Year-end fatigue

Year-end fatigue. Image: Pexels

Year-end fatigue: how to deal with it as December approaches

Year-end fatigue can affect how your body functions and this can be caused by high levels of stress and anxiety.

Year-end fatigue

Year-end fatigue. Image: Pexels

As the year comes to a close, year-end fatigue starts to grip in, especially if the year was challenging – whether it may be work, school, or personal experiences.

Deon van der Merwe, a clinical psychologist in Centurion, describes year-end fatigue as “stress and tension that builds up through the year, everyone gets tired after a while and then towards the end of the year, the physical energy of the body deteriorates”.

Year-end fatigue can affect how your body functions, and this can be caused by high levels of stress and anxiety, affecting the stress hormone in your body called the cortisol.

“Cortisol levels heightens the feeling of anxiety, they develop what they call helplessness, this helplessness, is part of a depression and anxiety that builds up towards the end of the year, because of everything happening that is unresolved and everything that needs to be done.”

Year-end fatigue. Image: Pexels.

ALSO READ: Final exams: 5 tips to beat year-end fatigue and do your best


This can lead to a burnout. Van der Merwe says that burnout can lead to someone being unable to see light at the end of the tunnel.

To some people, this can be an overwhelming feeling. He says these are the symptoms people should look out for when it comes to year-end fatigue:

  • Helplessness
  • Feeling unvalued
  • Feelings of depression or feeling down
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Pressure in the brain
  • Sweating hands
  • Hypertension and panic attacks
  • Feeling overwhelmed
A major symptom of fatigue is feeling helpless. Image: Pexels.


Van der Merwe also shared some remedies that people can use to ease the stress and anxiety that leads to year-end fatigue.

“Well it (year-end fatigue) can be dealt with through relaxation exercises, especially breathing, where people will have to be very mindful of what is happening to them. And then do different breathing exercises. Seeing a therapist or a counsellor. If they can’t get them themselves, they can go on to the internet and get different breathing exercises.”

“The other thing to do is try to prioritise in a very orderly way. Where you actually change thing that you can at this stage, then to try to do everything and not get everything done. So prioritising and putting things into perspective for yourself, doing your time management and time planning this time of the year is very important,”

Van der Merwe concluded.

While a lot has happened this year, take care of your well-being. And end the year on a high note.