights, guidance, and encouragement to navigate stress and burnout effectively.


I'm Here to Help You Thrive

If you are looking for help or more information regarding self-care strategies, feel free to send me a message on social media or schedule a complimentary consult call here.


I help neurodiverse and non-neurodiverse leaders Bloom into their next exciting chapter of their lives. From feeling stressed and burnt out, to excelling in life and in business so that they can make a greater impact in the world. 🌸 -Kate






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