Monday, January 1, 0001

It’s that time of year when we’re all feeling a little tired and are looking forward to the festive season so that we can hopefully take a few days, or more off.

Many of us may have arrived at this point feeing irritable and jaded depending on what our year brought. “Sometimes the year was so busy that we haven’t had time to process or take stock of what’s gone on during our year,” says Robyn Farrell, managing director of 1st for Women Insurance Brokers.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and overly emotional, sensitive and perhaps even intolerant, you could be suffering from burnout. Burnout refers to your mental, emotional and physical health. But, there are some steps you can take to avoid this feeling come holiday time.

Looking after yourself

“As women, we’re so used to looking after everyone else and making sure that their needs are met that we often neglect ourselves,” explains Farrell.

Whether you’re a career woman, a student, a busy mom, or juggling many different things, it’s easy to feel like there just isn’t enough time for yourself. It’s very important to take time to relax. Even if you’re not flying off to an exotic destination, you can make your own space into a serene environment free from the usual pressures.

“Take the opportunity to spend time doing that things that you never had time to do during the year like browsing the malls, meeting your friends, lying by the pool reading or visiting an art gallery. Doing things that you truly enjoy and that nourish you, will ensure that you start the New Year feeling refreshed and revitalized,” says Farrell.

Work responsibilities increase at this time of year as everyone rushes to finish projects and assignments before the holidays. As deadlines loom, stress increases. Pacing yourself so that you don’t feel too overloaded at this point is essential.

Maintain your focus, stay organised and keep your eye on the prize: time off when you’re done with the year’s work. “Be assertive about what is possible to achieve before the end of the year,” suggests Farrell.

Although this might seem risky, bosses often have more respect for those employees who stand up for themselves and create boundaries.

Avoiding stress

“There are usually a lot of parties and family events at this time of year,” says Farrell, “but you do not have to attend every single party. This will only lead to even more fatigue and tiredness.”

Over-committing yourself to things that you don’t really want to do will not make you feel happy, but resentful. “Of course, there may be events that you have to go to out of obligation like a work function or a family get together but try and keep them to a minimum,” cautions Farrell. Also, make sure to get enough shuteye as being deprived of sleep is a surefire shortcut to burnout.

Sometimes, when families come together it can often result in arguments and stress: emotions that have built up through the year or tensions that have not been resolved surface. “Every family has their issues but they can be resolved without needless fighting if approached in the right way with constructive communication,” asserts Farrell.

Lastly, at this time of year, people’s tolerance levels are very low and this can often result in road rage. Try to avoid situations where you might lose your temper. “If someone cuts you off or is rude on the road, keep your cool,” says Farrell, “it’s just not worth it. Don’t take it personally and do your best to ignore it.”

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