Exhausted? End-of-year fatigue is a real thing: Doctor

End-of-year fatigue is a medically recognised phenomena.
End-of-year fatigue is a medically recognised phenomena. KatarzynaBialasiewicz

THE rush to wrap up work, family and other life commitments before an end-of-year break can not only be exhausting but bad for your health.

Coast GP Dr Mason Stevenson said fatigue-related symptoms were one of the most common presentations at practices around Australia.

"Certainly end-of-year fatigue is a real phenomena," Dr Stevenson said.

"We do get patients coming in... experiencing excessive work loads and stress loads."

The effects are physical, mental or often both.

He said he changed the way he worked after experiencing the phenomena himself.

"It could be argued quite strongly that one annual break or one vacation a year is insufficient."

His advice was to break holidays up into short, more frequent breaks rather than just one big one.

He said he had been having a week off every three or four months for "many years".

"I'm a much more healthier, relaxed human being and doctor as a result."

Dr Stevenson said workers who let their leave accrue and didn't take holidays could be damaging their health.

"Prevention is better than cure and to strike an ongoing work/life balance as a New Year's resolution would be far more effective.

"To return to 11 months of a constant grind is not something one would look forward to."

He said regular exercise was a wonderful stress release and distraction to the pressures of work.

"If we have a hobby or a past time or a sport we shouldn't let it go."

He said it was admirable to have a committed work ethic.

"But we are not as committed to our health as we should be."

Signs of fatigue

Excess anxiety

Lack of satisfying sleep


Daytime sleepiness

Generalised aching

Reduced concentration and memory

Loss of motivation and energy

General dissatisfaction and unhappiness

Topics:  anxiety doctor editors picks fatigue gp holiday stress sunshine coast tired work

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