Holiday burnout is something that can impact anyone. Between hosting holiday parties and shopping for last minute gifts, the holiday season really can wear you down. So what can you do to avoid holiday burnout this year? I have some suggestions.
Last year I was so exhausted during the holiday season that I was unable to fully enjoy it. So this year I decided to be more efficient so that I can not only avoid burnout, but actually enjoy time with my family and the season to the fullest. If this is important to you too, then these suggestions may help.
The most important thing to do during the holidays is to stay focused. Yes, good food, festive music, and hearty laughter are all very important. But don’t forget what Christmas is all about. When you remember that God is at the center of the season, then all of the pressure to perform and buy boat loads of gifts goes away. If you’re not spiritual, that’s okay. Take time to reflect on what’s important to you. When you focus on family, health, safety, love, and all the other non-tangible things, it’s easier to stay grounded and not get overwhelmed and stressed out.
The second thing is to prepare in advance. I shared a few weeks ago about the importance of doing things in chunks in advance, and this is still a really good idea. Go out Christmas shopping early when you can to avoid the mad rush. And be sure to pace yourself. You don’t have to run out after every bargain that presents itself on television, the radio, or in the newspaper inserts. It’s the Christmas season, there’s no shortage of discounts. Rest assured, another great bargain is sure to come around again.
Another good tip is to try to prepare as much of the Christmas dinner as possible in advance so that you don’t get so overwhelmed in the kitchen that you miss out on your family. Remember, you have almost a month left to enjoy this season, so make preparation and pacing your priority so that you don’t miss out on the fun stuff.
Take time to savor the moments. I really love watching Christmas movies with my family. We make a big deal out of watching Christmas movies during family time. One of my best girlfriends chooses a different neighborhood to go to every Saturday night during the Christmas season. She and her family ride through the neighborhood to marvel at the beautiful lights. They bring Christmas cookies and a warm jug of cocoa to enjoy as they cruise through town. And someone always acts as the photographer, using her smart phone to take pictures of the most beautiful Christmas displays. My friend is focused on creating memories and this mode of relaxation helps prevent holiday burnout.
Don’t over commit yourself. You really don’t have to attend every single social event that you’re invited to. Choose the ones that you’d really like to attend and decline the others. Also, if you don’t want to host the family dinner this year or it’s too stressful for you and your husband to travel with the small children – then say so. Don’t feel obligated to do things that you really don’t want to do.
Be sure to rest. Sometimes we make sleep a luxury when it is really a necessity. You can get much more done when you take time to take care of yourself – and this includes getting adequate amounts of sleep.
Christmas is supposed to be a joyous time. Don’t let it overwhelm you and cause unnecessary burnout.