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leadership under pressure: unveiling mental health strategies for success

Updated: Jan 26

In the landscape of high-pressure leadership roles, the balancing act between professional responsibilities and mental well-being takes center stage. It's a complicated dance where success hinges not only on professional acumen but also on managing one's mental health effectively.

Today, we delve into insights shared by Nika Brunet Milunovic, a female leader who is working as an Event & Project Manager for the MetalDays festival. Her perspective sheds light on the common mental health challenges faced by individuals in high-pressure leadership roles and the effective strategies to mitigate these hurdles.

nika brunet quote about mental health

common challenges faced by high-pressure leaders 💪🏼

70 % of leaders have experienced stress and burnout, 60 % are dealing with anxiety within their tenure according to Harvard Business Review. Nika highlighted "Stress and burnout stand as pillars of these challenges," she asserted, "leading to emotional exhaustion and reduced performance." Anxiety and depression also find their foothold amidst the constant pressure to excel and make critical decisions.

chart about mental health impact on leaders
mental health impact on leaders

"Imposter syndrome, isolation, and a struggle to maintain a work-life balance add layers of complexity," Nika shared. These challenges, coupled with perfectionism and decision-making pressure, contribute to the intricate web of mental health concerns.

impact and mitigations of mental health challenges
impact and mitigations of mental health challenges

impact of mental health challenges on leadership performance 🧠

"Leadership's mental health impacts the entire team," Nika asserted. "Reduced productivity, impaired decision-making, and strained relationships within the team are common repercussions." To mitigate these, proactive recognition and addressing mental health challenges become imperative.

15 effective strategies for managing your mental health 🙋🏻‍♀️

Navigating these challenges necessitates a toolkit of strategies. "Experimenting with different strategies is key," Nika advised. Her insights offer a roadmap for leaders seeking to manage stress and nurture mental resilience amidst the demands of their roles:

1. self-care 🥦

Prioritize sleep, nutrition, and exercise for better stress management.

2. meditation & mindfulness 🧘‍♀️

Practice daily to reduce anxiety and enhance focus.

3. time management ⌛️

Use tools to prioritize tasks and delegate when possible.

4. boundaries 📝

Set clear work-life boundaries for relaxation and personal time.

5. stress reduction 💆🏼‍♀️

Explore techniques like yoga or relaxation exercises.

6. social support & open communication 🗣️

Connect with peers and mentors for invaluable support and foster a culture where discussing mental health is embraced without judgment.

7. regular breaks 🔋

Take short breaks for mental recharge during the workday.

8. empathetic leadership and conflict resolution 🫂

Listen actively, learn effective conflict management support during challenges, and value well-being for a cohesive team.

9. mindset reframing 🌱

Cultivate a growth mindset and challenge negative thoughts.

10. emotional intelligence 🤗

Develop understanding and management of emotions.

11. therapist check-ins 🩺

Regularly consult mental health professionals.

12. supportive culture 👍🏼

Foster a workplace supporting mental health conversations.

13. reflection time 🎉

Celebrate successes and learn from challenges regularly.

14. hobbies & interests 📚

Maintain outside interests for life balance.

15. realistic expectations 🎯

Acknowledge growth over perfection, promote achievable goals, and appreciate progress.

"It is also important to remember, that not all strategies work the same for everyone." Nika advised. Seeking guidance from mental health professionals can help tailor a personalized stress management plan for effective leadership.

When it comes to resources, Nika recommended a collection of insightful books like "Leaders Eat Last" and "Emotional Intelligence 2.0". Online tools such as Headspace for Work and programs like Mindfulness and Resilience Workshops were also suggested as valuable resources for leaders.

about Nika:

Nika Brunet Milunovic, the Event & Project Manager at MetalDays festival, stands as a guiding force reshaping event management leadership. Her dedication to normalizing mental health conversations, empathetic leadership, realistic goal-setting, and self-care is pivotal in crafting healthier and more resilient work cultures within the industry.


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