It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?

For many of us, holiday traditions were a big part of our upbringing. A time of excitement and joy. We eagerly looked forward to spending time and exchanging gifts with loved ones, celebrating over large meals and having time off from school. Some of us baked and decorated cookies, put up a Christmas tree, went carolling with our neighbours, or enjoyed outdoor winter activities. Growing up, these things just happened each year, but we never really saw the work that went into each tradition.

Flash forward to adulthood, we are now the ones planning and preparing our holiday celebrations. We might have a desire to pass along the traditions we grew up with, to make the holidays “just right” for our friends and families. It comes as no surprise that this is no easy task to achieve, in fact, it can cause a great deal of stress and often makes the holiday season anything but enjoyable. This leaves us feeling like we are failing at something that looked so easy while growing up.

The truth is, we are not failing, and we all really have a lot going on right now. If we really dig deep, we can see how life, and the holidays have changed over the years. For example, the rise in technology has led to difficulties in work-life balance, where we are no longer able to disconnect completely at the end of the day or week. This often eats into the time we must dedicate to our family and personal lives. It has also become more common for households to have more than one individual working outside the household. Gift giving has changed from small, wish-list items to our children needing the latest phone or gaming system. We are simply taking on way too much and run the risk of burning out completely.

So what can we do about this?

Maybe it’s time we recognize the pressures we are putting on ourselves during the holidays. Maybe we need to rethink the way that we have always done things. Perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to some of the traditions we don’t have time for or can’t afford. Maybe we must start considering our health and well-being during this season. Simply put, we need to stop putting too much pressure on ourselves to impress others.

What are some steps that we can take to prevent holiday burnout?

First and foremost, we can set limits and stick to those limits! This can be limited to the number of events we will attend, the amount we will travel (in a normal year) and the amount we spend on gifts. Secondly, we can simplify it. Whether it’s the decorations we put up (with the help of Pinterest), the number of dishes or baked items we whip up, or the family photo cards and letters that could be sent as an email version just this year. Finally, enjoy the holidays and allow yourself to take the time to enjoy them. Get children involved in helping out, do a fun activity together, and don’t stress when not everything goes to plan. Most importantly, take time for yourself; you deserve it.

At the end of the day or year, the holidays are supposed to be a time for each of us to enjoy. Traditions are great, but not when they carry a burden or price tag that we can’t afford. This holiday season, change things up for yourself and your loved ones! Your ancestors will understand; they might even be able to relate.

Remember that our psychological health is just as important as our physical health. Service Hospitality is here to support you! Check out where you will find resources on psychological health & safety for the workplace for both adults & youth. Happy Holidays!