Sat Aug 26 2023

5 Key Strategies For Keeping Burnout At Bay

Find out why people with ADHD get burnout and learn how to balance your life by building good, sustainable habits.

ADHD and Burnout: Understanding the Causes and Strategies for Building Sustainable Habits

Well hi there!

Living with ADHD can be an exhilarating journey filled with passion and creativity. However, it can also come with its fair share of challenges, one of which is the risk of burnout.  Let’s explore why you might be feeling burned out or exhausted and lets look at some strategies to build some great habits so that you can manage your wellbeing better overall. 

Why are ADHDers so susceptible to burnout and exhaustion?  

  • Hyperfocus and Intense Drive: Individuals with ADHD possess the incredible superpower of hyperfocus—an intense level of concentration on a specific task or activity. While this can be advantageous, it can also lead to burnout. They may get so immersed in their work or hobbies that they lose track of time, neglect self-care, and exhaust themselves mentally and physically.
  • Difficulty with Time Management: Time management can be a significant challenge for individuals with ADHD. They may struggle with estimating time accurately, setting realistic goals, and prioritizing tasks. This difficulty can lead to overcommitment, working long hours, and neglecting rest and relaxation, ultimately increasing the risk of burnout.
  • Overstimulation and Sensory Overload: ADHD often comes with heightened sensitivity to stimuli, making individuals more susceptible to overstimulation and sensory overload. Busy environments, excessive noise, or chaotic workspaces can drain their energy and contribute to burnout. Without regular opportunities for downtime and quiet reflection, the risk of burnout intensifies.
  • Perfectionism and Fear of Failure: Many individuals with ADHD strive for perfection and have a deep fear of failure. They may hold themselves to unrealistic standards, constantly seeking validation and recognition. This relentless pursuit of perfection can lead to chronic stress, self-doubt, and burnout as they exhaust themselves in an attempt to meet impossibly high expectations.
  • Executive Functioning Challenges: ADHD can impact executive functioning skills, such as planning, organizing, and prioritizing. Individuals may struggle with managing multiple tasks, meeting deadlines, and staying on top of responsibilities. These challenges can create a constant state of stress, leaving individuals feeling overwhelmed and prone to burnout.

Managing your wellbeing with some really good habits:

  • Practice Mindful Self-Care: Make self-care a non-negotiable priority. Engage in activities that recharge and rejuvenate you, whether it's taking a walk in nature, practicing mindfulness, or pursuing a hobby you enjoy. Mindful self-care helps replenish your energy reserves and prevents burnout.
  • Set Realistic Boundaries: Learn to set boundaries that protect your time, energy, and well-being. Say "no" to excessive commitments and delegate tasks when possible. Focus on what truly aligns with your priorities and passions, and don't hesitate to seek support from colleagues, friends, or family.
  • Break Tasks into Manageable Chunks: Avoid overwhelm by breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. Create a structured plan and set achievable milestones along the way. Celebrate each milestone as a small victory, and remember that progress is more important than perfection.
  • Prioritize Rest and Recovery: Recognize the importance of rest and recovery in maintaining sustainable productivity. Schedule regular breaks and ensure you're getting sufficient sleep. Allow yourself downtime to relax, recharge, and engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Seek Support and Accountability: Don't hesitate to seek support from a coach, therapist, or support group specializing in ADHD. They can provide guidance, strategies, and accountability to help you build sustainable habits and avoid burnout. Connecting with others who share similar experiences can also provide validation and a sense of community.

We have these amazing brains that are our superpowers! We just have to prioritise our wellbeing and brain care so that burnout and exhaustion doesn’t have to be your constant companion. Habits help you do things without using your prefrontal cortex (your executive function) and do things more efficiently. It just takes some time to embed habits.

Embrace mindful self-care, set realistic boundaries, break tasks into manageable chunks, prioritise rest, and seek support when needed. Remember, your journey is unique, and finding balance and sustainable habits will help you thrive in your extraordinary adventure!