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  • Writer's pictureAmy Woolf

January Burnout

Updated: Jun 6

You know how I always dread the whole year? Well this time I’m only going to dread one day at a time. - Charlie Brown

Who on earth starts a post with a negative quote? Well, on January 11th I am proud to say, I do.

How many of us have dragged ourselves towards the finish line of December, often full of cold and exhausted, in the belief that after the "festive break" we will feel great again? How many of us view the 31st December as an end point, with January 1st providing a clean slate?

At the start of December I must admit I was incredibly hopeful. Excited even. I had a strong plan for 2024 and a wonderful holiday booked. I couldn't wait to head off into the sunshine with my family and spend quality time together before returning to the office in January - refreshed and ready to go.

January arrived, as it does each year, accompanied by fireworks, celebrations and party wear. I sat down at my desk and a minute later it was Thursday 11th January. What on earth happened to the past two weeks? Where did my zen go? How has so much happened so quickly?

Interestingly, I don't seem to be alone.

This week has seen conversations just like this monologue with so many friends, colleagues and clients. Candidates have withdrawn from processes due to exhaustion - in January!

So what has happened? Why are we all so worn down despite many of us taking some time off between Christmas and New Year?

The reality is that life is not slowing down just because we want it to. As we all know, however rested you are on a break, returning to a stressful environment can be, well stressful. The first two weeks of January appear to be one of our most challenging points in the year. With so many people pressing pause, the world wakes up at the exact same time. Typically with the same rigour and enthusiasm.

How can we avoid the January burnout? What should we do to avoid feeling like we are being dragged through a hedge this early on in the year?

I am personally going to try do the following:

  1. Stick to my plan. I so often let life get in the way of my goals. This year I made commitments and I will stick to them, whether that be posting more on Linked In (!) or leaving the office at 3pm on a Friday.

  2. Be ahead of the game. This is such a sweeping statement but I feel like I am getting bamboozled by things more and more at the moment. Before Christmas I attributed this to failure on my part. I am focusing on doing everything in my power to predict the art of the possible.

  3. Take the pressure off. Why do I put so much undue pressure on January? It is, after all, just another month. We don't need to change the world just because there is a new year on the calendar.

All that being said, wishing you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2024.

We look forward to working with you!

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