Overspent & Overstressed: Survive Holiday Burnout

The holidays are a crazy time, no matter who you are. Family and friends fill your schedule already brimming with shopping trips, meal prep, and your holiday work schedule. It can all get overwhelming very quickly.

When I was a kid, the holidays never seemed like a rush. But now I have my own home and life to keep track of, I understand how chaotic it can be—in both marvelous and not-so-fun ways.

Thankfully, over the years I've learned a thing or two about how to destress during the busiest season. Granted, I'm no holiday burnout pro, but I've discovered a few tips along the way to keep a healthy rhythm during what's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

Healthy, Happy Holidays
Last year, after catching a terrible mid-holiday cold, I learned a valuable lesson about taking time for self-care—no matter how many presents are left to buy. 

Our holiday celebrations are full of festive goodies and delicious treats. Though great in moderation, overindulging in unhealthy foods only adds to the stress. A poor diet can make you feel sluggish and tired and may negatively affect your weight. During the holidays, give your body everything it needs to thrive. 

  1. Eat clean. Avoid foods with ingredients you can't pronounce in favor of whole foods that will deliver the nutrients your body craves. 
  2. Exercise. Get moving for at least 30 minutes a day to keep your body feeling good. You don't even have to go to the gym—something as simple as hanging some tinsel or sprucing up your house will do. 
  3. Digestive enzyme. As you stare down all those holiday treats, consider a digestive enzyme to help combat the extra load on your digestion.*

Mind Your Head
A healthy mindset can make all the difference during the holidays. When you start to feel overwhelmed, step away from the situation for a minute to check in and practice mindfulness. It can be as simple as taking time to shower or hiding away with a book for 30 minutes. Find moments to breathe and enjoy a little peace and quiet.

Unlike Kris Kringle on Christmas Eve, you can't magically be everywhere at once. It's okay to make good choices for your mental health. If you need to say no to a commitment, give yourself the freedom (without the guilt) to do so. And if you're off work, use some of your time for a vacation. Don't push yourself so much you start the new year frazzled and exhausted. 

Make a List—Check it Twice
If you have too much to do, prioritize your tasks. Make a list of things that need to get done and put them in order of importance. What things need to be done now? Which things can wait? Are there tasks you can delegate or cross off your list altogether?

When it comes to the holidays, I tend to load myself up with unnecessary tasks. They all feel crucial in the moment, but the holidays are a time to spend with family and friends who love me regardless of what scrumptious dishes I bring for our get-togethers. If I don't have time to whip up an exciting dessert, that's okay.

At the end of the day, remember it isn't what you do that makes time with loved ones so special. Simply spending quality time with the people in your life is the best way to experience the magic of the holiday season.  

A Holly Jolly Budget
My husband and I think through our holiday finances early to decide what to spend on travel or any other expenses (we just bought a house, so this year looks quite different than years past). After our living expenses and holiday have-tos are on the books, we look at what we have left over. This becomes our fund for presents, decorations, and whatever else we may want to make the season more festive. 

Spending beyond your means will only feed your financial stress as you try to pay down holiday debt. So before you hit the stores, make a plan. Know how much you can spend for the season and try to stick to it. Consider putting some big-ticket items off until after the holidays to take advantage of sales and the influx of brand new, open-box merchandise people have returned. You'll get the best bang for your buck without breaking the bank.

Even if you don't have mountains of money to spend, you can still make the holiday special by creating your own (budget-friendly) traditions and spending quality time with the people you love.

Count Your Blessings
A sure way to a healthy, happy holiday is to be thankful. Take stock of the opportunities you've been given and the people around you. Be grateful for what you do have rather than what you don't. Those who are intentional in finding what matters most in life are shown to have more positive feelings, better sleep, and stronger immune systems—and that's a lot to be thankful for!

Wishing you a happy, healthy holiday—one filled with a little less stress and a lot more eggnog and mistletoe!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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