The Betterment Project

How Managers & CEOs Deal With Stress & Avoid Burnout

Higher levels of management have additional responsibilities aside from their actual job tasks, and manager burnout and exhaustion are real.


Managers and CEOs are required to be on call for crisis management situations, play a key role in workforce decision-making, and manage multiple personalities for healthy balance on a team. 


An organization’s culture and structure start at the top and flow down to the lowest rank employees. Managers and CEOs set the tone for any and all expectations that the company will have, and play a key role in encouraging employee engagement and preventing employee burnout. 


How these upper levels of management handle their stress and physical wellbeing is mirrored within the rest of the company. 


How can leaders process their stress levels and pass along these lessons to their employees? 


Processing and addressing stress starts with recognizing it.

 

How Can I Recognize Stress? 

 

Recognizing your stress and symptoms of burnout allows you to check in with yourself and acknowledge that you need to make a change. Here are just a few ways to recognize stress.

 

Identify Triggers 

 

In order to make any changes in one’s life, whether to reduce everyday stress or make significant changes regarding burnout, the stressors need to be identified. 


We cannot reevaluate our current habits if we are not aware that something needs to change. 

 

Reevaluate Current Habits 

 

It may be helpful to get a piece of paper or even make a voice memo talking or writing out your habits and some insights regarding why they are happening and how you can mitigate them in your tough job. 


Oftentimes, we keep everything in our heads and do not find ways to direct our thoughts in a healthy, positive way, which contributes to chronic stress. 

 

Set Boundaries 

 

Once these habits are reviewed, it’s time to create or strengthen boundaries. Without boundaries, our energy will be depleted by constantly giving to others and doing things we don’t necessarily want (or have the capacity) to do. When we don’t have boundaries, we may experience burnout in the long run.


As a leader, do you allow yourself time to unplug and disconnect from work? Do you have boundaries between your home and work life to reduce workplace stress? 


If you do, it will be easier for you to pass the same boundaries along to your team. And if you don’t, there is a good chance your team does not have a work-life balance either, because it is not modeled to them. 


These first few steps are powerful for higher levels of management to embody and pass down to their team. 


Upper levels can even hold workshops to help employees work through heavy workload stress and create action steps to make changes. Unaddressed stress due to an unmanageable workload can accumulate over time and lead to burnout — or might result in you losing a valuable team member due to resignation. 


Managers and CEOs can make a massive impact in their companies by ensuring their employees' mental and physical health is taken care of and overwork is prevented.


Proactiveness and prevention are monumental. 

 

Using Sensory Stimulation To Process Stress

 

Checking in with your body is crucial when dealing with stress. 


For some, a high-intensity activity like lifting weights is effective for stress relief, but others may benefit from a more soothing activity like a relaxing spa day. Music can also be a wonderful sensory pursuit that helps us let go of stress. 


Depending on a leaders’ capability and resources, one way to recharge is to work remotely for a month. Whether you can go overseas or even across their state, a change of scenery can help inspire you and allow you to enjoy a refreshed sense of peace. 

 

How Can Managers Help Their Team Reduce Stress?

 

If people in the company are stressed or burnt out, it can end up being felt by their peers in some capacity. 


Here are some effective ways that managers can be mindful of their own workloads and environments and translate that mindfulness to their employees. 

 

Remove Low-Impact Tasks

 

If any tasks are unnecessary to optimal functioning for the team or the bottom line, consider letting them go to provide the team proper time to work on what is truly important. Even in remote work, senior leaders need to take initiative to ensure the work at hand is valuable and necessary.

 

Implement Wellness Days 

 

Does your team take off an occasional vacation day here and there to play hooky? 


If you want your employees to make it through the work year in one piece, wellness days will likely be essential for their mental and physical well-being. 


Days off give everyone an opportunity to find that extra time to run errands, schedule doctor appointments, or simply take a total day of rest on the couch. And they can reduce signs of burnout.

 

Allow Team To Disconnect From Work 

 

No human being can think about work every second of every day, nor can they be productive every second of every day. 


Unplugging allows us to reconnect to ourselves in a deeper, more meaningful way. That reinvigorated sense of self can ultimately carry over into the work environment and inspire others to do the same. 


If managers, HR professionals, and CEOs model this guidance to their colleagues, imagine how productive a workplace could feel.

 

Lunch & Learn 

 

This is a great option to provide practical tools to your employees to manage stress, without requiring extra time onsite after work. 


Consider bringing in various mental health professionals, life coaches, and people who have been in your employees’ shoes and found strategies to work smarter, not harder. 

 

Honor Daily Work Breaks

 

Breaks during the workday are essential to maintain optimal levels of accuracy in job tasks. A ten to 20-minute break every few hours can be critical for employees to stay engaged. 


As a manager, you can encourage breaks throughout the day to help keep the team sharp.

 

Have Compassion 

 

Do we have compassion for ourselves when we feel overwhelmed by our workloads? Or even when we want to take a break and think we don’t have the time? 


Leaders must take the time and effort to reflect on what is and is not working in the company environment. The more mindfulness we are able to embody, the more we can share with the rest of the organization. 


People in higher levels of management are there for a reason. On some level, they have proven themselves capable of handling a certain amount of stress, problem-solving, and forward-thinking.  

 

How Can Stress Be Managed With Supplements?

 

There are a few potent ingredients to be on the lookout for the next time stress strikes. Supplements can provide various benefits that range from increased energy, sharper focus, enhanced mood, and support for stress responses. 


All of these can help ensure peak performance.  

 

Ashwagandha 

 

Ashwagandha is a root that can help reduce feelings of stress, support brain function, and aid in muscle recovery. It is an adaptogen and may assist the body in regulating your stress response.

 

Coenzyme Q10 

 

Coenzyme Q10 levels in the body lessen with age, so it’s important to continue to supply the body with the proper amounts. 


Even when your body’s production starts to decrease, supplements can help you ensure you continue to have what you need for overall wellness.

 

DHEA

DHEA plays a role in hormone balance and might be a key to mood support, immune and cognitive function, and maintaining skin and bone health. 


ASYSTEM’s Superhuman Supplements for Men can make for a great addition to any man’s daily routine to ensure that you are equipped to handle any stress that arises. 


This supplement offers systematic support, and each daily dose is divided into packets that make it easy to know how much you should take each morning. 

 

Melatonin

 

If you find yourself unable to turn off your mind at night, ASYSTEM’s Sleep Gummies with Melatonin are a powerful way to relax your body, get better quality sleep, and wake up refreshed. 


You only need one gummy, ideally 30 to 60 minutes before going to sleep, for the healing properties to work their magic. 

 

Conclusion 

 

Today’s leaders have a lot on their shoulders.  Managers and CEOs are used to resolving conflicts while at work, so they have extra tools up their sleeves to help them when the pressure builds up high. They are known to wear many hats and balance many different tasks at one time. 


Now, that doesn’t mean these leaders can go without a break from time to time. Anyone can experience stress, but strategies like mental wellness days, workshops, and task prioritization can help higher-level employees tackle stress in the workplace. 


Sources: 

Coenzyme Q10 | Mayo Clinic

DHEA | Mayo Clinic

What Drives Leadership Stress — and How to Deal  | CCL

Meet our Experts

This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.

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