Avoiding End-Of-Year Burnout
Want to know the secret to making it through the end-of-the-year slog?
No matter how you're spending December – getting through obligatory family lunches, putting the 'silly' into silly season, taking time off with friends or family, or reminiscing about time spent with people that are no longer with you to share the holidays – the end of the year can be both a time of joy and a time of crash and burn. So how do you avoid that end-of-year burnout? Here are tips for staying on top of things during this hectic period.
Learn from last year
What about previous Decembers got on top of you? Did you feel overwhelmed by commitments? Or maybe you felt a bit disconnected or lonely. Think about what you would have changed about last year, and if you can remedy it this year, do! Maybe you'd benefit from turning down the fourth night of Christmas drinks in a row or reaching out to more people to spend time with. Doing this might involve saying yes, saying no, embracing what you can't change and taking the good with the bad. Let's talk more about that…
Embrace the 'slog'
There's plenty you can do to take moments of pause and find your balance. You can meditate, enjoy mindful eating, focus on your breathing, exercise, talk it out – but there's only so much you can control about some of the end-of-year deadlines that hit around now, whether it's a task for work, packing for your holiday or buying your family presents in time for that dinner on December 16. A degree of mind-over-matter can support you through what might feel like a demanding time. Embracing the tasks you need to do rather than rejecting or resenting what you cannot avoid can remove potential negativity from your experience.
For each moment that feels like 'the slog', try focusing on something to be grateful for. If you're travelling for an hour to get to your in-laws for a slightly awkward lunch, maybe you can still be thankful for the quality time in the car with your partner or the food you're about to enjoy.
Appreciate what is temporary
A popular exercise mantra says: "Nothing hurts so much you can't do it for ten more seconds." Now, of course, this is not always true. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to stop and let the pain stop, even if you could have done it for ten more seconds. The point is, so many things are temporary: the holiday season, the family lunch, the work party, the fight, the laughter. Appreciate that so much is temporary, and you can either get through it until it's thankfully over or enjoy it until it has to end.
Have strategies in place
No amount of planning or thinking can prevent the unpredictable. Someone might run late; you might have car troubles; the airline might lose your bag; you might have an argument you didn't see coming. Having strategies prepared to help you cope with challenges you didn't see coming can help you stay grounded through those 'I can't believe this is happening' moments.
Simple strategies can go a long way. Here are some quick methods to help you through emotionally demanding times:
Count to five
When you're feeling angry, sad or some other difficult emotion, count to five before you react. Giving your logical brain a moment to weigh in before your emotional brain calls all the shots might save you some unwanted situations.
Three deep breaths
When it all feels too much, a deep breath can be a chance to reset. In through the nose for four seconds, out through the nose for seven seconds (or whatever breathing exercise works for you!).
Acknowledge your senses
Providing your nervous system with sensory information can help reduce anxiety. When you're feeling stressed or anxious, look around and list five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can feel or touch, and anything you can smell or taste.
Create a ritual to maintain balance
Rituals can be very comforting and centring for humans, so including some ritual into your day can help you be a more grounded person overall and, therefore, a bit more steady when life gets rocky or overwhelming. Try to choose a ritual you can perform even when you're away from home or short on time.
Whether it's a gratitude journal, a verbal mantra, a short series of stretches or exercises, or something else you can do no matter what, a reliable and intentional routine can help you maintain balance.
Reach for RESCUE Remedy®
Creating a slow moment to take a dose of our flower essences can be a ritual of its own! Our stress relief formula naturally supports emotional well-being from focus to composure and helps you feel calmer and more in control. RESCUE Remedy® could be your end-of-year gift to yourself or a great stocking stuffer to help your loved ones look out for themselves.
So the secret to avoiding end-of-year burnout is…
Each year, learn from the last. Practise strategies to cope with stress and daily rituals to keep you centred. Lean on your breath or RESCUE Remedy® when the world feels noisy and you could use a helping hand. And if the end of this year is tough, try again next year!