If you’re someone who manages to get through the holidays without an ounce of stress, I admire you.
For many of us, juggling the obligations of work, holiday activities and increased family commitments can leave us feeling exhausted after the holidays. This can sometimes even be true if we’ve taken some time off of work.
If this sounds familiar to you, here are five tips to help you get through the holidays.
1. Say no to anything that doesn’t say yes to you first.
Making decisions about what we will and won’t do through the holidays is about considering what we can manage without ending up feeling frazzled. Say no to activities that sound like lots of fun but that you know will leave you depleted. If there’s a family obligation that you want go to, but don’t feel up to being out of the house for a full day, go for a shorter amount of time. If you do decide to participate in activities that you know will be draining to you, ensure that you have time in your busy holiday schedule to rejuvenate afterwards.
2. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
Instead of making 15 different kinds of cookies, pick your favourite two. Better yet, buy some at the store or bakery to help get you through the holidays with enjoyment. Instead of putting up every single decoration that you own, pick your favourites and stop decorating when you’ve had enough. Going the extra mile on every single holiday detail seems like a great idea – until we end up feeling cranky and resentful afterwards. Make sure you’re regularly checking in with yourself to see how you’re feeling, so you adjust your plans.
3. Prioritize rest periods.
Build periods of rest into your schedule. This is good advice at all times of the year, not just during the holidays. For example, if you’re travelling for the holidays, try to build in a day or two after your travel before you go back to work. Taking time to reset before you jump back into work will make a tremendous difference in whether or not you end the holidays in a state of exhaustion.
4. Check in regularly to see how you’re feeling.
Use your mood and the way that you’re communicating with others as a signal to yourself as to when or not you’ve bitten off a little bit more than you can chew. If you’re starting to feel constant irritation creep in, if you’re noticing that you’re cranky in your interactions with others, use this as a guide. It may just be trying to tell you that you need to adjust your schedule or find time to do something that truly replenishes you.
5. Give yourself a break.
Give yourself permission to adjust your schedule as you need in the moment. We often over commit during the holidays and halfway through, start complaining about how tiring the holidays are. You know what? At any point in time, you can choose to say no to those cookies, no to that extra trip to the mall, no to the Santa Claus parade, no to that extra party or coffee. Do what you need to do to get through the holidays so you can get back to work in a more rested state of mind. And frankly, doing so will not only help you get through the holidays. You may end up being able to truly enjoy the holidays with your friends and family instead of being cranky throughout.
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