Gill Stannard

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

End of year burn out

Especially here in the Southern Hemisphere, life gets busier with the return of the sun and the festive season. December brews a wicked combination of projects to be completed before the end of the month, as well as an increased expectation to 'eat, drink and be merry'. But how you deal with it may depend on the nature of the rest of your year. If your batteries didn't recharge over winter, you may find yourself limping into a time when you feel less than jolly.

Burnout, often associated with high pressured jobs, can also be of the social nature. Some symptoms are - a lack of enjoyment of something you once gained pleasure from, negative emotions like - pessimism/cynicicism/"compassion fatigue", sleep disturbances, fatigue and all round irritability.

Strategies to deal with this are both short and long term. Ultimately your new calendar year requires adequate down time and space to reassess your needs. But to survive the December madness, some of the following may be useful:

Shift your perspective: Take unnecessary expectations off yourself. So much of the pressure is due to a feeling of not being in control, so it's now time to take that back. What really must be completed before Christmas? Can things be rescheduled? Do you have to see everyone you know over the next couple of weeks. Shift the boundaries and your attitude at the same time.

Schedule rest:Cross out at least one night a week to catch up on the vegetable intake at home and get an early night. It's also an opportunity for an AFD (alcohol free day).

Be kind to yourself: Start practicing some positive self talk, arrange a massage - if not this month, then for January. Give yourself something to look forward to.

Top up your nutrients: If eating out every night or living off finger food, make breakfast and lunch a priority to but the fruit and veg back in your diet. Top up on a good multivitamin with at least 50mg of B6 and pop some extra vitamin C to help with the stress.

Check out some other great tips to get you through the party season.

This is your life, embrace it - no one else can live it for you.

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