- in Blog by Melissa Costello
How to Avoid Burnout this Holiday Season
The holidays are a time where many of us get caught up in a whirlwind of overwhelm and stress. Our to-do lists double and even triple, with the addition of holiday parties, decorating, shopping and cooking.
It's easy to get sucked into the eye of the storm and not see a way out until January 2nd hits. By this time, it's almost too late and burnout has set in. But this doesn't have to be the case for you this holiday season. You do have a choice.
You CAN thrive through the holiday season in a peaceful and balanced way, so when the New Year comes you feel ready to move forward in an empowered way, instead of feeling like you have to start at square one and fix all the damage you did.
Below are my Top 3 Actions to Help You Avoid Burnout this Holiday Season:
ACTION 1: HOW To Avoid Burnout this HOliday Season
It's no secret that this time of year can be filled with obligations and family traditions that often feel overwhelming. During my annual 7-Day Balanced and Blissed Holiday Challenge, I challenge hundreds of participants with the action of choosing things that feel aligned with them, versus participating out of obligation.
This very action includes being able to say No, which can be hard for a lot of people. In order to not burn yourself out this holiday season and avoid the overwhelm that often comes along with it, I encourage you to choose your experiences and to-do's wisely.
Here's how to do that:
Take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Write the heading, "To-DO" on one side, and the heading "Events" on the other. Write out everything you feel like you have to do under the "To-Do" Heading (ie: getting a tree, baking cookies, decorating, buying gifts for everyone at the office, even long time traditions), and then write out all the events you need to attend including kids (if you have them) plays, holiday parties and bake sales under the "Events" heading.
Once you complete your list, go down each column and circle anything that IS a priority or feels GOOD for you to do. Then go through the list again and X out anything that feels heavy or like an obligation. Note: This process won't be easy, especially if you are a people pleaser or someone who is afraid of being judged for not participating. You will also have to learn to let go a bit and really tune in to the things you WANT to do (see below).
Once you complete the X + O process, go through the circled items, or any items that you are questioning on the list and ask yourself the following questions:
How is this bringing balance to my life?
How is this bringing bliss and joy to my life?
Will this bring balance to my life if I do it, or will I feel resentful?
Is this something I feel obligated to do? If so, can I shift it to feel balanced instead?
If the item feels obligatory, overwhelming etc, cross it off your list and LET GO! You will be OK, I promise. Often we will do things out of obligation or fear of what others will think of us if we don't bake cookies for that bake sale, or show up to that party.
Once you have gone through this process you will feel much clearer. Complete it by writing the remaining items in your calendar. Block out one hour windows of time to complete tasks such as shopping, baking or wrapping gifts. This will help you manage your time better.
ACTION 2: How to avoid burnout this holiday season
Implement the 10 + 10
This practice will be one of the most powerful actions you take for yourself this holiday season. Life coach and personal growth guru, Tony Robbins says, "If you don't have 10 minutes to give yourself, you don't have a life...." This is so true and one of the main reasons why people feel stressed out and overwhelmed.
By starting your day with what I call the 10+10, you will set yourself up to feel grounded, balanced and connected this holiday season instead of harried, frazzled and buried under your to-do list.
The 10 + 10 consists of 10 minutes of movement and 10 minutes of "me" time first thing in the morning. Of course, both of these activities can be longer, especially if you like to do your workouts in the morning, but start with a minimum of 10 minutes for each.
Most importantly though, is the 10 minutes of "me" time where you either meditate (I love using the Insight Timer App), breathe, read something uplifting excerpts from a book (here is my favorite,) connect to your own heart, journal by dumping whatever is on your mind on the page, or set intentions for the day.
This action is life-changing and will set you up to have a more empowering and connected day so that you don't' feel as overwhelmed by all you have to do.
Also, studies show that people who have consistent morning routines are more successful than people who don't. Instead of hitting the snooze button 3 or 4 times, get up out of bed and give yourself the time you deserve.
Action 3: How to avoid burnout this holiday season
Many of us are living in the future or the past. This causes anxiety and overwhelm.
You are ONLY one person, who can only do so much. The more you keep thinking about ALL the things you have to do, versus staying present and doing the next "right" action, the more stressed out you will feel.
Practicing presence is one of the most impactful and balancing things you can do for yourself this holiday season. I know it doesn't come easy for most, myself included, but you can access it with a little bit of awareness and pause.
Every time you catch yourself feeling anxious or overwhelmed, STOP and take a deep breath. Seriously. It's incredible how quickly it works. Know that these feelings come from you not being present. Then take another.
Once you take 2-3 deep breaths, then ask yourself if you are living in the future and worrying, or are you focusing on the task at hand and what's in front of you?
By taking this pause, you will get reconnected to the present moment and then you can make a discerned choice about what needs to be done next.
Again, you are ONLY one person, and can only do so much. DELEGATE if you need to. Ask for help and don't think you need to be Superwoman or Superman.
By following these 3 empowering actions this holiday season, I guarantee you will feel so much more balanced and peaceful by the time the New Year arrives. And if you are concerned about weight gain this holiday season, check out my recent blog about How You Can Avoid Holiday Weight Gain.