5 Ways to Avoid (Holiday) Burnout

Holiday Burnout

In mid-October, I had a client share that she was extra stressed because “It’s basically Christmas! I’m already doing my shopping.”

Boy do I get it. A trip to Home Goods or WalMart makes it clear — we’ve been in Christmas since September! I can feel the pressure myself, it’s tangible — physiological.

A mantra I’ve taken on in light of recent life stressors is: I can’t stop the storm but I can find my calm in the storm. Try it! Here’s a little tip sheet for how to address the extra-stress season:

1. Name it, claim it. Do you know the difference between stress and anxiety? I thought I did until I read this. Check out my recent blog post: Understanding the Difference Between Stress and Anxiety . Have you heard of Overstimulation Anxiety? Also a recent blog post on my web site. When you understand the different types of stress and anxiety, and their sources, you can better manage when it comes your way. A good captain can navigate her ship in stormy seas. You can’t stop life from happening, but there are tools you can use to better handle complexities.

2. Accept that life happens. Life isn’t actually harder now than it was, say, in the 1700s or 1800s. Accept that there are struggles and challenges and suit up for it. Don’t expect life to be easy, it isn’t.

3. Find your peace. Over the last few weeks, I treated myself to an
acupuncture series. My clinician found that I was overtired/wired, brittle, depleted. I’m intentionally taking it easier and repairing. Lots of warm baths, rests, movie nights at home, warm meals, etc. Cozy clothes. Soft, fuzzy hygge stuff. It’s what I need now. What do you need to repair?

Buried in christmas lights

4. Rest, dammit! A client who teaches dance was recently sharing the level of her teen student exhaustion (and resulting rudeness in class). Class starts at 8:30PM and runs to 10:30PM. And it’s at 10:30 that many of these students start homework! They up the next day at 6AM for more of the same.

Whaat? I’m all about work hard / play hard but this is…a direct path toward burnout. This piece from the Greater Good Science Center shares that youth aren’t lazy, they’re just tired and burned out. The kids aren’t in charge of their lives, their adults are. We can do better.

New parents have a checklist for fussy babies: are they tired? hungry? need a diaper change? 99% of crying babies fall into one of these categories. Let’s remember that first one and apply it to all ages, not just babies.

So I gotta ask — are you getting enough rest? And if not, tell me about your before bed screen time (wink wink).

5. Ask for help. (Psst many companies are looking to help!) You have friends. There are people who love you and who you love, who need you and you need. Schedule those calls if you must, take a walk and talk with a friend and connect. Let those who fill you do so and return the favor. Starting with a full tank is a tool you can use to manage stress, anxiety and burnout situations.

finding zen with kids

This year, more than ever, I’ve been invited by large multinational organizations to conduct training sessions on self-care. Corporations are investing in coaching and wellness programs like never before.

If corporations are making it a priority, that’s because mental health matters and burnout from stress and anxiety doesn’t work. Employees can’t do their jobs as well without this repair and it has a positive impact on the bottom line to pour money into programs that help staff do and feel better.

If you’re thinking about coaching, and wondering about the expense, see if your company might pitch in. Many of my clients are sponsored by their companies.

Ask for the support you need. Life isn’t easy, and you can take the initiative to make it the life you want it to be.

I’m here to help, as always.

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