4 Steps to Help Prevent Burnout During the Holidays


According to new research from Microsoft, nearly half of employees have reported that they are burnt out at work.

The World Health Organization defines burnout as a syndrome resulting from workplace stress that has not been adequately managed.

Everyday life is hectic enough without the added stress of the holidays. The season’s challenges include attending celebrations, coordinating gift-giving, planning finances, and balancing various family obligations. It’s no wonder that burnout can feel unbearable during this time of the year.

Burnout during the holiday season is common, but you don’t have to suffer. Even though levels of burnout are high, there are ways to help avoid burnout and manage it so you can enjoy all of the family fun and festivities.

Here are four tips to help prevent burnout during the holiday season.

1. Set realistic expectations

It’s impossible to do everything. When the holidays hit, there are a lot of moving pieces to consider for a successful holiday season. Setting realistic expectations is crucial, so you don’t overcommit to tasks.

One easy switch is to send holiday e-cards versus sending physical cards. This can help you connect with loved ones while saving time putting together envelopes and postage. Other ways to help keep tasks realistic during the holidays are to break down goals into digestible tasks, set timelines, and reward yourself for checking items off your to-do list. No matter what your holiday to-do list looks like, it’s essential to keep it realistic.

2. Start early

No matter your holiday plans, spreading out your tasks and starting early will help with stress levels. This is due to not waiting until the last minute to complete tasks and rushing through responsibilities. Consider the following ways to prepare ahead of time:

  • Send digital invitations for parties or hosted events at least two weeks in advance.

  • Make necessary purchases a few weeks in advance.

  • Decorate a few days before any hosted events.

  • Arrange food plans, such as who’s bringing certain dishes to share at least one week in advance.

Planning ahead and starting early on tasks will help prevent last-minute stressors.

3. Take time to recharge

It’s essential to make time for activities that refuel you, such as reading, spending time with friends, and going on outdoor walks. Recharging can help alleviate burnout. By taking time for yourself, you are creating a balanced schedule by focusing on more than just work and the holidays.

4. Maintain boundaries

It’s important to set boundaries between the time you can take to do things and the time you need to rest.

To maintain healthy boundaries, you can start by avoiding overcommitment by scaling back on tasks and having a firm end time for parties. Boundaries protect your emotions and your physical space. They can be a healthy strategy as you navigate the holiday season and a full calendar.

For example, you could say “no” to an all-day gift exchange, but make time to stop by for a couple of hours to see loved ones. Don’t feel guilty about scaling back and setting time limits. The less stress you have to endure, the more fun the overall experience will be.


Reposted with permission from GTM Household (https://gtm.com/household)