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5 Ways to Prevent Holiday Burnout

Updated: Jan 11

From November to January, the world takes its time to celebrate friends, family, gratitude, and peace. And no matter which holidays we observe, one fact remains constant: it can be a LOT to handle.

I love this time of year, but it comes with its own set of challenges: emotions can run high, finances can be tight, and time seems to slip away much quicker than normal. The last thing I (or anyone else) want is for the minor nuisances of the season to spoil the fun.

I’ve recently sought the help and guidance of some loved ones and wellness experts to compile a list of “holiday well-being” advice— and now I’d like to share what I’ve learned with you, my fellow organization enthusiasts!

Here’s to a season of relaxation, enjoyment, and quality time.

1. Say “No” More

The act of saying “no” is not inherently malicious or selfish; its purpose is to help you establish your priorities, set boundaries, and preserve your peace. So when you’re asked for a favor or extended an invitation, take a moment to truly consider how saying “Yes” would make you feel. If you have a feeling it would worsen your physical or mental health, have the courage and self-respect to politely decline.

Try: actively communicating with loved ones about your state of mind; meeting loved ones halfway and only taking on what you can handle at that moment; and practicing saying “no” with gentleness and gratitude.

2. Follow a Budget

Sticking to a financial plan can do wonders for your enjoyment and peace of mind during the holiday season. I suggest sitting down and ball-parking how much you’re comfortable with spending on things like gifts, decorations, cooking/baking, etc. Once you have a total for each category, hold yourself accountable.

Try: writing down everything you spend in a notebook; hunting for sales and discounts; avoiding using your credit card too much when shopping; and having a financial accountability partner.

3. Ask For Help

This can be a difficult one for me because I like to think that I can handle everything on my own. But sometimes that is neither healthy nor plausible. And with a little practice, I’ve learned that asking for help has often given me more relief and gratitude than strong-arming it myself. It’s also done wonders for my relationships! Working on things together, as a team, strengthens personal bonds and can lead to some really lovely memories.

Try: inviting loved ones to help you bake your holiday meal; asking for input on where to put up holiday decorations; requesting assistance when moving heavy objects; and incorporating your loved ones’ skillsets into your holiday prep.

4. Take Your Time

Even with the best time management skills, time can feel extra short during the holidays. But one of the best ways to prevent burnout while preparing to celebrate is to try and savor that process. When I decorate the house or wrap gifts, I will play Christmas music and light a seasonal candle. Even when you’re under a time crunch, slowing down and appreciating the little things always feels more rewarding than barreling through them.

Try: engaging all five of your senses when completing a task; taking deep, consistent breaths when you feel the stress growing; lighting candles and playing music as you work; reminding yourself that it’s not a race.

5. Don’t Neglect Self-Care

Nothing— including a holiday— is worth sacrificing your well-being. So if you find yourself prioritizing holiday prep over self-care fundamentals like personal hygiene, getting 7-8 hours of sleep, and drinking enough water, then it’s time to take a step back. This can be especially difficult when you feel like there’s just not enough time to do what you feel you need to do. But trust me on this— there is always more time than you think there is. Take care of yourself.

Try: scheduling an hour of your day to perform mental and physical “maintenance”; setting a consistent bedtime for yourself; lessening social media usage; and spending a little time every day doing absolutely nothing.

If you’re interested in learning more about preparing for the holidays without losing your sanity, check out my FREE online guide, “Preparing for the Holidays Like a Professional Organizer”. This all-in-one guide gives you the advice (and space) you need to plan your dream holiday. Visit my website to download your guide!


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