Mental Health Self-Care

5 Ways to Avoid Burnout Over Christmas

When you say the phrase ‘burnout’ you tend to think of a student or worker at the end of another long hard week at work. But burnout over the holiday season is becoming a more regular occurrence. It’s the last push to the end of the year, the mornings are a bit grey and drizzly and the evening darkness creeps in at 4pm…. But it’s not all bad!

Christmas is a great time to reconnect with family and friends, and because of that our calendars start to look incredibly full. From work Christmas parties, home friends planning a Christmas Eve pub night, and long distance relatives coming into town. It can feel like you’ll never have a moment of time to yourself again! We’ve come up with a list of ways to avoid burnout around the holidays.

1. Make some time for YOU

If you look at your calendar and are worried about how fast your time is filling up, block out a day, afternoon or morning for just you. Block it off so you’re able to take a break from the rushing around that comes with Christmas. Whether it’s a little coffee shop date with just you, a nice bubble bath, an hour to read a book or watch a great film, take some time just for yourself. Turn off your phone for as long as you can – even if it’s only for an hour just to get away from the online noise. You’ll feel much less overwhelmed at what is going on once you’ve had some chill time – and if you change your mind you can always agree to an invite at the last minute.

2. Set an alarm for when you’re out

Did you say yes to something AGES ago and now the time is here to go? Instead of backing out at the last minute, still meet your friend/see your family but set an alarm on your phone. Set a time you’d like to leave by and have a decent excuse ready. Once you arrive at a hang out you normally don’t find it as bad as your head thought it would be. 

If your alarm goes off and you’re enjoying yourself – ignore it and carry on having fun. If it’s saved you and reminded you to go then it’s done it’s job – hooray!

3. Write a list… for everything

Lists, lists and more lists! Even if you are the most organised person you know it’s always good to have a list. Lists can help you from having to keep reminding yourself what present you got everyone, who is still to buy for and what people asked you to bring over. 

There’s so much for you to keep track of this time of year – by writing it down somewhere just helps your brain calm down, by knowing the information is somewhere else as well. The constant thinking on what you have to do will make you feel exhausted before you even begin! 

4. Get some exercise in 

Yes, it is FREEZING outside but it won’t be for long! After exercise (even a slow walk) endorphins are released throughout your body which will help lift your mood. You can layer up in your coziest coat and meet a friend for a walk, or just go for a nice stroll on your own. 

Exercise can help alleviate stress and give us something else to focus on. If you’ve got a lot of nervous energy, exercise can help take some of that away and channel it into that powerful run. 

5. Be honest about your time with people

Be honest with your trusted friends and family about how much time you have free. Your friends might not know why you might be withdrawn, sometimes sharing what you are feeling can really help you feel less alone. If your phone constantly pings with messages – don’t feel the need to reply straight away. The pressure to message back as soon as you get a Whatsapp or TikTok video sent to you can be overwhelming. If it feels like it’s too much, put your phone on airplane/silent mode so those notifications ‘ping’s’ don’t hassle you.

As always, we are here for you all year at Ditch the Label