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Have you hit your wall yet?

You know the one you’ve been banging your head against for the last few weeks, or is that months?

No wonder you’ve got a nasty bruise on your forehead.

Our Vizsla puppy Maisie knows a thing or two about this too. She was recently bounding from the garden into the house in her usual state of exuberance and ran straight into the flyscreen.

Oops, one slightly bewildered and possibly concussed dog wondering “what the…?”

That metaphorical wall is the one that’s finally caused us to stop and call time out, because we’re exhausted, mentally, physically and cognitively, and it’s putting us at risk of burnout.

Living with the global pandemic for much of this year has led to many of us running out of gas, unable to give any more, because we’re running on empty. Is this true for you?

It’s worse at this time of year when we’re tying up all those loose ends, trying to think about Christmas, who to send cards to, wondering how come others have managed to put up their Christmas tree lights already and wishing the global pandemic would just hurry up and go away. 

If you’re holding on for that One Powerball to get you out of all this stress, well, maybe don’t hold your breath. There are a few on backorder although Amazon Prime have indicated they’re getting new stock in shortly.

Instead of worrying about your stress and that never-ending, ever-expanding to-do list, why not start a to-not-do and a to-do-when-I’m good-and-ready-to list instead and keep your stress levels down that way?

My to-not-do list includes the following:

  1. To not feel guilty when I’m feeling too tired to go for my afternoon walk and rest instead.
  2. To not feel inadequate for choosing not to do all the cooking for the 17-folk coming to join us for Christmas supper (we’re hosting this year) and to delegate as much as possible.
  3. To not work over the Christmas period on the public holidays and to limit any other work in between to less than two hours a day. Yes, I know, why am I doing any, I hear you say? As a recovering workaholic, this will be a good outcome for me.
  4. To not feel obliged to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve.
  5. To not feel obliged to attend every pre-Christmas work-related function. Yes, it’s great to catch up, but I don’t have to see EVERYONE over the next couple of weeks, let’s spread the love into 2021.

My to-do-when-I’m-good-and-ready list:

  1. To listen to all the accumulated hitherto unlistened to podcasts, replays of webinars, conferences and courses that have been accumulating in my inbox for the last six-nine months.
  2. To read all those fabulous books ordered and unread over the last 12 months including ‘The Overstory’ I bought last January!
  3. To join a new form of exercise class. Will it be Yoga, Extend Barre or golf?
  4. To have a major chucking out session of all the accumulated paperwork in the office that is sufficient to account for at least half of one tree plantation and then plant a tree in the back yard as compensation.
  5. To give myself permission to do none of the above without guilt or embarrassment.

What are you doing to avoid hitting that wall of exhaustion?

Have you got a plan on how to keep your stress and fatigue under control at all times over the festive period?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If your level of mental exhaustion and chronic fatigue is worrying you, I have a number of programs, webinars and course that address these. Please contact me for more information.


Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, keynote speaker, coach and best-selling author. Her new book Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life (Wiley) is now available for purchase.

If psychological safety, resilience and mental wellbeing is something you’d like to find out more about, please contact me to set up a time for a chat.

Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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