Nov 29, 2023

Avoid Holiday Burnout at Work: 5 Tips to Stay Cool

Avoid Holiday Burnout at Work

The holiday season is a busy time for most people—there are parties to attend, gifts to buy, food to make, and presents to wrap. While you may feel excited about the upcoming season, the hustle and bustle can also be a double-edged sword—especially if you’re one of the 89% of workers who have experienced burnout within the last year.

Burnout, defined as chronic workplace stress, can easily be exacerbated during the holiday season. Between approaching deadlines, end-of-year performance reviews, and all of the holiday tasks outside of work, many employees can be left feeling drained long before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Holiday burnout is real, and it can have negative effects on your mental and physical health, as well as your work performance.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can stave off the effects of holiday burnout and stress without sacrificing the things you love about the season, or your work performance. Here are our five burnout-busting tips so you can be fully present at work and during your holiday celebrations.

Get Back to the Basics

Chronic burnout, with symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, increased anxiety, and lack of interest in work or hobbies, can very quickly run down both your mental and physical health. While it may seem simple, making sure to take care of your body during the holiday season can help mitigate some of the worst effects of holiday burnout. Make it a point to get enough sleep each night—between 7 to 9 hours for the average adult—as well as fuel your body with nutritious foods. If you can, try to squeeze in some light to moderate exercise 3-5 times per week. Even with a packed schedule and dreary weather outside, short walks can help you reset and recharge, leaving you better equipped to handle the stress at work and at home.

Prioritize Your To-Do List

The end of the year can often mean a pile-up of deadlines for both work-related and personal items. You may look at everything on your to-do list before you leave the office for a holiday break and wonder how you’re going to get it all done. However, you should ask yourself, what do I really need to get accomplished ASAP?

If you’re prone to falling into the trap of perfectionism, which can make holiday burnout worse, take a moment to re-evaluate your list. Re-prioritize and select the things that absolutely must be finished by the end of the week and focus your efforts on those. Once you check them off, you can move on to other items, if you have time or bandwidth, but don’t stress about them. Taking your to-do list items and prioritizing them by importance will make it a little less daunting and help you feel more accomplished.

Don’t Try to Do it All

When I get home, I need to bake an apple pie for the party tomorrow, but I need to stop at the store on the way home to pick up Jill’s present for the gift exchange, and oh shoot, I have a 3 PM meeting that I haven’t prepared for, and I need to update my supervisor on that project by end-of-day—I guess I’m going to skip lunch today…

If this sounds like your running monologue leading up the holidays, sit back and take a deep breath. Who said you must be the person to accomplish everything all at once? Paired with the previous prioritization tip, don’t be afraid to delegate your responsibilities if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. Check in with your coworkers to see if you can collaborate on end-of-year projects or ask your spouse or a friend to take care of some holiday shopping or cooking. Also, don’t forget the power of the word “no.” You don’t have to attend every party you’re invited to or go solo on every project your supervisor asks you to accomplish. Evaluate what you have on your plate and what your energy levels are and then adjust your load accordingly, even it if means turning down organizing the yearly friends’ potluck, or asking someone for help.

Avoid Meeting Fatigue

Could that last meeting have been an email? If the answer was ‘yes,’ then you may be suffering from excessive meetings. As you wrap up end-of-year projects, it can be tempting to schedule touch-base meetings to make sure nothing falls through the cracks before a deadline. However, multiple unnecessary meetings can drain you both physically and emotionally. They also leave you with less time for you to accomplish your work. So, send the email instead. Your brain will thank you.

De-Stress with Hobbies

Trying to juggle both work and familial obligations during the holiday season can leave you very little time for, well, you. However, research shows that making time to indulge in hobbies and self-care can reduce the impact of stress, like holiday burnout. It can be difficult during this time of year to step back from everyone else to focus on yourself, but you’ll be much better off for it. Turn off your phone notifications and spend some time alone, whether that be with a good book, your favorite puzzle or craft, or even marathoning your favorite holiday movies. No matter what you choose, fill up your own cup with the activities that you enjoy. That way you can feel rested, rejuvenated, and ready to spread holiday cheer.

Fight Holiday Burnout with Fun

Managing your end-of-year priorities doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at work. At LCS, we make sure our team has the resources they need to stay healthy and have fun all year long. During the holidays, this means fitness challenges, desk decorating and ugly sweater competitions, and a holiday party for the ages. If you’re looking for a workplace that values both employees’ contributions and their well-being, take a look at our open positions and apply to join our team today.