Managing End-of-Year Fatigue

TOUCH Mental Wellness

Managing End-of-Year Fatigue

Finishing the year can feel a lot like crossing the finish line of a marathon. The final few miles are the most challenging as you are physically drained. While there is an overwhelming joy to complete the race, the fatigue accumulated over time often wears us out. It’s not uncommon to share the same sentiments about the year coming to an end. The hustle and bustle of holiday celebrations, work deadlines and personal obligations can weigh us down in this final stretch of the race.[1]

End-of-year fatigue is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion that happens towards the end of the year.[2] For many, it’s a direct result of being stressed and overworked.[3] Studies have shown that fatigue significantly reduces our productivity and ability to perform tasks efficiently.[4]

So, how do we know if we are suffering from end-of-year fatigue? The common symptoms include:

Changing of moods: You may notice a change of mood like feeling more pessimistic or irritable. The change of mood can make us feel trapped and lose the motivation to complete even simple tasks.[2] If we fail to manage our emotions, we may even snap at our loved ones out of frustration.

Thinking difficulties: It’s harder to think and reason when our brains are exhausted. Research has shown that feelings of fatigue and burnout could impact our cognitive functions in areas such as attention and memory.[5] We may not have the mental capacity to make sound decisions.

Sleeping problems: Fatigue is also commonly associated with sleeping problems. You may find it difficult to fall sleep or stay asleep when your mind is overly active due to stress.[5] Both sleep disturbances may cause you to oversleep, lose focus and leave you feeling sluggish all the time.[6]

If you fear that the effects of end-of-year fatigue are getting to you, there are some tools and strategies that may help you to thrive through it and finish the year on a good mental note.

Prioritise self-care: Setting aside dedicated time for self-care is important. Slow down and take regular breaks to refresh your mind. Whether it is reading a book, listening to music or visiting the library, self-care moments can help you to recharge your energy and maintain your well-being.[1]

Organise your tasks: Organising your responsibilities by importance can help you regain control and manage your time more efficiently.[1] Allocate a time to do something before jumping into the next task.[7] Set realistic expectations on how much you can do and avoid overstretching yourself.

Physical activity:
Exercise has long been proven to be a mood booster and good coping strategy for the management of negative emotions.[8] Physical activity increases endorphin levels. Endorphins are the body’s “feel good” chemicals, which are produced by the brain and spinal cord. They evoke feelings of happiness and euphoria. Low intensity exercises like yoga and brisk walks can also boost the body’s ability to circulate oxygen that will energise you from a long day of work or school.[8]

Limit the use of social media: During festive periods, people tend to share their happy and proud moments online. Seeing too many of such posts might invoke a sense of anxiousness as comparison tends to happen. Studies have shown that staying off social media can be beneficial to one’s mental well-being.[9] This festive period, try to limit your social media use and be present with your loved ones.

Seek support: Don’t hesitate to seek support from your loved ones. Sharing the load and delegating your tasks to family and friends can help to reduce stress levels.[10] However, if nothing is helping and your fatigue is getting out of hand, it is best to seek professional assistance. TOUCH Mental Wellness offers support for those who are distressed or having negative thoughts. You may call the TOUCHline at 1800 377 2252 (Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 6pm) to speak with a counsellor.

Don’t let the flurry of activities during the year’s end weigh you down! Managing end-of-year fatigue is possible with the right tools and strategies. Prioritise self-care, organise your responsibilities and set realistic goals for yourself. As the year draws to a close, reflect upon how far you’ve come, celebrate your successes and let that motivate you as you cross the finishing line of 2023!

TOUCH Mental Wellness (TMW) runs personalised therapy and counselling programmes to empower individuals to rise above their circumstances. An advocate of mental wellness, TMW has been organising mental wellness awareness mass runs, talks and workshops since 2015. It works closely with corporations to conduct mental wellness talks with an aim of equipping employees with handles to cope with stress and help them build resilience. It also specialises in mental wellness awareness and educational programmes for schools.

1. Nelly, Kgoadi. “10 tips and tricks to survive year-end fatigue and finish strong” Alison, 14 Nov. 2021,
2. Medha, Dutta. “Are you experiencing end-of-the-year fatigue?” Mint Lounge, 14 Dec. 2021,
3. Janessa, Tan. “How can we manage end-of-year anxiety?” Mint Lounge, 30 Sep. 2022,
4. Manel, Baucells. “Three things: reduce fatigue and increase productivity” UVA Darden,
5. Dillon, Browne. “How to recognise and cope with emotional exhaustion” Medical News Today, 24 Oct. 2018,
6. Leonard, Holmes. “13 possible reason why you’re tired all the time” Verywellmind, 27 Sep. 2023,
7. “Fight the end-of-year fatigue” Edge Early Learning, 7 Nov. 2019,
8. “Exercise and stress; get moving to manage stress” Mayo Clinic,
9. Matt, Glowiak. “Social media addiction: signs, symptoms & treatments” Choosing Therapy, 23 Feb. 2022,
10. Diane, Young. “Exhausted? Here’s how to navigate end-of-year burnout” Body + Soul, 23 Feb. 2022,