End-of-year burnout  

We are almost approaching the end of the year and you might already feel extremely fatigued. You may have also noticed that lately you are finding it hard to concentrate, you are more irritable, the effort you normally give at work or at school has decreased, your energy level has decreased and you are finding it difficult to start your mornings. All the workload, parenting, being there for your family, school work and studying (the list goes on and on) you did throughout the year might have caused you excessive stress. As a result, you might be experiencing emotional, mental and physical exhaustion, also known as burnout.  

What is burnout?  

Burnout is a form of exhaustion that is caused by constantly feeling overworked. Burnout is also a result of excessive and prolonged emotional, mental and physical stress. This form of exhaustion can make it difficult for you to cope with daily life. If you leave burn out unaddressed, the burnout will make it difficult for you to function.  


Through all the rushes, and high expectations of life it is important for us to take a break (even just a two-hour break), to pause, reflect and search within ourselves to find out where we are mentally and emotionally. The more we try to run away from our feelings, the more we worsen the situation. Most of the time people fear to search within themselves because they find experiencing mental or emotional difficulties is embarrassing. I have good news for you, mental and emotional difficulties are not embarrassing, they are a part of life showing that you are human and trying to live life at your fullest potential (however, taking a break is important) and you should celebrate yourself for that.  

Signs that you might be facing burnout: 

  • Decreased motivation

This is experienced when you are no longer excited to work on your goals and reach work or study deadlines as you used to when the year started. Burn out has lowered your performance and drive to work or study or face another day.  

  • Negative attitudes

Because burnout has decreased your motivation, you might find yourself developing the ‘’I cannot’’ or “I will not” attitude simply because you are demotivated to do anything.  

  • Irritability

You easily get irritated and annoyed by the slightest smallest things. 

  • Fatigue

You might be feeling over-exhausted and all you want to do is sleep and not get out of bed.  

Ways to overcome year-end burnout: 

  • Speak out. Let your boss, family or teacher at school know that you are not coping and find a unified way forward conclusion on beneficial steps.  
  • Practice mindfulness by living in the present moment, allowing yourself to feel those emotions and not being too hard on yourself. 
  • Engage in a healthy activity such as taking a walk, jogging, journaling, breathing exercises and yoga.  
  • Get enough sleep or rest. 
  • Reach out to your loved ones.
  • Seek professional help.  

Is counselling important? 

Of course, yes, counselling provided by specialist wellness counsellor can make a great impact on your life and help you navigate difficult life situations such as year-end-burnout. 

Author: Katlego Ngoetjana