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How to Avoid Holiday Burnout

How to Avoid Holiday Burnout

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but for many, it can also be the most stressful time of the year. Between scrambling to make deadlines, a calendar that’s spilling over with social outings, an ever dwindling bank balance and the pressure for everything to be perfect, it’s no wonder many of us end up feeling completely exhausted by the time Christmas arrives.

While a certain amount of stress is inevitable, there are some steps we can take to avoid overwhelm and ease the lead up to the holidays so that we can actually, you know, enjoy them!

Make a plan

Never underestimate the power of a plan.

Resist the temptation to rely on a mental to-do list. You may feel like you’re saving precious time, but your brain can only hold so much information and the more frazzled you get by trying to keep tabs on everything, the less it will retain. Take the time to sit down and put everything that’s swirling around in your head on paper (or screen if you prefer). It will be some of the most worthwhile time you will spend.

Include everything - chores, errands, deadlines, activities, social occasions, appointments, shopping lists, budgets. Feel some space clear out in your mind and your stress levels decrease. Now you don’t have to worry about forgetting about that hair appointment or your niece’s carol service, and it’s much easier to keep track of everything. 

Divide and conquer

Now that you’ve made your list and checked it twice, it’s time to summon the help of some elves.

Another major advantage of having a plan is that it allows you to delegate. Sometimes it can be hard, not only to ask for help, but also to relinquish our control. Push past this. Sharing the load with others can be a lifesaver.

People are usually more than happy to lend a hand and be involved. Perhaps the kids could help with wrapping the presents and your significant other can take care of some of the decorating. Why not get some shopping delivered? Even if you hand over just one task, that’s one less thing for you to be thinking about and doing.

Say the magic word

Give yourself permission to say no.

There is so much going on as the year comes to an end and it can be very easy to over commit. You say yes to work drinks here, agree to bring the kids out there, next thing you know you don’t have a free minute until January and you’re gripped by serious fear.

While it sounds simple, saying no can be challenging at times. None of us want to let others down. There can be a sense of guilt that comes with saying no, and even embarrassment. It can feel selfish. But it’s important to prioritise your well-being around this time and allow yourself some well deserved rest. When a request for your time comes your way, you don’t have to respond right away. Take a bit of time to think about it, consult your plan, reflect on whether it is something you would like to do, and then decide. The future you who’s eating a mince pie with her feet up will thank you. 

Bolster your defences

Don’t let those healthy habits slip.

The last thing you need over the festive period is to be battling some sort of infection on top of everything else. Prioritising your health is essential. Stress can weaken our immune responses and healthy habits can easily fall by the wayside when things get busy and our routines are out of sync.

When life gets hectic, focus on the basics. Make sure you’re eating enough. Food is fuel and we can’t function at our best with an empty tank. Balance meals by including complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, help us to feel fuller and provide longer lasting energy. They also contain important nutrients that support immune function and fibre for gut health. The health of our gut impacts the health of most of our body systems, including the immune system. Ensuring we eat an adequate amount of fibre will help to keep the gut healthy, and try to include some probiotics too. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria and can be found in foods such as yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, and kombucha, or in supplement form like Symprove.

Symprove 4-Week Programme

Making time for regular exercise is also important. Not only for our physical health and general well-being, but exercise is also a mood booster and can reduce our levels of stress and anxiety. Even a 30 minute brisk walk a few times a week is enough to make a difference to our mood. 

Give yourself a time-out

In fact, give yourself several time-outs.

Taking time for ourselves amidst the madness may seem indulgent but it is essential. The holidays can be a demanding time, not just physically and mentally but emotionally as well. When we’re stressed and feeling stretched, we’re more likely to be reactive and impulsive and act in ways we might later regret. This might manifest as lashing out at a loved one or being rude to a shop assistant, or going a bit heavier than intended on the mulled wine.

Carving out some time for yourself, to rest and reset, can grant you a fresh perspective and leave you more emotionally capable to handle what comes your way. Use this time to do something you enjoy - run yourself a bath, read, journal, meditate, catch up on TV, or kill two birds with one stone and go outside for a walk to clear your head and get some exercise in. Encourage yourself to get up and out with the Brandwell Chunky Knit Hat With Removable Led Light, a cosy addition for the darker days.

Brandwell Chunky Knit Hat LED

Rest your head

Don’t forget to sleep!

Getting adequate sleep reduces feelings of anxiety while also improving our ability to cope with stress. When we’re well rested, we’re more likely to be in a better mood and have a better temperament. Unfortunately, with so much going on in the lead up to Christmas, we might find it harder than usual to relax and have difficulty sleeping.

By following the tips in this article, hopefully you can reduce your overall stress levels which should help, but it is also important to factor in some wind-down time before bed. Try to avoid using screens an hour or two before you go to sleep and make sure your room is comfortable. Spaces that are dark, cool and quiet are generally easier to fall asleep in. You could try the This Works With Sleep Comes Beauty Gift Set to help you drift off and if you’re interested in trying supplements, the fabÜ R&R Relax Capsules are a good choice.

Fabu R&R

We’re never going to eliminate all the stress that comes with the holidays, but we can take steps to reduce it. By making a conscious effort to lessen the load and enjoy some time for yourself this Christmas, you’ll create more room for joy!

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