A year ago, Nick Johnston and Sandaire partnered together to support in the personal and professional development of individuals within the business and enhance team performance.

Nick Johnston, Director of Athletic Thinking, has worked in elite sport for over 15 years. His career so far has seen him repeatedly embedding world class performance systems and coaching at the top of the game, working with some of the best respected international coaches and athletes in rugby. The transference of this experience into the corporate sector is key to our partnership and through Athletic Thinking, Nick applies some of the principles of elite sport to business growth and development.

With us all well into the depths of winter and with Christmas around the corner, we thought what better way than to showcase some of the work that we are doing with Nick than to offer some top tips on how to health and wellbeing throughout the winter months.

The third in our series is focused on Burnout. Burnout is a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job. It is defined by the three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy. The experience of Burnout can impair both personal and social functioning, and thus contributes to a decline in the quality of work and interpersonal relationships.

Some of the symptoms of burnout are:

  • Exhaustion
  • Lack of motivation
  • Frustration, cynicism and other negative emotions
  • Poor cognitive function
  • Under performance
  • Interpersonal problems at home and work
  • Not taking care of yourself
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Being preoccupied with work….when you’re not at work
  • General lack of satisfaction
  • Detachment/isolation
  • Health problems

Here are five top tips from Nick on how to avoid Burnout:

  • Take relaxation seriously (1) – With year-end being a busy time both personally and on a work front for many, taking time to relax should be taken seriously. Resting your body is the best way to avoid burnout. Focus on the following –


  • Get enough quality sleep
  • No technology at least an hour before you go to sleep
  • Maximise your ‘down time’
  • Listen to your body
  • Take regular breaks during the day when you can


  • Ensure you have a rich non work life  (2) – Ensuring that you have a rich non work life and making time for fun activities and surrounding yourself by friends and family over the winter months is key for avoiding burnout. In short, make sure you laugh, smile and surround yourself with people who make you happy and enjoy every moment!


  • Be organised and prioritise – manage your workload  (3) – Especially in the financial sector, amongst many others, the festive season is also an incredibly busy working period, with year-end drawing nearer and getting jobs done before the start of the new year. Managing workload is absolutely vital for avoiding burnout and enables you to enjoy your life and time outside of the workplace as much as possible. Try planning your day/week/month where you can and take breaks between big projects. Understanding tasks in hand and planning ahead of time can help in achieving this.


  • Use the resources available to you (4) – Remember to use all of the resources available to you, these may be given to you through work in the form of holiday entitlement or health benefits. Make sure that you use all of our holiday entitlement and take time off when you can as this is key to avoiding burnout.


  • Stay attuned (5)- One of the key tips to avoiding burnout is to stay attuned to your body and know the symptoms. If you have experienced burnout before then learn from your previous experiences and implement change. Remember you can say no.

We hope that these top tips help you to cope with the winter months as much as possible and work towards avoiding burnout.