The holidays are just around the corner and I'm already seeing "Black Friday" deals. Do you ever wish time would pause so you could catch up or take a breath? Have you ever sensed overwhelm with even the thought of cooking a Thanksgiving meal or traveling over the holidays? Life is busy enough as it is and adding on another thing can be daunting.
You may even feel a little guilt for wishing you could secretly "cancel Christmas" or skip the full Thanksgiving tradition.
Burnout gets people to that place mentally and emotionally.
What if I told you that despite where you are energetically, the holiday season can still be wonderful, magical, and very enjoyable. It doesn't have to be draining but it will require some upfront planning and thinking BEFORE the holidays arrive.
Here are my top energy saving tips for this holiday season:
Simplify the traditions. Have everyone in the family write down their favorite holiday tradition from November through the New Year and compare notes. Pick the top favorite traditions and let the rest go. If you have the energy to consider others, then add them on but only if it doesn't drain you.
Remember what's most important to you and your family regarding the holidays. Are religious traditions top priority? Do the holidays represent time well spent with the family? Whatever is most important, focus only on that this season and let the rest go. If you're feeling exhausted, maybe a night in watching movies with the family is more important than going to the holiday Christmas Party.
Simplify your shopping and gift buying. Get creative and remember to involve your family in coming up with alternatives and ideas. One year, we decided to give one silly gift, one serious gift, make one gift, and give an experience. The gifts were given over Christmas eve, Christmas day, and even Boxing-day because we wanted to spread the magic of gift giving over more than just a small moment on Christmas morning. It was so much fun, we continued this tradition annually...well, except making a gift.
Simplify your decorations. I had one patient who decorated 9 trees every year but was always so stressed that they never could enjoy the season. They weren't able to see that they were valuing the 9 trees over their health, time with family, and the joy of Christmas. When you're exhausted, it's key to put up those decorations you love and adore the most and again, let the rest go.
Share the load and delegate. Delegation and teamwork hopefully happens in the workplace but what about at home? Are there tasks you get stuck doing every year that might be pushing you over the edge this year? Maybe the whole family comes to your house for a meal. Could you ask to do something different this year to help you reserve some energy?
Cook less involved meals.
These tips may not need to be implemented every year but when you are feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and burnt out; it's important to modify your holiday season to align with what's most important. When you simplify your "to-do" list, you will use less energy, be able to relax, and enjoy the magic of the season.