Posted in Travel, Parenting, Lifestyle.

Winter Burn Out

Winter Burn-Out is a real thing, it’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder. While we appreciate winter with the leaves changing colors, and the snowfall, rain, and soft rays of the sun. It can be overwhelming and isolating. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done and if you are finishing your work and chores during sundown then you are exhausted during work hours.

It’s not all bad, I know. Cozying up around a fire with family and friends roasting marshmallows and making s’mores with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. Yeah, there’s no substitute for that.  White snow draped over everything in sight seems nothing less than a painting. I know for me every time I witnessed snowfall the little flakes on my skin felt as though gentle playful nudges from heaven. That beauty is incomparable. Until you have to get to work or school, and your car is stuck in inches and inches of snow.

It’s also the holiday season, and we are creatures of habit. The change in environment, in family, and friends’ routines can throw us off. Sometimes it’s just the fact that we may not have anyone to lean on when others have family and friends to visit over the holidays. Or it could be exactly the opposite. We have to see all of our family at the same time. That can cause immense stress. Some colleagues might take time off increasing the workload for us.

Burnout comes in stages, so these are some of the signs to watch out for. Not just for yourself but for your colleagues as well.

There are usually 5 stages of burnout

  1. The Honeymoon Phase: After being hot and sweaty for months on end the cool breeze, snowfall, and rainbows after a rainy day are all welcomed changes. Being able to feel the sun on our faces without getting sunburned, yeah that feels amazing. This is called the honeymoon phase. Doesn’t last long though.
  1. Chronic Stress Phase: as the reality of all that rain, snow, cold, and fewer sunlight hours sets in we start to crumble. Some hold up longer than others. This doesn’t mean we completely give up, we just start to see that it’s not what we were imagining it to be.
  2. Burnout Phase: we are completely lost in our routine, in the dreariness. Trying to understand, manage and cope. Things are slipping away. Now the stress of catching up is starting to become too much. All of a sudden it starts to feel as though we are not good enough.
  3. Habitual Burnout Phase: This simply means accepting that this is what our life is. We have accepted defeat. What it does to our self-esteem, and the way it affects our work is detrimental. At some stage, some people might even give up on work or interacting with family or friends because they may find it to be too much. Because we don’t know it’s seasonal and just a burden of the time we’re in we accepted our fate as someone who cannot accomplish anything.


Here are some clear signs of stress and seasonal burnout so you can see how they look slightly different. Keeping in mind that burnout does cause stress as well.


Signs of Burnout

  1. Excessive use of substances, including alcohol, drugs, and prescription drugs.
  2. Being Physically and mentally overwhelmed and fatigued.
  3. Moodiness and irritability.
  4. Inability to make decisions.
  5. Loss of motivation.
  6. Suicidal thoughts.
  7. Withdrawing from support systems, such as family and friends.
  8. Hopelessness.


Signs of Stress

  • You put in too much effort.
  • You feel emotions more strongly.
  • You feel hyperactive and anxious.
  • You have less energy.
  • Emotions take a physical toll such as aches and pains without a cause etc.


Signs of other kinds of Burnout

  • It’s hard to put in any effort.
  • Your emotions feel blunted.
  • You feel drained and helpless.
  • You have less motivation.

If you are someone who suffers from serious burn out seasonal or otherwise you might need to take care of, your mental health and make it a priority. Other than the reasons I have mentioned above there might be a lot more going on with you. It’s obvious that you struggle with work-life balance. Cliché’ I know, but this is also a real thing.

Here are some other reasons you might be struggling:

1. You work in a helping profession, such as health care.  

2. You feel you have little or no control over your work or home conditions.

3.  you’re an empath. You notice and feel too passionately and deeply.

4. Others are dumping their problems on you.

Let’s start the healing process.

  • Be conscious of your mood and emotional state. That doesn’t mean to give in to it, just realize what you are feeling and accept it.

Do the same for others around you. Look for the signs mentioned above.  

  • Sit with those emotions until they start to make sense. Understand why you have them, what’s causing them
  • Get help whether it’s for you or for someone you care about. Take your time with this process. The courage to take this step will not happen fast, reach out to those who have experience with this.
  • Plan, and strategize on how you will combat everything that has been burdening you. Share tasks and workload if possible. If it’s a colleague or a friend, take some things off their plate, and distract them.
  • Reach out, reach out, reach out. You are not alone. Remind yourself that there are those who love you and will do anything to help. If they are missing the signs, show them, tell them, write to them.
  • Oh, and could you do me a favor? Shoot a text to everyone you care about just saying “what’s up?” For their sake and yours.


Journalist, CEO/Founder of, Mental Health Advocate for Women, Mother. I’m trying to get by just like everyone else. It’s a bit harder because of my chosen gender, so naturally not a friend to those who have stood in my way. Rest is irrelevant!

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