End of Year Burnout

burnout change management coping mechanisms positive mindset stress management Nov 28, 2023
Jody Holland Training & Speaking | Leadership
End of Year Burnout

From about mid-October to the end of the year can be overwhelming for many people. The year is coming to an end, people are reflecting on the goals they set for themselves, and families are preparing for time off around the holidays. It is one of the busiest times of the year for most companies, and because of this, it is a time when many people struggle with the motivation to work and give their all. They experience burnout and exhaustion.

Once people get a taste of the time off during Thanksgiving, it seems as if time drags on leading up to Christmas. Though it can be experienced in all areas of life, burnout most commonly occurs at work. People become more easily agitated, their productivity decreases, they develop a negative attitude, and they often feel hopeless. Burnout can affect anyone at any time, but the stress of work at the end of year combined with changes in daylight hours and the expenses of the holidays can be especially detrimental.

Fortunately, there are ways to address burnout and regain forward momentum. One thing that is often overlooked but that has many psychological benefits is taking short mental breaks throughout the day. By stepping away from your workload for even just a few minutes at a time, you are able to reset your mood, reduce levels of stress, and increase your energy and your ability to focus. This naturally improves your productivity, and it allows your mental and physical functional systems to return to their baseline. Choose a schedule that works best for you, but about every hour or so, take a few minutes to step back and recenter yourself.

Another method to reduce burnout is finding a creative outlet aside from work that you dedicate your time to either daily or weekly. Something as simple as going to the gym, painting, joining a pottery class, or even journaling can improve your mental state. Any change that you want to make starts from within, and change is easier to implement when you have a positive mindset. Give yourself some grace as you navigate how to deal with burnout because what works for someone else may not work for you. It takes some trial and error to figure out how to get your mind right.

As stressful as the end of the year might be, many people look forward to the new year. It represents growth and opportunity, new beginnings, and hope. Of course some things are unknown, but you can take comfort in the fact that not everything has to remain the same. The time off leading up to the new year can bring families closer together, renew peoples’ state of mind, and offer relief to those happy to leave the old year behind.

When dealing with burnout, it is important to take one day at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking about everything you need to accomplish before the year is over; instead, focus on the task at hand and work on improving or maintaining a positive outlook on life. As the end of the year draws near, reflect on all that you have accomplished so far, and think about how you want to bring the year to a close. What do you want your end-of-year resolution to be? How do you want to remember 2023?


-Meghan Slaughter

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