(6 mins) In this episode of ADHD Power Tools, Ali and Brooke discuss stress and burnout!
Brooke Schnittman, MA, ACC, BCC is a certified coach who works with children, students, teens, adults, and parents with or without ADHD. She has been nominated for multiple awards including “Best In Show Community” and ”Advocating For Another.” She is the creator of What’s Next and ADHDEdCamp.
Ali Idriss is a Different Brains intern and ADHD self-advocate. He aspires to share his journey and help others with the tools that have allowed him to overcome many of the challenges along the way, as he co-hosts ADHD Power Tools and conducts research on college students with ADHD. Ali has completed his bachelor’s in Biological Sciences at Florida Atlantic University and is currently completing his second bachelor’s in Neuroscience and Behavior at Florida Atlantic University. He is also an Emergency Medical Technician and is aspiring to become a physician
For more on Brooke and her work, visit: https://www.coachingwithbrooke.com/
ALI IDRISS (AI):
Hello, Brooke, today I want to talk to you about stress and burnout. We recently had a panel with Different Brains. And we talked about a similar topic regarding burnout. And today I want to talk about a little bit more. And I want to ask you talk to us about stress and burnout, and what are some tools you can give us?
BROOKE SCHNITTMAN (BS):
Okay, so stress and burnout, I’m feeling it right now. And the reason why I’m feeling it is you caught me on a day where I did not sleep last night, because I was so worried about sleeping. So sometimes what can happen is we are so stressed out because of occupational burnout, meaning, you know, we’re not setting boundaries with our bosses or deadlines and tasks that we’re taking on. Sometimes we are, if we’re our own business owners, we can not set boundaries with our family and work, we can become workaholics. So those can be the occupational type of burnout. We can also have burnout from saying yes to too many things outside of work, saying yes to social engagement, and saying yes to our family, when we don’t necessarily want to bringing in people into our circle that might be toxic, and can cause stress and anxiety for us.
So those are some examples of how we can become burned out. Also, poor diets, lack of sleep, all of those things, some of the ways that we can handle that is by creating boundaries, creating a proper sleep schedule, to say no to people who are toxic. We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. So bringing in people into our life that we genuinely want to spend time with, not people that we just are being people pleasers, for and saying yes to putting yourself first before saying yes, like stopping and pausing and thinking about our schedules. If you’re in it, actually stopping and pausing as well. And taking a second to just step back and take a break, move environments, grab some water, take some deep breaths, walk outside. So that’s some reactive strategies. Prevention, as I mentioned: make sure that you are eating, you’re sleeping, you’re utilizing screen time apps like Forest, notification notifications, we get 1000s of notifications a day, and it could drain our attention and dopamine levels because of the stress from that so they can get digital burnout, as well as zoom fatigue. So I know I added a lot more than what you asked, but…
No, you added everything like we need to hear I mean, digital burnout, deleting those apps, surrounding yourself by the right people. I agree with a lot with those things, you know, when I think of stress and burnout, and I always think of the workplace. I’ve had like a lot of jobs in the past couple of years. I always think about this one moment where I used to work in a restaurant, as a server. And one of the servers, before every shift, we had like a little huddle, I get together and they tell us what sections we are. And one of the servers always got the same section I remember. She was like, oh, like I’m gonna be burnt out from the section. I think it is so important. Like that kind of rang a bell. And it’s like, it’s important to have new challenges and different sections or different situations at work to prevent burnout and stress, like a different section, different faces. That’s something I love about my old job as a server and my new job right now, as an ER tech — technician in the ER, I see a lot of new faces, there’s a lot of new challenges. It’s not the same thing over and over and over again.
I like that. Especially with ADHD, we like the challenge of something new. And I never even thought about that. Like we can get so fatigued by doing the same thing over and over again. Whether it be seeing the same people doing the same task, we want new challenges, and that can cause fatigue and burnout just from repetitive tasks.
Yeah, and I think even for those jobs where it is essentially a very consistent — like it’s kind of the same thing over and over again, you can still add new things. You can buy a new notebook, buy a new calendar, kind of switch up your desk play…
Yeah, micro-changes, buying new clothes. There’s there’s different things you can do and externally out of work. You can find new hobbies you know, just I take different routes to work, whatever it may be, just to switch things up a little bit. I think us with ADHD, we just like to just those new challenges, like you said, and sometimes worker life is too much or too little right? Sometimes it’s too much too much, which leads to burnout. And you just need to take a break. You don’t want to add anything else more, maybe there’s too many challenges too many new stuff. So you really just want to take a break. And sometimes there’s too little, which can also lead to burnout and stress.
Right, especially with the pandemic, we so many of us were in isolation, and we’re social beings. So that can cause burnout, just from not being able to socialize and get out and do the things that give you fulfillment.
Yes, exactly. So it’s really just figuring out that I think those micro-changes if need be, and take new challenges. And it’s the same thing right now with my new job as well. I’m just finding new challenges and just switching it up to just stay away from that burnout and stress and prioritizing. I mean, we’re going to talk about in later episodes executive function, which is so important. Planning, prioritizing, activating all that stuff is just so important to prevent stress.
So join us on the next episode.
Ali Idriss is a Different Brains intern and ADHD self-advocate. He aspires to share his journey and help others with the tools that have allowed him to overcome many of the challenges along the way, as he co-hosts ADHD Power Tools and conducts research on college students with ADHD. Ali has completed his bachelor’s in Biological Sciences at Florida Atlantic University and is currently completing his second bachelor’s in Neuroscience and Behavior at Florida Atlantic University. He is also an Emergency Medical Technician and is aspiring to become a physician.