December is a busy time of the year.  Juggling work deadlines, increased workloads, strict deadlines, extra stress, social commitments, planning Christmas day celebrations and finalising that never ending gift list; it’s a lot to think about and add to your already busy days.   For many of us, that extra pressure can be enough to lead to burnout.

What is burnout?

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) re-labelled burnout as an ‘Occupational phenomenon’, recognising it as a form of work-induced stress.

“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

It is characterised by three dimensions:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • reduced professional efficacy.”

(Source: World Health Organisation)

Does this sound like you?  Have you become so exhausted or demotivated that you forget what you’re doing or why you’re doing it?  Do you lack motivation to get up in the morning and go to work?  Perhaps your more angry than usual and taking your frustrations out on your work colleagues.  Have you lost your passion or love for your work?  If so, it sounds like you maybe on your way to suffering from burnout.  It’s important to remember that we all experience a lack of energy from time-to-time and this can be improved with some simple self-care.  Rest, relaxation, a short break may help.

What can you do to avoid suffering pre-Christmas Burnout? 

  • Be realistic about what you can achieve
  • Write a list of your tasks/goals that you want to achieve by the end of the year. Prioritise them.
  • Clarify Values: Assess what really matters to you. Sometimes the pressures of having the ‘perfect’ Christmas can lead us into investing too much energy into the things that really don’t matter.
  • Don’t overcommit or take on extra work that you won’t be able to do.
  • Delegate
  • Be realistic and set realistic timelines. Let people know when they can expect you to deliver
  • Get yourself organised. Both inside and outside of work.  Clean up your workspace
  • Leave your work at work
  • Re-balance. Get yourself right.  Good sleep, exercise and nutrition is essential.
  • Schedule and take regular breaks.

How can your workplace help prevent pre-Christmas Burnout?

Your employees are a business’s most valuable asset.  So how can you help look after your employees at this busy time of the year?

  • Workplace Culture – promote self-care, support, and flexibility.
  • Encourage employees to take breaks
  • Focus on your employees’ mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Offer rewards and recognition for employee hard work.
  • Show your employees they are valued.
  • Focus on employee engagement
  • Offer monetary incentives or rewards to help with the ever-increasing cost of living.

Whilst most people will have the extra pressure and stress at this time of the year with everyone wanting work and projects finalised before they head off on their Christmas breaks, help your employees prevent pre-Christmas burnout and enjoy the lead up to the festive season together.