Everyday life is hectic enough without the added stress of the holidays. Everything from attending celebrations, coordinating gift-giving, planning finances and balancing various family obligations can cause holiday burnout this time of year. Here are a few tips to help avoid burnout and manage it so you can enjoy your holiday season.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
It’s impossible to do everything. When the holidays hit, there are a lot of moving parts in play so setting realistic expectations is crucial. One goal could be to simplify some of your holiday tasks. One easy switch is to send holiday e-cards versus sending physical cards. This can help you connect with loved ones while saving time putting together envelopes and postage (and saving a few trees). Other ways to help keep tasks realistic during the holidays are to break down goals into digestible tasks, set timelines and reward yourself for checking items off your to-do list. No matter what your holiday to-do list looks like, it’s essential to keep it realistic.
2. Start Early
No matter your holiday plans, spreading out your tasks and starting early will help with stress levels. Here are a few ways to prepare ahead of time:
• Send digital invitations for parties or hosted events at least two weeks in advance.
• Make necessary purchases a few weeks in advance.
• Decorate a few days before any hosted events.
• Arrange food plans, such as who’s bringing certain dishes to share at least one week in advance.
3. Maintain Boundaries
It’s important to set boundaries between the time you can take to do things and the time you need to rest. To maintain healthy boundaries, you can start by avoiding overcommitment by scaling back on tasks and having a firm end time for parties. Boundaries protect your emotions and your physical space. They can be a healthy strategy as you navigate the holiday season and a full calendar. For example, you could say “no” to an all-day gift exchange, but make time to stop by for a couple of hours to see loved ones. Don’t feel guilty about scaling back and setting time limits. The less stress you have to endure, the more fun the overall experience will be.