The Link Between Leadership Burnout and Mental Health in Women

The Link Between Leadership Burnout and Mental Health in Women

More women are in leadership roles than ever before. And this should be celebrated! But with it,
sometimes comes the negative side effects of wearing too many hats. Women face challenges
when we take on leadership roles that can increase the chances of developing burnout and the
negative mental health effects that come along with it. Some studies have shown that factors
unique to women make burnout more common in us than in our male counterparts.

Women Face Unique Burdens
It isn’t a secret to anyone that women can face some unique burdens. Women are expected to
perform domestic labor at home in addition to our full-time jobs and are often expected to
manage the emotional labor of our families and workplaces as well. Unlike our male
counterparts, for whom the workday eventually stops, we’re expected to remain “on” from when
we get up to when we finally go to bed. This leads directly to a lack of self-care, which can
cause or exacerbate mental health problems in women.

Leadership Roles Tend to Exacerbate Burdens
The demands of leadership can further exacerbate the problem. The buck stops with you! All of
the people who look up to you expect that you will be able to make timely decisions that will
affect their workflow and careers. Additionally, we’re often held to competing and sometimes
outright double standards when compared to male leaders in the same positions. If you’re
already stressed from your home and personal lives, this expectation can sometimes feel like a
crushing pressure. This pressure, sustained over time, can lead to a condition that we
commonly refer to as “burnout”. Burnout is a broad term referring to a collection of symptoms:
Emotional Exhaustion, Cynicism, Ineffectiveness

The defining feature of burnout is a state of persistent emotional exhaustion. You’re simply tired,
and no amount of sleep seems to fix it. It can make it hard to get out of bed in the morning, and
can sometimes mimic depression. There’s nothing left in the tank for yourself, let alone for
building others up.
It can also make you cynical. It can cause you to question your place in your company and
society at large, whether you really can “have it all”, and whether that’s even worth it, to begin
with. All of this can lead to sluggish performance and ineffectiveness, which can further
exacerbate unfair expectations and workloads, creating a truly vicious cycle.
You Can Prevent Burnout, and Restore your Mental Well-Being!
Thankfully, while social expectations of women leaders aren’t going to change overnight,
burnout is preventable and reversible. If you’re feeling stuck, undervalued, and uninspired, then
it’s time for a change! You can restore your mental well-being and rise to the success you’ve
always dreamed of under the expert guidance of Coach Tia Williams. Contact us today for a
consultation, and to learn more about our women’s leadership accelerator program.


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