Holiday overwhelm is a legitimate thing. Presents to buy, stockings to fill, family to feed and entertain. It can get the better of you if you’re not careful. But you’re not alone - whilst the holidays can be a time of joy and of coming together, the festive period can, if you’re not careful, wind up being totally stressful and completely exhausting. And nobody wants that.
There are several reasons behind the phenomenon that is holiday burnout, not least the pressure to do everything perfectly. It is easy to assume, scrolling through social media, that everybody is having an idyllic time, but this is total fallacy and only adds to the pressure. No, not everybody is getting along swimmingly, and no, not everybody can afford to buy everybody the gift they’ve asked for. Trying to please everyone is a recipe for disaster. Instead, focus on caring for yourself and doing the best you can without risking your mental or physical health in the process. Perfection, afterall, is an ever-changing destination: cut yourself some slack and gift yourself compassion. You’re doing the best you can.
There are steps you can take to mitigate the pressure you’re feeling and ensure that you - and everyone around you - can enjoy a relaxed and stress-free festive season. Read on for our top tips for beating the holiday blues and for bringing a hefty sprinkle of celebration and fun to your winter break this year:
1. Carve out time for you.
It’s easy to spend the entire festive period running around after others and putting their needs before your own. But all this can lead to burnout if you’re not careful. You need to make sure you set aside some time each day to do something just for you, to reset, unwind and relax. That might mean stepping out for a walk around the block; it might mean running yourself a bath and tuning into your favourite podcast while you soak; it may mean making time for that virtual workout; or it might mean taking a minute to just breathe. It’s paramount that you prioritise topping your own cup up from time to time if you want to support your mental wellbeing and stay on the ball for those around you.
2. Don’t pack the celebrations too close together.
Rather than having everybody over to yours for a slap-up multi-course lunch, scrabble, charades and presents on the 25th, arrange for different groups to get together across the festive period. See your sister on Christmas eve, meet up with your bro on Boxing Day, see the in-laws on the 27th. You get the picture. It’ll not only take the pressure off on the day, it’ll mean you get to string the enjoyment out for longer (plus you’ll avoid the inevitable bickering that happens between disparate family members at this time of year). If you can arrange for at least some of these get-togethers to take place at their house rather than yours, even better!
3. ‘Tis the season to be grateful.
It’s a great time of year to reflect and express gratitude for the people and things in your life. Make some time - you could even tie this in with point number one - to sit down with a pen and paper and make a note of everything you’re grateful for in your life. You can acknowledge everything from your health or your house, to your new stripy socks or the panetone sat downstairs waiting to be enjoyed. When you’ve finished writing your list, tuck it away somewhere safe and when you’re feeling down come back to it, and read through it to remind yourself of all the wonderful things in your world.
Scientists have proven a convincing link between expressing gratitude - out loud or on the page - and increased levels of overall happiness. Writing down all that you are grateful for is a surefire way to allay burnout and to get the most joy out of the holidays.
4. Make getting fresh air a priority.
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that getting outside each and every day can be an absolute game changer for your health - both mentally and physically. Research has shown that a walk lasting just 12 minutes can have the same mood-boosting effect as taking a yoga class or heading to the gym. Walking releases endorphins and, when these feel-good hormones are circulated around your body, your stress levels will plummet and you’ll feel more positive.
Even if it’s completely freezing, get outside just for a little bit. The chill and cold can actually further enhance your mood. And if you can walk in nature - even a park will do - then bonus points.
5. Balance out the treats.
It’s easy to get swept away by overindulgence at this time of year. The holidays are synonymous with eating copious amounts of Quality Street, mince pies, brandy butter, stuffing balls and pigs in blankets. Whilst these things are all well and good and, let’s face it, pretty downright delicious, the Holidays don’t need to destroy the work you’ve put in to keeping yourself in shape for the rest of the year. Practice moderation. Aim to have a little bit of everything so that you don’t feel deprived, but don’t go overboard. And try to balance out the more indulgent meals with lighter salads, soups and smoothies. Other easy hacks are to commit to filling up on fruits and veggies - aim for at least five a day - and to keep hydrated. Higher hydration levels are associated with reduced caloric intake.
If all falls to rubbish though, do not beat yourself up! It’s not the end of the world if you have one too many slices of stollen and giving yourself a hard time will do more harm to your health than good.
6. Supplement to feel your best.
During the holidays, your mental and physical state is put to the test more so than any other time of the year, and LYMA could be your secret weapon to making it through unscathed. Providing protection when you need it most, taking LYMA every day will improve your sleep, strengthen your immunity, improve your appearance, enhance your focus and help you to handle the inevitable stresses of the festive period without succumbing to holiday burnout.
LYMA has been formulated to help you look and feel your best no matter what life - and in this case, the festive period - throws your way. LYMA contains nine patented peer-reviewed ingredients that have been specifically selected and combined to enhance your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, and to restore you to natural balance. LYMA is the ultimate supplement to get you through the holidays.
Originally published Nov 25, 2020.