As the year chaotically hurtles toward a close it is not uncommon to hear more and more people experiencing an end of year burnout. Caused by a continual exposure to high stress, burnout is a mental, physical and emotional state of exhaustion that saps the joy out of every part of life. It is beyond general fatigue and can be exceptionally dangerous, so we’ve outlined a few things to look out for and how to ensure you avoid the end of year burnout.
Who suffers from end of year burnout?
While burnout is most often associated with those working their way up the corporate ladder, absolutely anyone can suffer from burnout. Particularly during the madness of year end! If you have been continually exposed to high stress situations or environments it is very likely you will at some point suffer from burnout. As the third year of the pandemic looms ahead we think of the doctors and nurses who have kept us all safe, but possibly let their own health slip. Recent studies though have found that mothers and fathers are just as vulnerable to end of year burnout as executives and healthcare workers! Burnout often creeps up slowly, so there’s a few signs to look out for.
What are the signs?
- Exhaustion: Feeling totally depleted no matter how much sleep you achieve is a big warning sign for burnout. That’s if you manage to get any at all! Along with sleep issues and the inability to get up in the morning, headaches and stomach aches as well as reduced appetite are all signs that you need to take your relaxation more seriously.
- Isolation: Being constantly exhausted but still having to perform everyday activities can be severely overwhelming. Often this leads to avoiding social responsibilities, choosing alone time instead. While alone time is necessary, don’t isolate yourself from those you love most.
- Irritability: Losing your cool quickly is a sign of feeling overwhelmed and a big indicator to step back.
- Frequently Sick: Long-term stress wrecks havoc on our immune systems, making us vulnerable to colds and flu. Also watch for your mental health as end of year burnout can cause one to slip into depression and feel heightened anxiety.
How to combat end of year burnout?
Improving your lifestyle is the best way to avoid burnout of any kind. The top three changes to focus on immediately are:
- Exercise: Even a short workout can do wonders for both your body and your mental health. Choose something thatmakes you happy and you’ll actually notice an increase in energy afterward.
- Diet: Make sure your over-stressed body is being fed what it needs to keep you going. A balanced diet filled with healthy fats, fresh veggies and delicious fruit is essential.
- Sleep: Your body needs rest and there is no better rest than a good night’s sleep. Create good sleeping habits by not going to bed late, avoiding caffeine in the afternoons and evenings, instilling relaxing bedtime rituals like gentle stretching and stay away from screens once you’re in bed.
Another factor we often overlook is asking for help. It’s difficult to admit you are struggling but those closest to you will then be able to provide the support you most need. Reach out to friends, family and co-workers!