Last Updated on January 22, 2023 by Thalia
If you hadn’t heard already, it’s officially December!
Which means it’s time for my annual blog post where I sprinkle a little bit of calm on a very stressful time of year.
So whether you are working all the way up until Christmas or are starting to slow down, here are a few mindful tips to help you decrease overwhelm this festive season so you can wrap up the year with ease.
Table of Contents
- Jolly or stressed AF?
- 6 ways to decrease overwhelm this Christmas
- Final thoughts
Jolly or stressed AF?
The lead up to Christmas can sometimes feel like one giant ball of overwhelm.
You’re trying to finish up your workload for the year while also buying presents, socialising, decorating the house and making sure everyone around you is happy.
Whether you work in a 9 to 5 or have your own business, workloads always seem to triple in size at this time of year.
We also tend to purposely overwork ourselves in order to complete tasks and reach our Q4 goals before the end of the year.
Things can get stressful AF.
And we often end up forgetting about ourselves and our needs.
So I’m here to gently remind you that your mental health and well-being need to continue to be your number 1 priority this month.
Forget about putting everyone else first.
Put yourself first.
6 ways to decrease overwhelm this Christmas
Whether you are working all the way up until Christmas, starting to slow down or are already in holiday mode, here are a few mindful tips to help you decrease the overwhelm this festive season and find calm.
1. Be mindful of your capabilities
The best way to decrease Christmas overwhelm is to be realistic with what you can achieve in the lead up to the holidays.
Don’t push yourself to try and complete unfinished projects or start new goals as this will just lead to burnout and unwanted stress.
Instead, be mindful of your capabilities and take on what you can.
Focus only on urgent tasks and things that are a priority.
Move any unimportant or non-urgent tasks to next year. Or better yet, outsource them to someone else or completely eliminate them from your to-do list if they’re no longer relevant.
By doing less, you are able to truly slow down and enjoy the last few magical weeks of the year rather than missing them because you were too busy to take notice.
2. Set healthy work-life boundaries
Wrap up the year with ease and enjoy a well-deserved break by establishing healthy work-life boundaries.
Boundaries are the limits and rules you put in place to separate your personal space, emotions and responsibilities from others.
They also help to protect your energy and stop people from taking advantage of you.
Setting boundaries is necessary all year round but they are probably most crucial during the festive season so do not skip this step!
Here are a few to help you get started:
Let clients know when you will/won’t be available over the holidays
There’s nothing worse than getting unwanted calls when you’re trying to rest and not think about work. So make sure you let clients know when/if they can contact you over the holidays.
Be firm and tell them when you won’t be available to take calls or respond to messages.
Turn on your out of office
Enable your ‘out of office’ on the days you take off so people can expect not to hear from you.
This will also take the pressure off you having to reply to anyone while you’re trying to enjoy your Christmas break.
Limit your screen-time
Limit your screen time on Social Media to maximise time spent with your loved ones during this intimate time.
You can even go so far as deleting your social apps to stop you from being tempted.
You’ll be amazed at how much time you free up by not hopping onto Instagram every hour to have a little scroll.
Get started straight away with this 30-Day Social Media Detox Planner!
3. Learn to deal with triggering comments or family members in a peaceful, calming way
I’m not here to tell you to ignore all the triggering comments that come your way during a family get-together.
No matter who you spend Christmas with, chances are something will happen or be said that will irritate you, anger you or upset you.
The best way to deal with this and relieve stress is to deal with it in a calming way.
Take it from someone who has experienced plenty of heated arguments during Christmas, they won’t get you anywhere apart from creating a super awkward atmosphere between everyone.
And possibly ruin the whole day.
So don’t get everyone else involved. Don’t react openly but don’t ignore it either.
Instead, take the “culprit” aside and explain to them why you’re hurt by what they said or did and discuss it peacefully and maturely.
Dealing with the issue in this manner is more respectful to you, and everyone else.
Protect your energy all you can and don’t let anyone bring you down!
4. Carve out some alone time
The holidays are a busy time for social events with friends, family gatherings and spending as much quality time with loved ones as possible.
But if you want to try and avoid social exhaustion so you’re not burnt out by the beginning of next year then spend time on your own.
Dedicate time to self-care every day, even if it’s just for 10-mins doing something just for you.
Go on a walk by yourself, journal, watch a movie you want to watch or simply sit and do nothing.
Self-care allows you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself so you can properly take care of your mental health and well-being during this overwhelming time.
And the more you rest and take care of yourself, the more nourished you feel, so you can keep showing up as the healthiest version of yourself and be able to take on whatever life has to throw at you.
The best way to practice self-care during the hectic festive season is to focus on your needs first.
Pinpoint what you and your body need in terms of nourishment so you can be intentional with your self-care routine.
Choose an activity that fits your needs rather than indulging in a random activity that you won’t benefit from.
And remember, self-care doesn’t always have to be external like indulging in bubble baths or reading.
Self-care can be entirely internal where you set boundaries, practise self-love and find a deeper respect for yourself.
5. Practice mindfulness
Invite more calm into your life this festive season by carving out moments of mindfulness throughout the day.
Practising mindfulness can help relax the mind, improve focus, reduce stress and increase overall happiness.
Mindfulness also helps you to become more aware of your surroundings so you can pay attention to everything you do and live more in the moment.
So the next time you find yourself feeling stressed out, rushed off your feet or irritated by family, then take a moment to pause.
Sit somewhere comfy. Close your eyes. Breathe in. Breathe out. And focus on your breath for 10 seconds or longer.
This will help you to re-centre and bring you back to the present so you can feel calmer and more relaxed.
And delve even further with these relaxation techniques and breathwork practices by Birch Relaxation to help relieve stress and decrease unwanted overwhelm this Christmas.
6. Ask for help when you need it
Say it with me… asking for help does not make me any less of a person.
As humans, we are so used to bottling things up and trying to do everything ourselves so we don’t seem weak.
But honestly, this just leads to more stress and a bigger burden on our shoulders.
So if you feel like you are struggling or need help, then speak to someone.
Whether it’s asking a colleague for help with your workload or asking a loved one to help with the Christmas shopping or simply talking to someone you trust about your overwhelm, seeking support will immediately relieve your stress and make things feel ten times better.
Bonus: Eat what you want and just have fun!
The festive season is not the time to be watching what you drink and counting the calories. Don’t burden yourself with trying to be healthy or intensely working out after a heavy meal to burn it all off.
Let go a little, pop the champagne, eat what the fuck you want and have fun!
Save these stress-relief tips on Pinterest!
I hope you find comfort in these tips and are able to implement them in some way to help you decrease the Christmas overwhelm.
And please, I urge you to take a well-deserved break.
This year was tough on all of us.
Be kind to your mind, body and soul and allow yourself time to rest and reset so you can come back even stronger next year.
And before you get distracted by looking ahead and planning your goals for 2022, make sure you take a moment to celebrate your wins.
Dip deep and reflect on how far you’ve come since December 2020, and what you managed to achieve this year.
Thank yourself for being able to show up and do the work.
Be proud of yourself.
And then do a little dance!
Until next week,