How to Handle Holiday Stress & Burnout

Holiday burnout is already an issue among adults, but balancing a job at the same time makes it all the more difficult. Tackling work while also juggling the stress of holiday parties, gift shopping, and family obligations can lead to higher levels of anxiety. These overwhelming feelings can often be so common and distracting that many of us don’t realize we need a break. This can lead to a vicious cycle of burnout.

While the holiday season can be a fun and joyous time, it can also be hectic and stressful. The following tips and strategies are designed to help you prevent burnout, enjoy the holidays, and set yourself up for a healthy new year afterward.

Set boundaries and realistic expectations

The holidays come with a lot of expectations, from yourself to your loved ones. Remember that the holidays don’t have to be picture perfect and neither do you. If you feel like you have to say no to plans, or simply don’t have the time, allow yourself to do that and don’t feel guilty.

In your professional life, setting expectations is just as important during this time. NBC suggests, “…changing your email signature to include the dates you will be out of the office so people know when you will be unreachable…and pacing yourself by focusing on the most urgent, high-priority projects first and checking in with your team to see if any tasks can wait until after the holidays.”

Make a budget

Addressing your financial plan prior to the month of December is a great way to relieve some of that holiday stress, especially during the year-end at work. Determine how much money you are able to spend and stick to that budget. You will be less likely to overspend on parties and presents, preventing more stress from building up.

Take breaks

Taking breaks during the workday, whether it be a walk outside or making some coffee, will allow you to focus your mind and energy on yourself for a bit. Mentally disconnecting from work and the demands of the holidays will grant you moments of peace throughout the season. Removing distractions is just as helpful; if your phone or computer prove to be triggers for you, don’t take them with you on your breaks.

Seek professional help if needed

While our friends and loved ones can often be outlets, sometimes you may need some extra help from a therapist or doctor. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to contact a professional in order to recharge and listen to your mind and body during the holidays.

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