Just when you think nothing else can possibly fit on your to-do list, the holiday season comes along and bursts its seams. Around November many people start to feel an underlying sense of unease buzzing in the background of all the holiday cheer (can you feel it yet?). ‘Tis the season to be jolly….or overcommitted?
Parties, shopping, house guests, and family get-togethers—the demands of the holiday season can easily put us on the path to mental and physical exhaustion, resentment, and burnout. Fortunately, there are many things you can do in preparation to keep your holiday spirit alive— here are our top tips for self-care:
Decide on Your “Can’t Miss It!” Events
At this special time of year a frenzy of “We must catch up before the year ends!” ensues. There are so many things you could attend, and you'll burn out quickly if you say yes to every invitation. Figure out which are the “can't miss it!” events for you, and for everything else take a moment to pause and ask yourself if that event will add to (or take away from) your well-being.
Schedule Down Time
Protecting your downtime will be challenged at every turn, but try to leave at least two nights a week free of plans so you can literally have nothing to do, and nowhere to be. Instead, use that time to unwind, watch a festive movie, wrap some gifts, or do something relaxing that will fill you up and restore your energy.
Respect Your Personal Limits
It's great to have time off and a house full of out-of-towners, but an overdose of family time can create pressure in even the happiest of families. Don't be afraid to take breaks, get outside for a breath of fresh air (even if it's chilly!), meditate, stretch, and get some exercise—you'll feel much calmer and balanced after those endorphins do their thing.
Share the Load (And the Cooking!)
Doing everything yourself is a recipe for overwhelm! If you’re hosting an event, share the load by making the event a potluck and asking guests to bring their favorite dish, drinks or treats. You deserve to enjoy yourself too!
Make a List, Check it Twice
Don’t be a last-minute Santa—it will stretch you to the limit and being among the crowds, trying to find parking, and tensing up when your planned gift purchase is sold out is just not worth your wellbeing. Make a list, buy online in your jammies, and bypass the last-minute frenzy altogether.
The holidays can be filled with commitments to family, friends, and parties—but that doesn't mean it needs to be the most exhausting time of the year. Ease your holiday stress, pace yourself, slow down, and take in the lights, the carols, the coziness of the fire, the cinnamon, and the chestnuts. Make this a time of rejuvenation instead of burnout and you'll be ready to take on the new year with energy, zest, and excitement.