Christmas is a time for celebration, fun and gathering around the ones you love. However, with the parties, planning and juggling multiple balls, it may also lead to stress, exhaustion and even burnout. The pace in December is quicker than most other months, and there huge expectations, more pressure and so much to prepare for; all whilst still getting on with your usual daily routine around work, family and general life and admin.
It’s a lot of work for just one day, so many of us want to make the most out of all the free time over Christmas. Choosing to pack our days and nights with special festive events, parties and family time, all whilst working towards making Christmas Day as special as it can be. But this can be a struggle for more people than you realise, and we soon become exhaused and anxious before the big day is even here.
Here are our top tips on how to avoid burn out this Christmas and make the most of spending time with your family:
Don’t leave it to the last minute
Easier said than done sometimes, but the more you do in advance around presents, food preperation and planning, the easier things will come together and the less you will have to do on the lead up to Christmas and on the day. Our top tip would be to make a written plan, schedule jobs and stick to it. Set yourself deadlines when things need to be done. This will help with the 3 P’s – planning, prioritising and preparing. By making sure you are fully prepared, you will feel less stressed and won’t be running around days before Christmas, but will be able to enjoy that time with your family, or even on your own.
Delegate and ask your family for help
Delegate tasks that family members can help with, such as present wrapping, cooking/preparing food or shopping for Christmas day. This will help you create the ultimate Christmas with your family, but also keeps the pressure off you to do everything on your own. Knowing other things are being dealt with will help to improve your focus and help you to feel less stressed or anxious, and enjoy being in the moment.
Learn to say no
There are only so many days in December and we can’t do everything and shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves to meet everyones expectations. You will only end up feeling exhausted and delaying other things, making us more stressed in the long run. It’s important to learn to say no to things and prioritise what’s important. It can be hard, but you will thank youself when you aren’t feeling too drained or exhaused this Christmas.
Manage your expectations
And don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Try not to go over budget trying to impress the family, or stress if things don’t quite go to plan. This will end up causing more problems than it solves. Realistically, if things are up to your standards, you will be the only one who notices. So, instead of spending all your time in the kitchen, darting around the shop last minute to try and find more perfect presents, or saying up late on Christmas Eve making the house look beautiful, spend this time with your family and cherish the time you have with them. They will appreciate you more than that extra last-minute present.
Make time for yourself
It’s easy to put everyone before your own needs over Christmas, and taking time out for yourself can be considered a luxury in the mist of the festivities. But it is important. Taking time to yourself will help reduce stress, anxiety and also provide some peace and quiet. It will also give you thinking space and allow you to take a step back and enjoy the Christmas period. This can be anything from taking a bath, going for a walk or taking time to read or even do a puzzle. Don’t under estimate the little things we can do to help ourselves.