‘Tis the season to be jolly.
For many, it’s the most joyous time of the year. For some, it’s also the most stressful.
And here’s why.
Imagine all the day-to-day responsibilities you’re already busy with. Now imagine stacking all your holiday stress on top: shopping, planning, decorating.
It can get overwhelming!
If you don’t prepare properly, you’ll fizzle out fast. That’s why it’s important to always be on the lookout for signs of burnout.
In part 1 of this 2-part series on preventing holiday burnout, I shared physical, mental, and emotional self-care tips.
However, even those self-care practices might not be enough. The picture is incomplete.
To effectively prevent holiday burnout, you must also practice spiritual self-care.
What is Holiday Burnout?
Before we dive into holiday burnout prevention, let’s start with the basics: what is burnout?
Burnout happens when you keep pushing your limits until you’re finally running on empty. When you reach this point, your body and mind break down.
You’re probably familiar with the symptoms of burnout.
The tension in your muscles. The clenching in your jaws. Shallow breathing. Brain fog. Restless nights.
Holiday burnout is when you experience all of this plus the stress and anxiety of preparing for the holidays. In fact, one in three Americans experience burnout during the holidays.
Burnout recovery requires ample time and deliberate self-care practices.
That’s why I advocate for burnout prevention. Last week, I shared how you can fortify your mind, body, and emotions during the holidays.
Now, let’s focus on strengthening your spirituality and nourishing your sense of adventure.
5 Ways to Prevent Holiday Burnout Through Spirituality and Adventure
#1 Cultivate Self-Compassion
During the holidays, we’re often too hard on ourselves.
We feel frustrated if we fall behind on holiday errands. Or disappointed if we don’t give the perfect gift. These emotions might leave you feeling unworthy of love or joy this season.
The next time you feel like who you are or what you’re doing isn’t enough, practice affirmations. Tell yourself:
I am enough and I love the person who I am.
Don’t let negative self-talk trigger your holiday burnout. Rather, give yourself the gift of self-compassion. Affirmations are empowering and provide gentle reminders to be compassionate to yourself, so you will feel more deserving of love.
#2 Practice Gratitude
It’s difficult to enjoy life when you’re occupied with everything that seems wrong.
I don’t have the perfect holiday gifts! or I keep getting buried under all these holiday errands!
However, the holidays are meant to be filled with love, family, and joy.
Remember that the next time a negative thought slips into your mind.
Pause. Let it flow. Then say something that you’re grateful for.
When you practice gratitude, you retrain your mind to think more optimistically. You will also discover that your life is touched by countless blessings this holiday season.
#3 Study Your Faith
What faith do you practice?
Is it Christianity? Buddhism? Maybe it’s Judaism or another religion.
Whatever your religion is, the holiday season is the perfect time for renewing your spiritual self through your faith.
When was the last time you studied your religious practices? Or the last time you had a conversation with your higher being?
If your anxiety is spiraling out of control, it may be time to rely on your higher power. Pull out your favorite scripture and read it aloud. Reflect on how you can apply it to your life. Faith and prayer can support you through the holiday rush.
#4 Revel in the Sunshine
In the holiday hustle and bustle, we’re often so busy checking off our holiday lists that we forget to take breaks.
If you’re feeling the holiday overwhelm, try walking outside and feeling the sunshine on your face.
Sensory self-care is a wonderful way to calm your system and soothe chronic stress. Your body will appreciate the warmth and vitamin D gathered from the sun.
Also, fresh air and sunshine has been linked to improved mood. Sunshine helps you produce more serotonin, which can soothe your holiday stress.
Nature has an abundance of healing properties to offer. Open your senses and welcome it into your body.
#5 Practice Deep Breathing
During the holidays, your attention is pulled in every direction. Work, holiday errands, and caring for your family can stretch you thin.
In the midst of the holiday chaos, don’t forget to pause and breathe.
Deep breathing can collect your scattered attention and center it within your body.
Try it now.
Take a slow, deep inhale as you count to five. Feel your belly expand. Experience the rising in your chest. Savor the cool air rushing through your nose.
Now exhale even slower as you count to ten. Feel your shoulders, your chest, your belly, slowly lowering with gravity’s pull.
Feel the difference?
In just a few moments, you can tap into yourself and discover true peace during this season.
Don’t Let Burnout Dampen Your Holiday Spirit
If you’re reading this article and thinking to yourself:
These tips are all about preventing burnout. But I’m feeling anxious and exhausted in this very moment. Help!
Remember to practice the deep breathing exercise we learned earlier. Inhale to a count of five. Exhale to a count of ten.
Imagine each exhale pushing the stress and anxiety out of your body.
Next, I want to help you combat your burnout today by drawing from my first tip: self-compassion.
I believe the best way to express compassion inward is to take care of yourself. That’s why I’d love to send you a FREE gift: “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”
This practice has been shown to:
- Increase mindfulness, well-being, self-confidence, and personal power
- Increase your ability to concentrate
- Cultivate a greater resilience to stress, a positive mindset, and a sense of hopefulness and calm
- Decrease stress and stress-related symptoms like frustration, mood swings, feelings of overwhelm or lack of control, anxiety, depression, low energy, headaches, body aches and pains, muscle tension, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and frequent colds and infections
- Reduce or even stop worrying
In just ten minutes, you can practice self-compassion and slowly heal your burnout.