The holiday season is upon us! Thanksgiving is coming up in just a few days. Christmas is only a few weeks away. Then it’s New Year’s Day after that. Before life gets crazier than it already is, let’s take a few minutes to talk about ways we can prevent holiday overwhelm before we get there.
If you already have all your plans made for the next couple of months and everything is in order, you’re a superstar. Give yourself a pat on the back for going above and beyond by getting ready ahead of time. For the rest of us, here are three suggestions that might help you prevent some of the stress that can accompany the holidays.
As a wife and mom who homeschools while running my own business and working for another business owner, I have a lot of experience juggling multiple activities at once. Along the way, I’ve discovered some holiday survival hacks I’d like to share to help you survive the holidays without burning out, so let’s dive in.
Determine What You Really Want To Do
The first step to preventing holiday burnout is to decide what you really want to do the most this holiday season. Try to narrow down and decide on the top three most important things that you want to do this year. Is there someone you want to go see? Someplace you want to visit? An activity you want to do? A gift you want to give that you need to make time to purchase or create?
Be sure to write down your list so you can prioritize. A list of a dozen things will be too overwhelming to attempt. You’ll probably want to stick to your top three or four items. Get some input from the whole family too. You can have each family member pick their top activity and make a combined list.
Whether it’s a game or puzzle with the family, watching Christmas movies in your pajamas, or taking a drive to see Christmas lights, be clear about what you want to do this holiday season. Keep it simple and don’t try to juggle too much.
Put It On The Calendar
Now that you’ve got your list of activities, the next step is to get everything on your calendar. It’s important to make sure you have room in your schedule. Since you already have things on your calendar, you need to determine where these extra holiday activities are going to fit in. Review what you are already committed to doing. Then ask whether there is something you could forego or reschedule to make space for Christmas things.
Visiting friends and family, shopping, and ice skating all take time. Having a clear picture of what is already on your schedule paired with what you want to add in will help you understand if you have the time and energy to do what you want.
Look ahead and consider how you will feel after several days of activities in a row. Doing more than one big thing a day can be difficult to sustain energy-wise. You might need to ask yourself the hard questions about which activities are a priority?
You also need to anticipate the amount of time and energy a particular activity requires. If you have a Christmas pageant on Friday evening, a two-hour drive to visit family on Saturday, and church on Sunday, then by Monday you might want to just snuggle up in your jammies, grab some cocoa and popcorn, and watch a movie.
Say “No” To Other Opportunities
The last step to take to avoid becoming overwhelmed is saying “No” to other opportunities. Give yourself and your family time to enjoy those activities you already decided to prioritize. Even with the pandemic and social distancing, there is no shortage of things to do. There are people you could visit, gifts you could send, movies you could watch. There’s always something more you could do but, at some point, you need to draw the line.
You’ve already decided what is most important to you and your family. You have already filled your calendar. Now you need to have clear boundaries in order to keep those items a priority. Stick to it and say no when you need to. You can find nice ways to say no, but at the same time, knowing what you’re able to do and not do is going to help you from over-committing and burning out this holiday season.
I hope these tips prove helpful to you. I hope you find some activities that you and your family will enjoy this holiday season.