Managers, when you & your team are stressed out / working late, how do you cope/keep morale up?

I’m autistic & a newer mgr. ASD folks struggle w/ indirect comms bc it feels like lying. So, it’s hard to pretend I’m fine when stressed. I’m struggling bc it’s breaking my routine & recovery time so I’m not masking well, but trying to maintain a happy supportive face. How do you create space to decompress/discharge bad energy & not send it out to your team in this situation?

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When I’m extra frustrated, I try to give myself a short time out - set a timer (even if it’s just 5 mins) and go into another room, away from the laptop, and just take a breather. I should walk around the block or something for some fresh air/sunshine, but sometimes I just lay on the floor 🤷‍♀️ It doesn’t take away all of what’s stressing me out but it gives me a little time to get my bearings and a bit of patience back so I don’t feel like I’m in stressed out reaction mode.


I’m not always good at this, but tactically - clear focus on to dos. When I’m most stressed it is usually because there are 10000 things to get done and I have neither prioritized nor recognized what IS getting done. Breaking it down, pen on paper and crossing things off helps quiet my brain.

Having someone - at work or at home - to vent to without trying to problem solve also gets things out of my head that I can’t get out to the team itself. Literally saying “I need to get this out of my head, can I just say all the things? You don’t even really have to listen” - often hearing myself gets me over myself.

And then sometimes, I just allow myself to say not today. Like right now I’m lying on the floor in my hallway answering you instead of finishing what’s on my list. I just need to be done with the week and the work will never not be there.

All that said, I *am* appropriately honest with my team. I am not good at happy face, but I can answer a “how are you?” With “you know, a little overwhelmed at the moment, but I would we have this, looking forward to getting to the other side and (whatever the inspired outcome is).

Or I go the other direction and tell someone “todays not the day to ask that, let’s just get down to task at hand” it acknowledges but doesn’t dwell.

Again, not consistently good at these, but they do tend to work when I remember! Good luck.


I should add that I picked this job bc this is supposed to be really rare at this company. I don’t think it’s a pattern. I specifically tried to avoid this bc I know I don’t handle stress well without my routine and personal time. I’m looking for tricks for creating space / positivity when you’re stuck in the grind.

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