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December 6, 2019

How to Avoid Year-End Burnout

It’s exhaustion. Stress. Anxiety.

It happens after back-to-back meetings, stuffed calendars, and missed exercise routines. 

That’s right. It’s burnout.

The process of burning the candle at both ends catching up in a culmination of (sometimes proverbial) blood, sweat and tears. It’s a terrible thing to face burnout – and it’s unsurprisingly common in the life of working professionals and university students alike. With targets to hit and goals to achieve, the end of the year is often a stressful push and the result is the familiar exhaustion, stress, and anxiety.

But don’t hear us wrong. While it’s common, burnout doesn’t need to be inevitable. Ending the year strong is important. And it’s very possible by following several simple steps.

Set Clear Boundaries 

Guess what? Not everything needs to be completely finished this year. We know. We were surprised too. We tried to push some things out to test the theory but were told that this article needed wrapping up. 

Unlike this article, some things can wait. It’s important to consider what is crucial and time-sensitive to add to your ‘Must Do by 2020’ list and what can hold back until January rolls around. The more you do now, the thinner you’ll be spreading yourself. 

Work towards Your Passion

Are you working to complete tasks or are you working because it inspires you? There’s a very clear difference between the two. It’s not always possible that you find energy in every moment in your 9-5, and sometimes that can feel draining. If there is a reason for you to keep going, though, sometimes that’s all you need to fire yourself up again. Even if you aren’t finding the excitement in your daily work, make sure you are seeking out that something which inspires you in your daily life. Maybe it’s booking a flight with your hard-earned pay, or perhaps it’s picking up your paintbrush again. Whatever it is, it acts as a buffer against stress, and that can be just the one thing holding you back from being beaten in the battle against burnout.

Focus on the Good

If you feel like you’re tired and uninspired at the end of nearly every day, you are not alone. One way to regain a sense of motivation is to reflect on one good thing that you enjoyed during the day and focus on that. It can sound a little airy, but it’s remarkably helpful to zoom in on the positives and let the negative aspects dissolve in the background. Being focused on the good also means you are more likely to engage with the good. The more aware of something you are, the more you start to see it. 

Stop Thinking About Yourself

This one’s easy in theory, but difficult in reality. The ‘simple’ act of giving to others can distract you from a headspace geared towards burnout. Thinking about someone else often opens you up to a different perspective, which allows for new light – and inspiration – to shine in.