It’s 16 weeks to Christmas and I am totally burnt out. How will I last that long?

Dear Aunty B,

It’s 16 weeks to Christmas and I am totally burnt out. How will I last that long?


Clayton, Victoria



Dear Greg,

First, are you stressed out or suffering from burnout? They are two very different things.


In a nutshell, stress is all about feeling overloaded but there is a chance that things can get under control. Burnout makes you feel empty, beyond caring and helpless and is often the result of overwork and long-term stress. If you are suffering from burnout, 16 more weeks of work without a break is not an option. It is time to take action.


Stop thinking ‘Once I get through this week it will be fine’ because it never is. Trust me. I tried that and it doesn’t work. Stop what you are doing. You need renewal.


  1. Make your health a priority
  2. Get a medical checkup
  3. Set realistic goals and have a realistic workload
  4. Learn to say ‘no’
  5. Learn to delegate
  6. If you are in a customer/client-facing role, try and move out of the position in the short term while you recover
  7. Identify triggers for stress
  8. Pace yourself
  9. Eat properly
  10. Drink plenty of water
  11. Take a lunch break
  12. Aim for eight hour’s sleep each night
  13. Avoid drugs and alcohol
  14. Get some exercise (yes, horizontal folkdancing is excellent)
  15. Build your support network
  16. Talk to your family, friends and trusted associates about how you are feeling
  17. Block off chunks of time in your diary for headspace
  18. Commit to four week’s annual leave and stick to it
  19. Look at changing your behaviour, not waiting for everything around you to change
  20. Work towards a better balance between work and your personal life


Greg, if you do not see an immediate improvement, take some sick leave. Burnout doesn’t go away unless you deal with it.



Aunty B


FYI Burnout: Signs, Symptoms and Prevention

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