By now, you may have attended some holiday dinners and parties, you’re probably doing some last-minute shopping and wrapping up presents, and while the holiday is still more than a week away, I’ll bet you’re feeling exhausted already.
This is to be expected friends, so don’t worry. However, let’s make a decision right now to avoid further fatigue. Take just 2 minutes to read this article for a whole 2 weeks of feeling prepared and surprisingly calm for the rest of December.
Here are my suggestions for avoiding burnout this holiday season, along with doable tasks to train yourself:
- Breathe and stretch
While self-explanatory, it’s not so easy to put into practice because many of us overlook the importance of deep-breathing or simply don’t make time to do this. In a moment of stress, take a pause to notice how you feel and you’ll realize that your breaths are shallow and various parts of your body are tense and stiff. By breathing deeply and stretching, you’ll instantly feel better physically and mentally, and be able to perform your tasks more efficiently afterwards.
So, here’s your first task: before you begin your next big to-do, set an alarm to take a break half an hour into your task for breathing and stretching.
- Plan it out
On a grand level, write down all your events, appointments and other special dates on a calendar or monthly planner. On a minute level, create check lists for everything. Even if it’s a quick to-do that suddenly comes to mind, do yourself the favour of writing it down. The main goal is to not rely on your already-overloaded memory. Take that type of weight off your mind, and you won’t miss a beat during this crazy time.
Task: Do a brain dump or grab a notebook and create some lists.
- Take note of what you need
I wanted to suggest journaling, but decided to alter this to a single writing prompt that you can contemplate any minute of any day. Whether you want to do this mentally or actually write it down on paper, stop what you’re doing and think: “At this present moment, I’m checking in on myself and noticing that I need…” It might be a glass of water to hydrate or a chair to sit down on to rest your feet. Big or small, try to be mindful of what your body or spirit needs in that moment.
Task: Write that prompt down on a piece of paper and slap it onto your laptop or pegboard. Feeling creative? Make a nice graphic with the prompt and print it out on paper in colour.
- Be present
I’ll start by telling you to just say no if you’re too busy or simply if you’re not in the mood to go to that function. But there will be some invitations that are hard to turn down, and if your guilt for not going trumps your need to be home-bound, then go. But remember this: wherever you are, be present. Contribute to the room’s energy by truly feeling grateful for those colleagues, friends or loved ones, for this season, and for the opportunity be in celebration and making memories.
Task: when picking your outfit for your next event, designate a ring, your watch or other accessory as your secret side-kick. Every time you see it or touch it, it’s a signal to remind yourself to be in the present, with gratitude.
And that’s it! These are some tips that I personally find very effective and I hope you’ll try them this holiday season. Let’s end the year off with great energy rather than feeling burnt out. If you have any other tips, feel free to leave a comment.