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3 tips on how to push through year-end exhaustion

Adulting Mental Health 4 min read

Adulting is really difficult, and it brings one to experience what's called year-end exhaustion. We all have periods where we feel helpless, overloaded, or unappreciated.

Getting out of bed this morning required the strength of Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira.

Feeling like this towards the end of the year, chances are you might be experiencing the end of year fatigue syndrome🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️.

Exhaustion _ GetMemo
Photo by Christian Fregnan on Unsplash

The last bit of the year is waaaay more stressful than all the other months combined. At work we are racing to complete our annual goals, finish our budgets and make plans for the coming year. At home, it's family stress -planning vacations, figuring out which family you will visit and how to pay for all the food!

Even the strongest amongst us would be forgiven for tapping out. Don't freak out though - we are about to show you how to beat the end of year exhaustion.

End of year fatigue is a predictable enemy. It comes at the same time and attacks us in exactly the way every single year. You know what is coming, so why not prepare a way to defend yourself for next year?

You have two options here, it’s either you could relive the same misery every year for the rest of your working life or come up with a plan to fix it, for good. Here are three strategies to make the last quarter of a year more manageable -- and maybe even enjoyable!

Know your enemy

The first step to conquering the end of year blues is to identify what makes this time of year more stressful. This is about to get deep (#DimsTheLights)

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." - The Art of War by Sun Tzu

But wait, there's more...year-end exhaustion can be tiring.

  • If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
  • If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

To win the battle against year-end fatigue, you not only need to know what it is, but you need to know what your role is in making it insufferable for you.

What aspects of the year-end madness do you find the most difficult to deal with?

At work, it may be extra meetings to deal with reporting or planning. At home, it may be figuring out activities to entertain the kids who are on holiday. Holiday shopping and visits from family members plus the pressure that comes with hosting. Once you know what causes you to dread this time of year, you can come up with a strategy to manage it. Whether through outsourcing, creative scheduling or just setting realistic expectations to help beat the exhaustion.

Photo by Abbie Bernet on Unsplash

Lighten your load

Many people, especially working moms, do not invest in outsourcing tasks like cooking and cleaning which can easily be given to service providers that specialise in them. There is no shame in getting more take out or using the services of a cleaning service more during the fourth quarter of the year. This is not the time to be a hero or heroine, you cannot do it all. You are not a machine, you are flesh and blood, and you need to pace yourself to avoid reaching your breaking point.

As the end of the year pressure sets in, it is important to consider investing in the happiness that comes from spending less time on things that do not bring you joy and having more time for those that do. As you remove delegable chores from your load and focus on things that bring you joy, you will then have more energy to tackle necessary tasks. It’s like drinking bitter medicine with a spoon full of sugar. It balances out the situation, so exhaustion is inevitable.

Reward yourself for going through the storm of exhaustion.

You cannot wish away the final quarter of the year and the stress that comes with it. Unfortunately, it is a part of adulting that we must all go through repeatedly. However, if we keep our eyes on the light at the end, the darkness inside the tunnel is bearable. Keep reminding yourself that there is an end to this suffering. Get tickets for a holiday show or make plans with friends when the period is over. The promise of the reward that is waiting for you will mitigate the stress you feel presently.

Photo by Charlein Gracia on Unsplash

Dreading something that is a part of life is silly. Just as the sun rises every morning, year-end will always be a thing in our lives. We cannot change this. What are in control of is our perception of it. Constantly telling ourselves that our life is going to make us miserable does make us miserable. Plus, anticipating misery makes us twice as miserable!

End of year does not have to be the end of the world.

Maybe this year the budget will get submitted on time, the quotas will be met, the holidays will go smoothly and all will be well. If not, you’ll deal with it. If you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe to our mailing list and leave us a comment below or click on the share buttons at the top right of the page.

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