Don’t Let Burnout Steal Your Holiday Joy


While this is a wonderful time of year, it’s also hectic. At work, you’re scrambling to wrap up projects before everyone disappears for the holidays. Meanwhile, you’re planning family get-togethers, shopping and tackling all the other tasks that go with the season. Even if you’re usually on top of things, a busy time like the holidays or a workplace change (such as a restructuring or a new boss) might leave you feeling exhausted, overwhelmed or disengaged — all signs of burnout. Know that you’re not alone. In particular, burnout can surface as an issue for high-performing leaders, which is why I have a full module dedicated to it in my WOW! (Women On the Way to Peak Performance) ProgramSM.

The first step in bouncing back from burnout, or heading it off altogether, is self-assessment. On a scale of 1 (full fledged burnout) to 10 (ease and control), how would you rate yourself? Your answer will guide what you do next.

If you feel in control: Think about what’s helping you do that. What actions or practices are working for you right now? Take note of them, and keep doing them. By simply noticing what works, you can put it more powerfully into play.

If you feel burnout: Identify what’s causing you the most stress right now. What’s taking up most of your energy? This won’t necessarily be the most time-consuming thing on your plate, but rather the one that’s taking the most focus, attention and mental capacity. Now, think of one small step you could take to deal with this stressor – such as asking for help, saying no to something or investing your time differently. As you brainstorm, don’t forget to think about what has worked for you in the past. Look back to the last time you successfully avoided burnout despite the demands. What helped you keep a sense of control then?

This week, self-assess and identify one small step you will take to minimize or avoid burnout. And check out the WOW! Program SM to see if it might be just what you need to get started. Remember, small steps lead to big results. Take action to ensure a less stressful holiday season.