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Burn-Out or Breakdown? Get the Help You Need With Online Therapy

As the year draws to a close many are feeling tired and drained. This has been especially apparent in online therapy this year with its added changes and challenges. These feelings and emotions are quite normal at the end of a year. But what if your tiredness eludes to something else? And when should you start feeling concerned? See if you can spot your kind of exhaustion:

End-of-Year Fatigue

This is a seasonal tiredness. End-of-year fatigue leaves you feeling constantly tired or weak during the period of November and December. This tiredness can be either mental or physical or even both. Some can get it for shorter periods of time whilst others have it on a chronic basis over these months.

This is a normal reaction to have when we’ve experienced mental and physical strain over a long period of time. Our high-pace, high-pressure lifestyles can ensure of this.

Spot the signs:

  • You’re feeling irritable
  • You’re experiencing insomnia or general disruption in sleep
  • You feel physical aches and pains all over your body (similar to flu-like symptoms)
  • You can’t seem to concentrate
  • You’re feeling abnormally forgetful
  • You’re experiencing high levels of anxiety
  • You can’t seem to keep focus
  • You’re feeling depressed

Fight back with these:

  • Socialise

This might sound like a tall order when you’re low on energy and don’t feel like seeing anybody, never mind interacting with them. But this impulse to self-isolate will actually make the situation worse. When we recommend socialising we’re referring to healthy interactions with others. Going out drinking and dancing the entire night away at the club is also not going to do you any favours.

  • Talk it out

We can often get overwhelmed by feelings and thoughts and lose perspective whilst being in the thick of our situation. That’s why it’s so important to talk these thoughts and feelings through with an objective third party. Many people feel that talking to friends and family can be uncomfortable and that’s also why online therapy is the ideal opportunity to use an objective expert as a soundboard.

  • Detach

This might appear to be contradicting to our previous point regarding socialising, but what we’re referring to here is stepping away from the massive information overload that comes with social media and the internet. Detach from all your devices for a while and give yourself the mental break you need in order to reboot (pun intended).

  • Treat yourself

This is not avoiding or running away from your problems and the situation. But this is the time you need to focus on yourself for a bit. Get a massage, give yourself a facial in a bubble bath. Any activity that you experience as a bit of a time-out from the craziness of everyday life is something you can use to self-care.

  • Get active

Once again this might be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re already low on energy. But ironically, you’ll feel much more energized after you’ve done some exercises or other physical activities. If you’re not one for the gym circuit or jogging on a treadmill, then go for a hike or take a scenic bike ride.

  • Become Popeye

Ok, not really. But if you eat spinach at least once every day it will fight the constant fatigue. Spinach contains Potassium and Vitamin B which will boost your energy levels.


Burnout is very similar to End-of-year fatigue, but the thoughts and emotions that this brings can be a bit more severe and it can happen at any time of the year. Although Burnout can be contributed to general high levels of stress, it is most often caused by stress in the workplace.

Burnout can make you feel completely exhausted and unable to cope with life. In severe cases it can have a devastating effect on your everyday life and may even leave you unable to function at all.

Spot the signs:

  • You always feel tired
  • You’re experiencing insomnia or general disruption in sleep
  • You can’t seem to concentrate
  • You’re feeling abnormally forgetful
  • You’re experiencing high levels of anxiety
  • You’ve lost your appetite (in extreme cases this goes hand-in-hand with significant and sudden weight loss)
  • You’re feeling depressed
  • You’re getting sick more and more often (this is due to your weakened immune system)
  • You are experiencing irritability that leads to angry outbursts
  • You’ve become more and more of a pessimist
  • You’ve lost the ability to get any pleasure or enjoyment out of life
  • You’re feeling detached from your reality and the people around you and this has inadvertently caused you to start self-isolating

Fight back with these:

  • Check out

If you can’t take time off from work, you need to at least break the 24/7 cycle. Stop taking work calls after office hours, stop reading work mails. You need “down” time in order to recharge your batteries.

  • Book an appointment with yourself

Set an appointment with yourself if you’re so dedicated to your work schedule and do something that makes you relax even if it’s only for half an hour. Read, listen to music – anything except checking social media on your phone or computer in order for you to detach even for just a little time.

  • Get some support

When you’re going through a tough time it’s always tougher without a support network. In cases of burnout it’s better to talk to a professional that really understands the phenomenon rather than leaning on friends and family who might not entirely understand what you’re going through. Online therapy sessions can be very convenient and helpful in cases of burnout.

Have you ever felt like there’s not enough hours in the day for everything that you need to do? Well, if this happens on a consistent basis over an extended period of time, you’ll get burnout. So the one way of combatting this is to get organised, prioritise and work more effectively on a daily basis. When you start organising, you start taking back control. And when you’re in control things will feel much more manageable.

  • Make the change

If you’re experiencing burnout it’s time to do some soul searching. Is this something that’s been caused by an unusually stressful time or is it almost a wonder that it hasn’t occurred sooner? Burnout is your body trying to tell you that you need a time-out. And sometimes it’s forcing you to make drastic life changes.

Ironically you’ll often find that its changes that you were already pondering for quite a while before the burnout occurred. Most often it’s making a job or career change. This is also something you can discuss with a professional during online therapy.


This can be referred to as a mental or nervous breakdown. A breakdown is not a mental illness. Breakdowns can’t be be pinpointed to one specific cause and it can occur at any time.  A breakdown can occur after a traumatic event, poor sleep, financial problems, chronic stress etc.

Breakdowns are generally completely debilitating and scary. A breakdown can only be treated by highly qualified professionals and should be taken very seriously. In fact, you will not be able to function normally (even if it is merely temporarily before treatment).

Spot the signs:

  • You find it difficult to breath
  • You’re constantly crying uncontrollably
  • You’re thinking of hurting yourself or even committing suicide
  • You feel completely hopeless and helpless
  • You’ve completely detached from friends and family
  • You’re experiencing a complete break from reality or hallucinations
  • You are experiencing extreme mood swings
  • You are constantly plagued by panic attacks

Fight back with these:

  • Call in the pros

A breakdown is not something to play around with. You’re very first step should be calling on the professionals. This is very easy to do with online therapy. Your therapist will advise you as to what your next steps should be.

  • Breathe

This might seem impossible when you’re already experiencing difficulty breathing and having panic attacks. Therefore, the moment you start focusing on your breathing and purposefully taking deep breaths of at least 10 seconds at a time, you’ll actually start managing these difficulties and attacks.

  • Cut out certain drinks

During this period of your life you should completely avoid coffee and alcohol.

  • Make sleep a priority

You should immediately get yourself back into a healthy sleeping pattern. You can do this by keeping to a strict sleeping schedule and routine.

It’s very important to remember that End-of year fatigue, Burnout and Breakdowns are a very normal physical and mental reaction to abnormal circumstances or situations. Experiencing any of these should not make you feel guilty or ashamed – it can happen to anybody at any time.

If you suspect that you might be on the verge of one of these or you are currently experiencing the above mentioned symptoms, it’s imperative that you share and manage this with an expert. If you would like to book your online therapy session, please contact us on or simply fill in the form below:

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