The holiday season is exciting but also leads to too much stress and burnout for many.
Nearly nine in ten (89%) US adults report feeling stressed during the holiday season, according to a 2023 poll by the American Psychological Association.
Holiday burnout isn’t just about being tired, either. It’s a more profound sense of being drained, an emotional state that can affect your work, health, and enjoyment of life—and, of course, the holidays.
To navigate this season and tackle its rather relentless demands, we’ve curated a list of 10 practical tips that will help you focus on self-care and avoid the dreaded holiday burnout. These tips will ensure you enjoy the season of merry and cheer! 🎉
What Causes Holiday Burnout?
To effectively tackle the holiday season burnout, you must understand what causes this feeling.
1. Financial worries 💸
Only some have the luxury of a flexible budget. For those with ongoing debts or tight finances, holidays become moments of financial strain. It’s one of the primary stressors during the holiday season.
A poll by the American Psychiatric Association revealed that 51% of American adults are anxious about affording holiday gifts, while 39% are concerned about the cost of holiday meals. These financial pressures significantly contribute to holiday burnout.
2. Gift-related stress 🎁
Today, showing off status through gifts on social media is common. Linking gifts to reputation adds another layer of pressure. Alongside financial concerns, the stress of finding and securing holiday gifts affects many.
According to the same American Psychological Association poll, 40% of respondents mentioned this as a cause of stress. The hunt for the perfect gift adds a significant burden to the holiday workload.
3. Increased expectations and responsibilities 👪
The holidays often involve a spike in social obligations and personal responsibilities, which can be overwhelming, especially for parents.
Parents often feel tired and need more personal time, caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday season responsibilities toward their children, relatives, and friends.
8 Signs that You or Someone You Know Have Holiday Burnout
If you relate to any of the following reasons, the possibilities are genuine that you, too, are burned out and need to keep reading for tips to bounce back into festive happiness:
1. Overwhelmingness: Constantly feeling overwhelmed or swamped with holiday tasks like endless shopping, decorating, or preparing for family gatherings
2. Exhaustion: Experiencing physical and mental tiredness, like struggling to get out of bed even after a whole night’s sleep
3. Irritability: Getting angry over small matters, such as minor plan changes or slight delays
4. Loss of enjoyment: Feeling that holiday activities like baking holiday treats or decorating the tree, which used to be fun, are now burdensome chores
5. Sleep concerns: Lying awake at night, worrying about holiday preparations, or sleeping through alarms due to exhaustion
6. Changes in appetite: Either skipping meals due to stress or overeating holiday snacks to cope with emotions
7. Withdrawal: Avoiding holiday parties or family dinners because one feels drained or wants to escape the festive rush
8. Difficulty concentrating: Finding simple tasks like making a grocery list or balancing a checkbook confusing or overwhelming
10 Tips to Avoid Holiday Burnout This Season
Now that you understand the triggers behind holiday season burnout, try these remedies to tackle it.
1. Get yourself a smart pocket assistant
The holiday season comes with endless tasks, responsibilities, and productivity killers—much like a complete project without documentation.
Since the holiday responsibilities feel like a project, why should you treat it as something other than one?
Sort the requirements with project management templates and tools.
ClickUp mobile app becomes your go-to assistant to solve the holiday season PRDs.🎅
With features like home speaker integration, voice commands for priority lists, and reminders, the app helps you stay on top of tasks.
With an online order delivery tracker and a task manager, ClickUp also handles all your requirements and plans for the holiday season.
You can also download ClickUp on your Apple Watch, making task management seamless on the go. Its new-generation application supports all age groups through numerous responsibilities and tasks without overwhelming you.
We advise installing ClickUp on your family members’ smartphones, creating a ‘Holiday Season Shopping’ project, and effortlessly sailing through your overwhelming work list.
The app will notify every family member with completed tasks to feel a sense of achievement and get reminders of tasks you need to do. It’s a collaborative approach to foster cheer and holiday camaraderie.
2. Set realistic expectations
You need to be realistic while setting expectations to avoid holiday burnout. It’s crucial not to overburden yourself or others.
For example, expecting to wash a few dishes within 25 minutes is more realistic than planning to clean the entire house in one afternoon. Realistic expectations prevent mental and emotional exhaustion and maintain harmony.
3. Create tasks and to-do lists with clarity
A structured task approach is helpful because it brings clarity and efficiency, reducing holiday stress. A to-do list is the usual option to consider here.
But since holiday planning requires all hands on deck, you must consider a collaborative list that you can iterate on demand.
ClickUp tasks is a modern to-do list tool that allows you to create tasks like planning the holiday menu and buying gifts. It also lets you delegate tasks to family members.
You can create every task with proper description, timing, and attached details. For example, create a task for your dad to pick up groceries or for your sister to help decorate the main lawn.
You can even schedule important tasks together, such as sharing a shopping list with your son when he’s home. This organization helps manage your holiday season effortlessly, avoiding burnout.
4. Budget wisely
People often face the pressure of overspending during the holidays, whether on gifts, decorations, or festive gatherings. This can lead to post-holiday financial stress.
Personal budgeting helps prevent this. Start by setting a realistic budget for all your holiday expenses. Going overboard with shopping or hosting lavish parties is easy, but staying within your financial means is crucial.
Consider homemade gifts or potluck dinners to save money. Budgeting wisely keeps your finances in check and reduces debt stress, allowing you to enjoy the holidays without financial worries.
5. Take charge of your time
Effective time management is crucial during the holiday season. Track where your time goes. For example, less time on tasks like perfecting decorations will give you more time for other essential activities.
If you run a small business during the holiday season, deal with the extra pressure with a time management tracker.
ClickUp’s time management tool helps you get more done in less time. It allows global and manual tracking from your desktop, mobile, and Chrome browser.
You can even start and stop time, switch between tasks, and detail how you spent time. This is particularly useful for those operating hourly during the holidays, like catering or event planning, where billable time is crucial.
By effectively managing your time with ClickUp, you will improve staff productivity and reduce holiday season burnout, ensuring a more balanced and enjoyable season.
6. Give yourself a break
While time management is critical, taking breaks is even more crucial to avoid burnout. Remember, we’re trying to manage burnout, not exacerbate it.
Time blocking is a great strategy, allowing you to allocate specific times for meetings, outdoor events, indoor work, shopping, and other responsibilities during the holiday season. This will also help you manage competing priorities.
For instance, block a specific time for the salon, a fixed time for gift shopping, and a set time for people. But most importantly, block personal time for yourself.
Whether reading a book, enjoying a cup of coffee, watching a Christmas movie, or spending time with your loved one or partner, these breaks are impactful in managing burnout.
Remember to use the ClickUp Calendar view on your ClickUp mobile app. It syncs with Google Calendar and lets you schedule time easily by dragging and dropping tasks. This feature ensures you manage both your work and personal time effectively.
7. Sleep like a baby
Getting deep sleep is essential during the hectic holiday season. As a Sleepopolis survey reveals, nearly three in ten Americans report getting less sleep around the holidays, which can significantly increase stress levels.
Several studies today note that people feel more stressed, anxious, and depressed during the holidays, linking poor sleep to increased physical illness, mood disturbances, and negative interactions with others. Ensuring quality sleep is a critical aspect of managing these increased stress levels.
Adopting practices such as eating less at night, avoiding blue screens before bed, and taking hot showers that promote deep sleep is pivotal in maintaining your mental and physical well-being during this busy and stressful time too.
Prioritizing sleep ensures you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day’s challenges.
8. Keep a physical workout routine alive
It only takes an hour a day. This short time dedicated to yoga, gym, running, or meditation will significantly alleviate holiday burnout.
During the holiday season, it’s common for people to pause their fitness routines, thinking it’s a time to relax and that they can resume workouts later. However, this is a trap our brains set, leading us to neglect one of the most effective ways to combat holiday stress.
Just one hour of physical activity dramatically reduces cortisol levels, the body’s primary stress hormone, and rejuvenates energy. Regular exercise, even during the festive season, ensures you stay fresh and active, helping to combat the fatigue and lethargy that often accompany this busy period.
It’s understandable to indulge in holiday treats and not strictly follow a diet during this time. The festive season is filled with tempting foods and drinks, making it challenging to maintain a strict diet.
However, balancing these indulgences with at least an hour of physical activity will keep your body and mind in equilibrium. This approach ensures you feel energized after the holiday.
If you’re considering making resolutions, ClickUp offers various templates to monitor your new year’s resolution goals throughout the year.
9. Share happiness and make it festive for others
A fascinating study by psychologists involving 96 participants who were given $5 daily for five days showed the power of giving. The participants had to spend this money on themselves or others, such as leaving a tip or donating to charity.
The study found that those who consistently gave to others did not see a decline in their happiness. Remarkably, their joy on the fifth day was as intense as the first.
Donating during the holiday season is a powerful way to keep stress and burnout at bay. When you see the struggles of others, your problems can seem minor.
Additionally, donating as a family activity is a great way to teach children the value of helping others. It’s a way to make the festive season more meaningful for everyone involved.
ClickUp Reminders is a helpful tool that ensures you remember this vital task. Whether through your phone or your smartwatch, ClickUp will send reminders to all the family members involved in your holiday project.
This ensures everyone participates in the joy of giving, leading to long-term happiness.
10. Limit social events by learning to say ‘no’
The holiday season often brings a flurry of social commitments, but being selective is okay. Attend only the events that truly matter to you. Overcommitting can lead to exhaustion and dilute the joy of the season. It’s about quality, not quantity.
If an invitation or request feels overwhelming or doesn’t align with what you want or need, politely declining is perfectly okay. It allows you to conserve energy for activities and people that enrich your holiday experience.
By thoughtfully choosing which events to attend and learning to say no to others, you can maintain a balance that helps prevent holiday burnout again. This approach ensures your holiday season remains a joy and celebration, not stress and exhaustion.
How to Get Back on Track if Holiday Burnout Happens
Despite following these tips, it’s crucial to consider seeking professional help if you struggle to recover.
Talking to a mental health professional can provide pragmatic therapies tailored to your needs. These therapies can offer practical strategies for managing stress, anxiety, and other symptoms of burnout.
Mental health professionals can help you understand the underlying causes of your burnout and develop coping mechanisms. They may employ cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, or stress management exercises.
These approaches are designed to address the symptoms of burnout and the root causes, helping you achieve long-term wellness and resilience.
Start New Year with New Energy
The holiday season may come and go, but preparation for the next year is crucial.
To stay ahead and optimize your holiday workflow, explore an arsenal of productivity tools with ClickUp!
ClickUp is an all-in-one platform that empowers you with top-of-the-industry features to perform at the peak of your abilities in your job.
With ClickUp, you will be ready for seamless collaboration, management, and planning for the holidays and every season. Try ClickUp today! ✨