Leaders often find truth in the adage, “it’s lonely at the top.” Forbes discusses common themes between stress and leadership, and provides five tips on how to combat the isolation and stress of sitting in the head chair.
- Get consistent, good rest
There is often a direct relationship between poor choices and exhaustion. To combat this, you should set aside time to put work aside and rest. Incorporate this time into your life and make it routine. Ease this practice by starting out on a weekly or monthly basis, instead of trying to do it on a daily basis and feeling overwhelmed.
- Be grateful
Remind yourself of the positive parts of your life to avoid getting bogged down by the stress of leadership. Wake up every morning and go to bed every night with words of gratitude. Practicing mindful gratitude will keep your stress and loneliness at bay.
- Write down your “2 a.m. friends” and hold on to them
There is a difference between your social media friends and the friends who will be there for you through anything. Think about the people who would be there for you if you got in trouble at 2 a.m. Focus on and cultivate those relationships to remind yourself that you have a community and are not alone.
- Build relationships outside of work
Only having work relationships ensures that your relationships are only (or at least mostly) about work. This can increase your sense of loneliness. Make sure you have friends outside of work who will talk to you about personal aspects of life and be honest with you, since your work friends will be less honest while you are the leader.
- Surround yourself with positive and encouraging people
If you are feeling lonely, stressed, and down, do not hang out with people who feel the same way. This will only make you feel worse. Instead, surround yourself with people who inspire you and lift you up.
Being a leader is an exciting responsibility that challenges and develops you, but it also causes some stress. Know that you are not alone and there are ways to combat the difficult aspects of leadership.