As December draws near, the pressure to complete end of the year tasks increases, as does the necessity for planning for the upcoming year. In short, times are busy, and they’ll only get busier through the holidays. As you navigate this increased workload, the risk of burning out also elevates to a fever pitch. Here are a few helpful tips to help you destress and avoid end of the year burnout.
First, and most importantly, you should be practicing self-care year round. As the end of the year creeps up, ramp up your self-care techniques. This means that you should be spending time on you, even if only for a few minutes.
Squeezing in that necessary “me time” is undeniably important, as it’s your chance to breathe and reconnect with yourself. A moment of centering in your day makes it more challenging to lose yourself in tasks to the point of burnout. Whether you need to soak in a bath for an hour with a book or escape with a TV show, do whatever it is you need to do to relax, and protect your alone time.
Set Realistic Expectations
Deadlines can pile up at the end of the year, but that doesn’t mean they’re all achievable or necessary. If you have a list of things you’d like to accomplish before the end of the year, assess that list and determine what’s realistically possible, and what’s actually needed.
Pushing too hard is a leading reason people experience burnout. The obvious solution is to avoid pushing yourself too hard. Easier said than done, right? Create a list of achievable action items and dwindle that down as the year goes on. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Use Vacation Time
Yes, there’s a pandemic and no, there really isn’t anywhere to go right now, but you should still utilize your vacation time, sick time, and personal days before the end of the year. For many, the days will expire and won’t carry over.
Those days are there for you to use and you shouldn’t feel guilty for doing so. Vacation days are the perfect way to rejuvenate your spirits and help prepare you for whatever the holidays will bring. Even if you end up sitting on the couch for 24 hours, at least you’ve taken some time to yourself to do absolutely nothing. It may not always feel like it, but it helps.
Organize Your Tasks
After you’ve made an achievable to-do list, schedule out your tasks over time, so as not to leave all deadlines for the 31st.
Organizing in this way means different things to different people. You could spread out deadlines or prioritize all of your tasks in order of importance, just in case you don’t get to them all before January 1st. If you don’t, it’s not the end of the world, either; remind yourself that the first day of 2021 is a man-made distinction and is just another day. Whatever your method, keep track of it and allow yourself some flexibility. This shouldn’t be adding more stress, but rather, should help you to visualize what you can realistically achieve and keep you on track through the remainder of the year.
Burnout is dangerous, as it’s difficult to battle once it arrives. As the year winds to a close, ensure you are taking care of yourself to avoid this feeling of complete exhaustion. These tips are a helpful starting point as you navigate the last weeks of 2020, but ensure you’re taking all the precautions necessary to not only make it through the remainder of the year, but to also hit the ground running come January!