As the holiday’s approach, I find myself with a growing sense of dread due to the amount of “holiday things” that go on our calendar. Parties, events, family gatherings, shows…you name it, we got it on our list of “things that we HAVE to do.”
But as our lives have grown and changed, I’ve come to a realization: How many of those things do we really HAVE to do? Because at the end of the day, is it worth it to cram five holiday events into one day, only to come home and be so exhausted that you can’t recall one enjoyable moment?
So, with that in mind, here are five ways to avoid holiday burn-out this year:
5 ways to avoid holiday burn-out
1. Is it a tradition or an obligation?
Traditions are fun, but they can also change! If a tradition doesn’t fit with your season of life, maybe it’s time to consider changing it to be less stressful and more fitting. But at the end of the day, traditions don’t have to be kept. Obligations are a little bit different though. Depending on your job and/or responsibilities, there are always going to be those things each year that you are obligated to attend, and that’s ok! Just sandwich them in between the traditions you love and that bring you joy!
2. Plan family/friend gatherings for a less busy time of the year
If you have a big family, and especially if they’re spread out all over the place, it just grows increasingly more complicated to get together over the holidays. And the more people you add (spouses, kids…) the harder it is. So instead of planning to get together on the actual holiday, pick a time that may typically be less full, or even a “minor” holiday that isn’t so hectic to travel through (HELLO Christmas in July!)
3. Only commit to 1 thing a day
Overcommitting is the fastest way to “holiday burnout”; so once you have something on your calendar for the day, that is probably a good reason not to commit to anything more. The only exception to this should be saying yes to those things that bring you joy, and you look forward to each year (Zoo Lights anyone?)
4. Don’t feel pressure to respond immediately
I will be the first to admit that some of the most stressful points on our calendar, are those things that I automatically said yes too, for one reason or another (i.e. a friend invites you to their Christmas party when they run into you at 5PM on a Friday at HEB with your screaming child). Remember that you don’t have to say yes to every invite, saying something like “Let me get back with you on that,” is totally acceptable! A response like this helps avoid that feeling of guilt if you have to change your answer later because you realized you are already over committed that day, or week.
5. Saying “No” is OK!
…and don’t let anyone else tell you any differently! At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with just giving a simple “no”. I get that it can feel uncomfortable, or even rude at times (Hi, I am a perpetual “maybe” checker on all invites!) but at the end of the day, what do you want the holidays to be about? Running around from one thing to the next? Or enjoying time relaxing and spending time doing things you love with the people you love?
If you are ready to speak to a Counselor, please call Amy Wine Counseling at 832.421.8714.