3 Ways to Avoid Burnout and Exhaustion This Holiday Season

By December 6, 2023Time

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but they can also be a source of burnout and exhaustion. When the holidays feel stressful, they eventually become difficult to enjoy. If you and your spouse have been feeling burned out around the holidays, it’s time to start reducing stress so you can enjoy the celebrations together again.

In this post, we’re sharing three important ways to avoid burnout and over-commitment during the holidays. If you’re ready to gather some important tips to help you take back your joy this year, keep reading.

1. Make your holiday plans as far ahead of time as possible.

When it comes to preventing burnout and exhaustion – especially during the holidays – it’s important to make your plans ahead of time. In fact, start as early as possible. Knowing what holiday activities you and your spouse are going to engage in is your first step toward creating a manageable schedule this year.

Many couples get burned out during the holidays because they overextend their plans. When you make your plans ahead of time, you can also decide which events and invitations you’re going to say no to. Sometimes, choosing to pass on a specific gathering or obligation can free up your schedule and help you enjoy your plans so much more.

2. Set healthy boundaries and expectations for yourselves and your extended families.

Another key to avoiding holiday overwhelm is to set healthy boundaries and expectations. First, focus on doing this together with your spouse. Agree on your boundaries as a couple.

For example, what holiday dynamics and activities work well for you? Which ones don’t? What can you expect from one another this year, based on the season of life you’re in?

Next, repeat this exercise for your extended family, friends, or anyone else who normally has specific expectations of you this time of year. Will you follow through with your usual holiday plans and traditions? Or, will you need to pick and choose this year?

Make sure your loved ones know what commitments you’ll be able to keep, and which you won’t. Be lovingly honest in your communication; some people will be disappointed. It’s difficult to know you might upset loved ones with your change of plans, but if you truly want to beat burnout this year, you’ll need to prepare for that possibility.

3. Focus on rest, relaxation, and activities that will leave you feeling refreshed.

If you and your spouse want to emerge on the other side of the holidays feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new year, you’ll want to focus on rest. Burnout and overwhelm will exhaust you. That means you need to consider what holiday activities will help to fill your cup and rejuvenate you instead.

Take some time to sit down together and talk about which activities you and your spouse would enjoy engaging in this year. Be honest with yourselves and one another about which gatherings and activities burn you out, and which ones help you feel refreshed. It’s important to come to an agreement that works for both of you.

Need more tips on beating holiday burnout? We’ve created a two-part series all about it. Start with part one here, and you can find part two here.

Have you and your spouse successfully planned the holidays around rest and recovery? Share your best tips in the comments.

One Comment

  • Jeanna says:

    You guys are such a blessing! We went to one of your conferences about five years ago and have been receiving your weekly marriage wisdom and advice ever since. It’s been such timely encouragement to me so many times. Thank you for your ministry! Merry Christmas!

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