The winter holidays are an exciting time of year. The decorations, the carols, the food, and the festivities, it is certainly a fun-filled time.
However, for some, this over-stimulation of the senses can be a trigger for stress and anxiety. While the holidays are not entirely unavoidable, there are steps that you can take to safe-guard yourself against holiday burnout.
1. Make your list and delegate Between decking the halls with boughs of holly and making the perfect Christmas dinner, there are about one hundred and two things to be done during the holiday season. Rather than toting around a crammed to-do list, delegate. Make decorating the tree a project for the kids, and have close friends and family bring their favorite holiday dishes to a potluck-style Christmas dinner. When it comes to getting things ready for the holidays, the more, the merrier!
2. Prioritize The weeks leading up to Christmas and New Years are often the most hectic few weeks of the year. With all the holiday party invitations coming through, it may be tempted to try and go to them all. While that is indeed possible, it could also be very physically and mentally draining. Rather than trying to go to all the events, whittle your list down to the few that you are looking forward to the most. Saving yourself for the events that truly matter will allow you to have the energy to actually enjoy yourself.
3. Find bliss in imperfection With the onslaught of images of beautifully decorated homes on social media, it is difficult to not strive for perfection in your holiday preparations. This, however, adds a lot of unnecessary stress and fatigue. Rather the worrying about having every detail of your tree, décor, and holiday feast perfect, embrace the imperfections. Having an easygoing approach to your holiday preparations will de-escalate any anxious feelings that may be brewing, and will give you room to enjoy the beauty that you create.
4. Eat like Rudolph, not Santa Food is celebratory, and during the holiday season, this is no exception. It is important, however, to be mindful of what you consume and to indulge in seasonal treats in moderation. Rather than gorging on cookies at the office, pick one or two small treats to enjoy at a special event. During the rest of the time, eat a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and clean water. Keeping your diet mostly clean during the holidays will help maintain your energy and will prevent pre-party sugar crashes.
5. Unplug and unwind One of the most important things that you can do to prevent burnout is to give yourself the space and time to relax. Find a quiet time during the day that can be scheduled off as “you-time”. Listen to music, draw, exercise, or meditate; do whatever it is that takes your mind off of the chaotic energy outside, and allows you to ground and focus inwards.
The holidays are an exhilarating time of year. Rather than trying to do absolutely everything, allow yourself to slow down a little. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells that make the holiday season so special – the decorations, the carols, the delicious gingerbread cookies- and share these moments with your loved ones. Above all, be compassionate towards yourself.
By showing yourself love through rest and restoration, you’ll be ready to take on 2023 with abundant energy.