2020 was a pretty rough year. Covid-19 hit and everything changed. Unfortunately, 2021 has not been much better as the pandemic continues to control the way we live our lives. So how do we get through the final quarter of the year unscathed by the added pressures and stresses of life as we know it?
Reporter Logan Tutty spoke to the experts.
There are plenty of reasons Good George Brewing has gins named "F*ck Off 2020" and "For F*ck's Sake 2021".
It has been a tough couple of years for many.
While New Zealand has arguably handled the Covid-19 pandemic better than many countries, it has brought with it change and pressure which can lead to extra anxiety and stress.
However, there are tools that can be used to combat this sense of dread and avoid burnout or total exhaustion in the final quarter of the year.
Amanda Zoe from LifeCoach Whanganui says it is always an interesting time of year as people evaluate the goals they had set for themselves and whether they have achieved them.
"It's almost a spring cleaning of people's lives. People tend to go over the top and that's when they burn out, it is pretty common in this last stage of the year.
"The added pressure of having lockdowns and people haven't been socialising and going out so they have been spending all that time in their head so their thought life has become gigantic. Usually, you would have that balance with the social side."
Using the S.M.A.R.T goal method (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound) was a fool-proof way to set goals.
"It is such an easy template, and it works, it really does.
"The biggest part of goal planning is after making your goal, is to really go over your why. Your why is what is going to drive you, that is what is going to motivate you and get you there.
"If you have a strong emotional attachment to your why and you bring it to your mind all the time, it will keep you going."
A lot of the stress in people's lives is self-imposed, Zoe says.
"We are creatures of habit. We think something will be a certain way, and when it's not, that is when we begin to stress.
"People that come to us feeling stressed and burnt out from pressure in life, we almost always find it's not the so much the amount they have on or what they are trying to do, there is almost always an emotional reason."
Zoe says it is important to stay connected to friends, family and the community so you can normalise your stress and talk to someone about it is something you should be stressed about.
"We find the more detached people are from having those close friendships and relationships, the more they tend to internalise their stress."
Separating things into categories such as things you can control, things you can influence and things out of your control was a good way of breaking down where your energy should be placed.
"If there is something stressing you out or you are feeling a build-up of emotions, go through and look at the situation. You can always control your reaction.
"You can influence your friends and family with your opinions, but you can't control them.
"The things that are out of your control are the thoughts and opinions of others, you can't control other people. That has a lot to do with why people stress out because they don't feel in control of the situation.
"Once people apply these methods to things, they realise they can't control a lot of things and they de-stress. If it is out of your control, why stress about it? Worry about the things you can control."
Former high school counsellor, human resources counsellor and now with online education outfit Crimson Global Academy, Jan Blair, says a lot of people are struggling because they can't easily connect with their families or peer groups.
"The important thing is to do as much as you can to connect with people and check how they are for your own health and wellbeing."
Blair says anxiety at the moment is heightened and the constant media attention around Covid-19 can sometimes do more harm than good.
"It's all over the place and you don't have a balance to your life because of it. I think it builds anxiety. Social media certainly doesn't help at times.
"It is just adding to the anxiety that we don't need. Value what you have, live in the now, enjoy what you have and make the most of that."
Limiting alcohol intake, being conscious of what you are eating as well as how much you are sleeping all factor into feeling exhausted.
"Learn to breathe properly. It is a really important part of your life. It's amazing what you can do."
The fear factor heading into the Christmas holidays for some people is potentially being separated from their loved ones due to Covid-19.
Finding ways to work around it and deal with the situation is key.
"I know I probably won't be with my family, but I will make the most of what we can have. Maybe we plan for a time in the future where we can celebrate."
Communicating and letting your family, friends and workplace how you are feeling can also help alleviate stress.
"I've got really good friends, but friends can't be your counsellor. They are your friends, you need to see professionals if you need them.
"It is crucial people ask for help if they need it."
Going through adversity was key to building resilience, Blair says.
"I look back on the tough times in my career, they weren't pleasant and they weren't fun, but out of that, I learnt a huge amount of skills that took me into the good times.
"Through the tough times, you develop a lot of skills to deal with the next one."
Catherine Sloan from Choice Life Consulting says there has been a great change in how we work and live in the last 18 months since the emergence of Covid-19.
"While some aspects of this are helpful to us such as not having to use public transport for the daily commute in these Covid times, being more available for children's needs and less workplace bullying opportunities. At the same time, there are very challenging drawbacks that are appearing in my clients."
Being visible outside of an online environment, losing connection to others and not having set breaks and routines all caused difficulties for people.
Add children into the mix, more stress is added to their working from home experience.
"Then there are people who live alone and they have been presenting with greater anxiety, low-grade depression and loneliness, all of these issues often have not been present in a person's life before."
Sloan says people have to be more diligent and develop new routines, both mentally and physically.
"Then there is the lack of ancillary exercise that people were getting from their daily routine of walking to the bus or train, climbing the stairs in the office building, getting fresh air."
10 tips for avoiding burnout during the last quarter of 2021
1. Focus on sleep and restoration
As much as you may feel like there's no time to sleep or relax, it can actually be more productive to do so. A lack of sleep can lead to the body breaking down further down the track. Take a break before you are forced to do so.
2. Have a plan
When feeling overwhelmed and stressed it can be useful to sit down and come up with a plan. We have learned in the last two years that many things are uncertain, but a base plan ensures that we are at least better placed to adapt and pivot.
Bottling up your emotions can lead to burnout, so tell people how you are feeling. There is no shame in telling someone you are struggling and their empathy can help you cope.
4. Don't be a martyr
You do not have to do everything yourself. Look at what needs to be done and consider Annie Canning's four Ds; do it, delegate it, delay it, or dump it.
5. Eat well
A poor diet can enhance feelings of tiredness and burnout. Eat natural whole foods, plenty of fruit and vegetables, and avoid stimulants such as too much caffeine, sugar or alcohol.
Regular exercise will help the body's detoxification process and reduce stress levels. Even a 10-minute walk in the middle of the day can clear your mind and prepare you to tackle the afternoon's work.
7. Reduce screen time
Staring at computer, phone and television screens can add to the feelings of stress and tiredness. It can also upset your circadian rhythm, and using your phone before bed will make it harder to get to sleep.
8. Find an activity you enjoy
Break up the day or week with something you look forward to. From reading a book to going for a walk or catching up friends for a coffee. It may seem selfish or unproductive but the clarity and energy you get from it will make you more productive in the long run.
9. Accept that you can't be everything to all people
Often people find themselves worn out simply from trying to please everyone. Sometimes you have to take stock and accept that you need time for yourself as well - otherwise you'll burn out and be no use to anyone. Be honest, communicate about what you're capable of, and prioritise.
10. Don't be ashamed to admit you're overwhelmed
Feeling stressed or overwhelmed is perfectly normal. Often just telling someone you are feeling that way can make all the difference. It also gives people the opportunity to help and support you - often they will have a solution you had not thought of.