Dealing with end-of-year fatigue

Fatigue

If you’re finding it difficult to stay concentrated, are more irritable, and having difficulties getting started with your day in the mornings, you’re not alone. As the year draws to a close, many people experience end-of-year fatigue — it’s a real phenomenon that affects many people in November and December.

2020 has certainly been one of the most difficult years on record – with a global pandemic, economic and political problems and the list goes on. For some this means you have been under severe stress for months and it is starting to take its toll on your mental and physical wellbeing.

As your body perceives stress, your adrenal glands make and release the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream. Often called the “stress hormone,” cortisol causes an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. When you are under severe stress for long periods of time, the high levels of cortisol can have severe negative health effect such as:  lack of sleep or insomnia, irritability, poor concentration, weight gain, anxiety or depression.

Below is our list 5 measures you can implement to help you deal with end-of-year fatigue:

  1. Have it checked out: it is always a good idea to have a professional do a health check to ensure there are no underlying conditions causing the fatigue. You know it is time to schedule an appointment if your fatigue has been on-going for more than a couple of week or if you have any other health symptoms such as shortness of breath, aches or frequent urinating.
  2. Don’t social isolate: by now we are so used to hearing about ‘self-isolation’. While self-isolation is vital in the Coronavirus context, social isolation has many negative mental effects. When we are feeling fatigued, our first impulse might be to stay home and cut back on socializing. While partying might not be a good idea, making time for quality social interactions might do wonders to boost your mood. Even with social distancing protocols in place you can still make time for friends – have you tried a Zoom or Skype party? They can actually be very fun!
  3. Schedule self-care: We know it can be difficult to make time for yourself when you feel as though you’re being pulled in different directions to keep your life and relationships afloat — scheduling time for yourself is crucial for self-care. A massage, facial, pedicure or manicure are all great things to do for self-care. Especially in a time of social distancing, healthy (and safe) touch such as a massage stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers and help lowers blood pressure.
  4. Creative exercise: when you are feeling fatigued exercise is usually one of the first things to go, but we all know the health benefits of regular exercise and good diet. So why not be creative and find activities that don’t feel like exercise. With summer finally having arrived there are lots of fun options such as a hike or bike ride in nature, strawberry picking, walking the dog, sunset walk on the beach, the list is endless.
  5. Digital detox: part of end-of-year fatigue is mental fatigue and information overload. As many of us are working from home we are spending more and more time online and on social media. So it is vital to schedule breaks from our digital devices and replace it with either self-care or for quality personal interactions with friends or family.

The good news is that end-of-year fatigue is usually only seasonal and will soon pass. By recognizing its symptoms you can implement to correct measures to help deal with this time.