Burnout is a common experience among individuals with ADHD. It is a state of exhaustion that goes beyond feeling tired or stressed. Burnout can show up in various ways, including feelings of overwhelm, increased lack of motivation, fatigue, and changes in mood. Often, it shows up as a result of over-committing and overextending oneself.
If you are experiencing burnout, you may find it even harder to complete tasks, struggle with executive dysfunction, and have low motivation levels. Burnout can occur due to overcompensation from expectations of ourselves, such as feeling like we have to please others or holding on to the “try harder” mentality. Other factors contributing to burnout include struggling to understand our limits, set boundaries, executive dysfunction, and feeling like productivity equals your worth.
To support your ADHD brain during the burnout process, it’s essential to identify what is causing these feelings. This involves stepping back and reflecting on what may contribute to your burnout. Here are a few things to consider when you are experiencing burnout.
Ask for Support
It’s important to remember that struggling is a normal part of the human experience, and it’s okay to ask for help when needed. Seeking support from therapy, coaching, friends, or family can be incredibly beneficial in helping you work through burnout. It takes courage to acknowledge when you need that support, which is a sign of strength.
Rest and Reset
It’s common to put a lot of pressure on ourselves when it comes to taking care of ourselves, and we may have a set of expectations on how we should do things. However, it’s essential to prioritize rest and relaxation when experiencing burnout. Finding the things that help you reset is crucial in managing burnout and supporting your ADHD brain.
Finding activities that help you reset can be different for everyone. It could be spending time in nature, practicing mindfulness or meditation, getting crafty, or simply taking time for yourself to relax. The goal is to find what brings you joy and helps you feel refreshed and recharged.
Support your Sleep
Supporting your sleep is vital to managing burnout and supporting your ADHD brain. When we are experiencing burnout, our bodies and minds are exhausted, and sleep is essential to refresh and recharge our energy levels.
To support your sleep, carve out time to unwind before trying to sleep. This could include reading, taking a warm bath, practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises, or listening to calming music. Take that time you need to support your sleep and recharge each day.
Set Up Boundaries
People with ADHD often struggle with over-committing, over-doing, and overcompensating in their work and personal lives. This can lead to burnout and exhaustion, making it challenging to manage daily tasks. Practicing boundaries is crucial in preserving your energy.
To preserve your energy, it’s essential to set boundaries. This means learning to say no when necessary and prioritizing your needs and well-being. Before committing to anything, ask yourself what you are saying ‘yes’ to and how it will serve or help you. If it doesn’t align with your values or priorities, declining or delegating the task is okay.
Pushing through burnout requires patience and compassion. It’s a journey and a willingness to experiment with different strategies. If you are curious about how to get support, schedule a complimentary get-acquainted session with one of our coaches. You are worthy of peace.
Kelly Thorell, PCAC
ADHD Coach and Life Coach, Executive Skills Coach