How to deal with end-of-year fatigue
How to deal with end-of-year fatigue

How to deal with end-of-year fatigue

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Dec 18, 2017

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Are you finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate on any task at hand? Are you battling to wake up and feeling overwhelmed? It could be the end-of-year fatigue.

As the year draws to a close, many people, even the most hard-working, feel that days are longer as they feel less energetic, irritable and and less satisfied.

According to Megan Hosking, between November and December most of us feel we are more tired, overwhelmed and going through the motions.

Possible contributors could be the pressure of deadlines as people try to wrap up their work before the break.

She cautions that end-of-year fatigue should not be mistaken for burnout or other mood disorders, which are not seasonal.

Signs of fatigue could be distraction, feeling grumpy, anxiety, laziness, short temper, confusion and tiredness. “These would be out of the ordinary for you and appear around this time of year,” she said.

As an employer, if one of your employees is experiencing fatigue, she says communication is the key.

“Communicating your expectations as the employer can be helpful. It is also important to try to understand the circumstances of the employee and to provide support where possible.

"Support could be offered through external parties and if you have an employee wellness programme, this is a good time to remind your employees of it and the services offered.

"Morale-boosters such as words of encouragement in the workplace at this time of year can also go a long way,” says Hosking.

Encourage your team to seek assistance when needed.

“It can be difficult if your boss or supervisor is experiencing fatigue, as you may feel the effects of their moods and actions. Remember that you cannot change how people react, but you are in control of doing your own work and completing your tasks.”

A few tips to help you with tiredness:

* Focus on the positives you experience and embrace them.

* Breathe and seek support. When you feel overwhelmed, take a moment and exhale. "Focus on being in the moment and where you currently are, rather than being unnecessarily anxious about things that may (or may not!) still come."

* Participate in things you enjoy. Use your weekends and evenings to do things that are important to you.

* Manage stress and your time. Track your successes and remind yourself of what you have achieved this year.

* Lastly, a general healthy lifestyle goes a long way in positively influencing the reaction to stressful times. Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet and exercise. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine, and find healthy ways to relax and distress.

Paul Keursten, co-founder of OPEN, which designs and manages co-working spaces, suggests these steps:

* Yoga - it can be done after work.

* Walk and work - use treadmill desks.

* Bring the outdoors in - with plants.

* Create breakaway spaces at work - with screens, bean bags, hammocks, standing desks and laptop- and keyboard-elevating stands.

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