How to Battle the Burnout During the Holiday Hustle

How to Battle the Burnout During the Holiday Hustle

They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but if we’re being honest, we know the holidays are a mad dash blur of activities and stress. Sure there’s a lot of fun to be had and lovely moments to be shared, but it’s a lot of extra work on our to-do lists. 

The holidays really can take a lot out of a person who’s trying to keep on top of work projects while also baking, cooking, shopping for groceries and presents, trying to write out holiday cards or get photos taken, making sure parties and other events are updated on the calendar while, at the same time, staying on top of all the regular routine to-dos of life. 

Where does taking care of yourself fall on this list? Where’s the battle against burnout? 


Here are a few ways to help you be more present and enjoy this crazy time of year without being stressed out all the time. 


  • Share everything. Forget trying to be like Martha Stewart or any other celebrity who hosts a lifestyle show. They have an entire team of people behind the scenes helping them get everything done, neatly and cleanly, in a set amount of time. The holidays are for sharing — and that can go for responsibilities and tasks too! Have your partner help with some of the tasks. Get some children in your family to help with simple items, like setting tables, decorating cookies or even keeping other people occupied and out of your way. If you’re working on a big family dinner, ask each relative to contribute a dish or beverage so it’s not all fully on your list. People are usually happy to help you if you let them (and ask them to do so). 
  • Build time for yourself into every day. When things get stressful or chaotic, many people wish they could have a moment just to sit in silence or hear themselves think. If you’re not getting that, rethink your day a little and set up a time that’s just for you. It might be 15 minutes in the morning to have a cup of coffee or tea by yourself before everyone else wakes up (which might mean waking up a little sooner). It might be 30 minutes at night after everyone else has gone to sleep. It might mean scheduling yourself a set amount of time at work to eat your lunch, turn off your phone and computer and just sit in the quiet to let your brain catch up. Lunch breaks at work are important to give your brain a rest anyway; during this busy time of year, they can be an essential oasis of calm to help you catch your breath. 
  • Be aware of what you’re saying. We’re humans and that means sometimes we speak before thinking. When we’re stressed out or tired, that might mean the words we use aren’t the best and could cause hurt feelings or more anger, neither of which we need in the long run. When you’re feeling heated, be very mindful of what you’re saying and who you’re talking to — that goes for family, friends and coworkers alike. If you think you might say something in the moment that will cause more problems later, take yourself out of the situation and walk away. Don’t come back to the conversation for at least a few minutes, until you’ve calmed down and settled your nerves. If you get angry again, walk away again. Take deep breaths. If there’s a real underlying problem that needs to be addressed, it might take a day before you’re ready to calmly address it. This also means you should be understanding of other people’s emotions and their snap reactions at this time of year. We only know what we know about people, which means there’s a lot of assumptions that we make everyday in our interactions. Be as kind and patient as you can — with yourself too. 
  • Block off time for yourself. It’s so easy to schedule or agree to commitments and book your calendar completely full this time of year. But you can schedule nothing too! If you see the days starting to get filled up and it’s making you antsy or uncomfortable, find some time, whether that’s an hour or an afternoon or a weekend, and tell people you’re unavailable at that time. You don’t need to explain why or what you’re doing; you can just say you’re unable to attend that party or that gathering. Spend that time, however much of it you can give yourself, to do whatever you like or need. Maybe you want to take a nap. Maybe you want to get some shopping done. Maybe it’s time to read a book or take a walk. It doesn’t matter what you do ,as long as it’s something for YOU. You’ll feel much better when your break is done! If you have PTO available, take a day for yourself toward the end of the year, clearing it with your manager first. 
  • Try to stay positive. The holiday season is a few weeks every year; it’s not the whole year. There is time before the holidays and there will be time after. It’s a crazy time that will pass. Remember that these are special moments, when you get to be around loved ones and have a good time. You get to eat tasty treats and share some laughs, listening to meaningful songs and tapping into memories from your childhood while passing those same concepts on to the next generation. It’s a lot, and it’s a lot of work, but try to keep a positive attitude about it. That can be really challenging, but be easy on yourself and remember that all of this will be in the rearview mirror in a few weeks. Try to stay mindful of your emotions and know when a short stay at a party is all you can do. People will understand — and might be so caught up in their own worlds that they’re happy to see you without questioning why you’re leaving early. 

Remember that the perfect holiday doesn’t exist. No one gets everything exactly right all the time. You don’t have to either! The best memories usually happen when things don’t stick to your vision and life takes hold and reminds you that you can’t script everything. 

If, after the mad-dash of the holidays, you’re realizing your job doesn’t allow for much work-life balance and that your time off isn’t respected, it might be time to look for something else. Why not take a look at the positions available through LeadingEdge Personnel? Our recruiters are experts at helping to bring talented, qualified job candidates to companies that are eager to have their experience and skills on their team! Take a look at what we’re working to fill right now and then give us a call or submit your resume, and we’ll take it from there. Call LeadingEdge today! 

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