5 ways to avoid burning out over the holidays.

For many people, the “most wonderful time of the year” is also the most wearisome time of the year. With gifts to buy, meals to cook, travel to plan, and relatives to accommodate, the festive season can quickly lose its sparkle. The holidays are now just days away; are you feeling overwhelmed and under-supported? If so, first take a deep breath, then follow these steps to keep from burning out.

  1. Get friends and family to pitch in. Trying to do everything on your own is the quickest route to exhaustion. You might feel uncomfortable asking for help, but your loved ones probably feel awkward knowing how hard you’re working and wonder how they can help. Save yourself some time and energy by asking everyone to bring a dish if you’re hosting dinner, or by dividing errands among your family members.
  2. Stick to only as many activities as you can handle. If this month is packed with office holiday parties, school recitals, family get-togethers, and New Year’s Eve plans, it might be time to give yourself a break and skip some of the festivities. Overcommitting to too many events will leave you feeling rushed and spread thin. Can you really have a good time under those circumstances? Not likely, so don’t feel guilty about ducking out early or even keeping a whole night to yourself.
  3. Don’t be embarrassed about cutting corners. There’s no shame in buying cookies instead of baking them yourself, or doling out gift cards if you don’t have time to shop for “more thoughtful” presents. As mentioned before, you’re already being pulled in a million directions so if there’s any way to lighten your load, just do it. (We’re not judging.)
  4. Invent your own traditions. Like many people, you might be sick of the annual shopping frenzy or the intense effort it takes to decorate your place. Maybe hosting extended family is starting to wear on you, too. Well, who says you have to do any of that? If you’re tired of the pressure, swap the turkey for your favourite food or leave the air mattress in storage and go on a family vacation instead. Whatever it is, put your own spin on the holidays and create the memories you want.
  5. Remember the spirit of the season. We all know the holidays are supposed to be about giving, being thankful, and appreciating family, but it’s easy to get caught up in all the consumption and consumerism. If you’ve found yourself stewing over superficial things, take a second to consider what’s truly important to you. You might decide that rather than giving gifts this year, you and your loved ones will spend a day volunteering together at a soup kitchen or helping with a donation drive. Taking a moment to give back and show gratitude not only benefits those in need, but also recharges your spirit.

More ways to beat holiday stress

Last Wednesday we had psychologist and author Dr. Deborah Ledley lead our Ask the Expert session, which explored various ways to cope with anxiety during the holidays, enjoy stress-free family gatherings, and beat fatigue. She shared some great advice, all of which you can access by logging into your LifeSpeak account. If your organization doesn’t have LifeSpeak yet or you’d like to learn more about us, click ‘Book a Demo’ below.


Also published on Medium.