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Wellness Wednesday: This is how you can overcome fatigue

It’s not uncommon to feel sluggish at this time of the year. Perhaps you’re wondering if it’s end-year fatigue or burnout and if it’s possible to beat. We roped in COMENSA Registered Master Life Coach Judy Klipin to shed some light.

Year-end fatigue can feel like burnout, especially when you’re in the thick of it. Judy Klipin enlightens that year-end fatigue, or what she sometimes calls Novemberitis, is very different from burnout.

“The former is tiredness resulting from a busy year and the knowledge that the end of the year – and rest – are coming. It’s the tiredness you feel after a busy day. When you rest and have a good holiday, you address your year-end fatigue and can start the year renewed and refreshed,” she says.

Burnout, on the other hand, is systemic exhaustion that affects every part of us, mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and relational. “It’s a feeling of deep, abiding exhaustion you can’t remedy with rest alone because it’s a consequence of pushing yourself too far and doing too many things that aren’t right or good for you.

“You must change the way you think and behave and many of your beliefs if you want to recover.”

Glamour: Have we normalised these conditions?

Judy Klipin: I wouldn’t say we’ve normalised them, but I think they’re more prevalent than they used to be. I think we were starting to pay more attention to them in 2019, and then this pandemic exacerbated them and made burnout more serious. I hope we never normalise them because burnout, in particular, is very harmful and can become a life-threatening disease that we should all be mindful of preventing.

G: What habits or practices can you adopt to prevent these conditions?

JK: If you can be mindful of what you need and want, you can prevent burnout. Try following these seven steps:

S = Self. Find and honour yourself through self-care, -love, -compassion, becoming self-centred and -actualised.

P = Peace. We all need quiet time to rest, relax, meditate, journal and sleep, preferably in silence.

A = Ask and accept. You can make your life so much easier by allowing yourself to ask for and receive help, love, advice, compliments and feedback.

N = Nourish. Nourish your body, mind and soul by eating healthy food, thinking beneficial thoughts and performing enriching tasks.

N = No! Overwhelm is caused by having too many things on your plate. Remember that a no to someone else is a yes to you and that no is a full sentence. What can you put down, so you can pick yourself up?

E = Exercise. Gentle movement allows

oxygen in and stress out, releases adrenaline and gets the blood flowing. It helps you sleep better and improves your appetite for healthy food.

R = Relationships. Reinvest in your relationships, paying them the time, attention and effort they (and you) deserve.

G: How can you combat year-end fatigue?

JK: Ask for help whenever you can. Say no to what doesn’t serve you. Get as much rest as possible. And use the Spanner daily.

G: If it isn’t possible to take leave, how else can you slow down?

JK: You shouldn’t use your leave to recover from burnout. Always be mindful of how you spend your energy. You can slow down by sticking to office hours and not checking your emails or working after hours – this pandemic has blurred our boundaries, which we must reinstate! And take time in your free time to do things you love and restore your energy. For some people, that’s extreme sports, but for others, it’s making a meal for friends or lazing on the couch reading a good book. We all need to work out what helps us feel restored and energised and give that to ourselves. And, most importantly, be honest – with yourself and everyone around you – about what you can and cannot manage. Set realistic expectations for yourself and others.

Expert Tips overcoming year-end fatigue?

• Regard the last three months of the year as the final days of a very long and arduous hike. Slow and steady gets you to the finish line.

• Be mindful of your energy and thoughtful about what you agree to take on, personally and professionally. It’s OK to say no to parties, events and other invitations that you may not want to attend, or that you may not have the resources for; time, energy and goodwill.

• Take extra care of yourself. Make sure you’re drinking enough water, eating enough fresh, healthy food and getting enough sleep.

• Write lists of everything you need to do, so you can keep track of where you are and be realistic about new requests for your time and attention. The holidays are coming, and you’ll be able to loosen up when they do, but you need to ensure you get yourself there first.

Meet the Expert

Judy Klipin is a COMENSA Registered Master Life Coach who specialises in burnout, boundaries and balance. She coaches individuals and teams to feel and be more active, empowered and effective in their lives and work. She provides practical tools and skills to help her clients bring about the changes they choose to make. For more information on Judy or to equip yourself with the necessary information to beat burnout or year-end fatigue, visit

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