It’s the most wonderful time of the year until maybe it isn’t and your anxiety is high and your to do list is longer. Let’s talk about holiday burnout and how it’s ok to not do it all during the holidays. You are more important.
Normalizing Holiday Burnout
I’ve had this post on my heart for awhile and have just been trying to find the right words. Holiday burnout is a real thing and in between all the love and fun that the holidays can bring, there can be a real pressure to “do it all.” I start planning content for the holidays back in September which may seem crazy but it just has to happen this way so I don’t get eaten alive by everything I want to share.
To be honest, I put this unbelieve amount of pressure on myself every year during the holidays to get gift guides up early, get photos in front of all the local holiday decor, put my own decor up by November 1st, I could go on. I’ve had the busiest November and December.
I started a new job that I LOVE back in August and I was traveling for work in both November and December which also thrilled me and fueled me in ways I didn’t know was possible. Then I was home for only a week and was spreading myself so thin trying to make it to every holiday event my friends were having because I wanted so badly to do it all.
So my blog took a back seat and I said all this to a close friend last week who is also a blogger and she said, “Zoe you’ve been doing the absolute most, your content has been amazing, I’ve been slacking.” and that’s when I really realized we all feel this way. That we aren’t doing enough during the holidays.
We can easily begin to put this pressure on ourselves to make it to every holiday party and make seventeen kinds of cookies like we did last year in quarantine. It has to stop because it can completely ruin all the joy the holidays bring by putting this pressure on yourself to do it all.
Let It Go.
I also realized this, no one knows your agenda or what your internal to do list is that you aren’t checking off. Your kids won’t remember that they skipped one year of going to look at Christmas lights or you didn’t get around to making mini gift bags for all your friends at the dog park (guilty).
So take a breath a full deep in-hale, exhale and let your to do list go. Know that you aren’t going to get it all done before the holidays and let that be ok. Take pride in the things you did make happen this year.
Making Time for You During the Holidays
It was last week when I was on my work trip and after chatting with my friend when I really let myself realize all this and just let. it . go. I’ve completely let go of the fact it won’t all get done and I’ve become ok with that. And you know what? I’ve slept better and woken up happier and realize the holidays are so much more than doing it all.
I’ve really been intentional about my time this week and what I’m doing to prioritize me and my happiness leading up to the holidays because I deserve to enjoy all the little things that come with the holidays too.
One of the things I’ve been trying to do is spread joy. Which seems trivial and silly but it’s really brought me happiness in remembering that others are experiencing that same burnout and stress and it goes a long way to be kind.
I’ve smiled and said hi and happy holidays to the familiar faces I see on the Katy Trail. I’ve thanked the American Airlines employee for working during the holidays who called me back after an hour and a half wait time. I’ve tipped my Starbucks barista extra and opened my door to wish my mailman a happy holidays.
I’ve also tried to prioritize time for me everyday by working out on my Peloton, taking Miller for an extra long walk or by spending a few extra minutes at the dog park. I’ve slowed down and taken time to enjoy wrapping gifts and spend a little extra time on the bow. I’ve called friends and left them voicemails when they don’t pick up letting them know I’m thinking of them. I’ve just honestly really tried to slow down.
Really try and be intentional with your time this time of year. Ask yourself who do you want to prioritize spending time with? Holiday party making you anxious – allow yourself to skip it. Give yourself permission to say no and then take that extra time to focus on you. Remember that it’s ok to say no when you’re stretched to thin (preaching to myself here).
Turn off social media. I’ve been really intentional about scrolling this time of year because it can add onto that immense guilt I feel when I see others making it work. Don’t let that fear of missing out cause you excess stress just turn it all off and take a break.
I think we can sometimes forget the holidays can bring on excess emotions and stress. I would encourage you to carve out time for daily affirmations and remind yourself everything you have to be thankful for. Let go of trying to do it all. No one knows what you planned to get done anyway.
Your best is always enough. Remember the reason for the season!