How To Cope With Autumn Burnout


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Nov. 15 2023, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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Whether we like it or not, daylight savings time has come and the holidays are right around the corner. This is the time of the year where employees start to feel more intense feelings of burnout. The fall season often contributes to the feelings of anxiety employees feel at work, according to CNBC. While the summer gives us an opportunity for vacation or a day off, the fall brings holiday parties, end-of-the-year deadlines, performance reviews, and other obligations that can make us feel even more overwhelmed.

As the seasons change and we embrace the coming stressors, we can start to feel drained. If you’re feeling unmotivated or starting to see the signs of burnout during this transitional period due to fall burnout at work, here are four steps to combat it.

1. Prioritize work and pace yourself.

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Source: Pexels

Lauren McGoodwin, the CEO and founder of Career Contessa, told CNBC that setting clear goals for the work you have to finish before the end of the year and communicating that plan to your supervisor is crucial for staying organized in the weeks before the holidays.

Another tactic for beating the fall burnout is by pacing yourself at work. McGoodwin recommended focusing on the most urgent, high-priority projects first and confirming with your team to see if any tasks can wait until after the holidays. 

2. Embrace a new routine. 

When we say goodbye to summer, we’re also saying goodbye to the routine we adopted for the season. There are things that we cannot transfer over to the new season due to the changes in weather, work load, and an uptick in personal events. Disruptions in routine can affect our mental health. The best way to combat this is to create a new routine that you are excited about. In addition to this, focusing on your health is important to fight burnout. Getting exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep will help you focus throughout the day and stay energized through work.

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3. Keep in touch with your loved ones.

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Source: Pexels

Oftentimes, we can isolate indoors when it is cold out, cutting ourselves off socially. If you want to fight fall burnout, try to keep in touch with your friends and family. Hoarding ourselves up in our homes alone will only further exacerbate our feelings of unhappiness. Furthermore, having a solid work-life balance is important to combating seasonal burnout. Staying in touch with those you love outside of your work days is crucial.

4. Consider reaching out for help.

Sometimes we can’t fight off fall burnout on our own, and that’s okay. It’s completely normal to ask for help from a professional. There are tons of therapists out there who have experience dealing with fall burnout, seasonal depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which all entail feelings of stress or unhappiness during seasonal transitions. If you want to talk to a professional but don’t know where to start, you can use an online platform like ZocDoc or BetterHelp to find specialists. 

Finding joy in the tasks at hand, celebrating seasonal activities, and hanging out with your friends might help you with your transition. If you’re feeling out of it as we brace for daylight savings and get deeper into the fall, start thinking about what your plan will be for fighting your fall burnout, especially if you want to avoid a winter depression.

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By: Camryn Quick

Camryn Quick is an up-and-coming journalist currently based in New York City. Coming all the way from South Carolina, where she studied Mass Communications, she is finishing up her Masters in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, where she is specializing in print and concentrating on arts and culture reporting. While in school, she has covered the arts and culture beat for the Mott Haven Herald and Hunts Point Express in the South Bronx, mainly writing pieces about the arts-oriented businesses and nonprofits in the area. She has also reported for the NY City News Service, covering 2021 election day in the South Bronx.

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