As the year draws to a close, it’s common to feel exhausted and overwhelmed, trying to fulfill work obligations and manage personal responsibilities. This end-of-year burnout is not solely caused by chronic workplace stress but also by our demands and commitments in various aspects of our lives. Burnout affects us mentally, physically, and relationally, leading to feelings of exhaustion, disengagement, cynicism, and a lack of motivation or meaning.
To avoid burnout and promote well-being, it’s crucial to take a proactive approach. Here are some tips, including skills from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), to help cope with end-of-year burnout:
- Practice self-validation: Challenge the tendency to engage in conversations or social media posts that glorify busyness or overworking. Instead, prioritize self-care and set boundaries. Encourage others to do the same and model a healthy work-life balance. DBT skill: Practice self-validation by acknowledging your efforts and achievements without comparing yourself to others. Remind yourself that it’s okay to prioritize your well-being.
- Build mastery and engage in pleasant activities: Take ownership of your well-being by aiming to start the new year on a positive note. Dedicate time to activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, whether it’s engaging in hobbies, pursuing personal interests, or spending quality time with loved ones. Engaging in activities that enhance your sense of competence and enjoyment can help combat burnout. DBT skill: Engage in mastery activities that build competence and confidence.
- Cultivate a realistic mindset: Recognize that perfection is unattainable and that it’s okay to have limitations. Adjust your expectations and focus on celebrating your wins rather than dwelling on what’s incomplete. Practice self-compassion and acceptance of yourself as a fallible human being. Embrace the idea that progress is more important than perfection. DBT skill: Practice radical acceptance by accepting things as they are and letting go of the need for perfection.
- Create a sense of balance: Challenge the pervasive sense of urgency that dominates our lives. Consider taking a digital detox during the holidays to disconnect from technology and reconnect with yourself, your loved ones, and your community. Engage in mindfulness practices such as meditation or deep breathing exercises to cultivate a sense of calm and presence. Strive to find a balance between work, personal life, relationships, and self-care. DBT skill: Practice mindfulness by being fully present in the moment and engaging in activities without distractions.
Incorporating these tips into your daily life can help you better manage end-of-year burnout and promote overall well-being. Remember to prioritize self-care, set realistic expectations, celebrate your accomplishments, and find balance in all areas of your life.
Challenge activity: To further support your well-being during this time, we encourage you to take on a challenge: Commit to engaging in at least one self-care activity each day for the remaining days of the year. This could be anything that brings you joy and helps you recharge – whether it’s reading a book, going for a walk in nature, practicing a hobby, or spending quality time with loved ones. Share your progress on social media using the hashtag #STGYearEndSelfCareChallenge and encourage others to join in. Let’s support each other in prioritizing well-being as we approach the new year.