It’s the time of year when the potential for work burnout can reach epic proportions. Here are four simple tips, using the acronym MIND, to help you avoid work burnout this festive season.

Main Cause? Try your very best to pinpoint what is the main cause of your feelings of being overwhelmed. Do you have too much work and not enough time to do it in?  Do you need more skills to get the work done? Is it something you need to communicate with your manager or team leader?  Be a curious scientist and try and zero in on the main cause.  This way, there’s a chance you can fix it simply by communicating your needs to the right people.

Investigate Small Changes You Can Make.  Burnout doesn’t just happen overnight.  Usually there’s a build up of several things that have led you to feeling overwhelmed. Choose one thing you can change immediately, such as making an appointment with your boss to discuss a more realistic workload, or make a conscious decision to slow down and breathe every hour of the work day.  Write yourself a note to remind you to do this.

Notice and Tune in to Your Body. Notice what part of your body you hold stress in. Is it your jaw or shoulders? Several times a day, stop and consciously breathe into these areas, allowing them to soften as you do so.  Put a sticky note on your computer, toolkit or work station to remind you to do this.  Take a slow walk at lunchtime, or shout yourself a massage at your local mall.

Discuss with Others.  People can feel ashamed that they are not coping.  There is no shame in telling your family, friends or colleagues that you are feeling overwhelmed.  On the contrary, research shows that it is important to reach out to others honestly and openly about what you need.  Feeling closed and isolated can just multiply the feelings of burnout, so open up and talk to someone.  If there is no one, make an appointment with a psychologist. We’re here to help.