How to Recover from Burnout During Holiday Break

It’s time to close your work laptop and take time off for the holidays. This may leave you feeling a decent amount of anxiety and stress about what will be piling up for you when you get back. The end of the year can also leave many in a state of burnout, a condition of excessive and extended stress that results in emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. It frequently occurs when a person feels overburdened, emotionally spent, and unable to meet ongoing demands. On our podcast Wishing You Well, Amy and Catherine did a two-episode deep dive on burnout. With productivity always on everyone’s mind, taking this much needed break may make you feel guilty spending time connecting back to your personal life (you’re not alone!). But, remember why you have off during this time in the first place. It is not as easy as turning off a “work-mode” switch and sometimes you may need a little extra help to ease out of burnout. You have worked hard the whole year, you deserve it! Here are four ways to help you recover from burnout during your long-awaited holiday break:

  1. Put work in the background: If you’re at a point where you’re totally burned out but you’re feeling that you may want to check your work emails, it’s time to make your devices reflect your time off. Now, more than ever, it’s important to divide personal and business more clearly. Turn off your business devices and mute your email and communication apps from your phone to prevent further burnout. It’s time for you to press the reset button. If you think you might need help with this, ask a loved one that will be with you during the holidays to make sure you’re not slipping back into work. 
  2. Listen to your body: Sometimes activities that help your body and also your mind can be put on the back burner when your workload is overflowing. Schedule in some time to take care of your body while you’re off the clock. Listen to what your body needs at this moment. Maybe it’s taking a walk in the morning with your family, going to a workout class or stretching before bed. Or maybe your body has been in overdrive that all it’s asking for is a leisurely day lying around. Connecting back to your mind and body will give you that extra care you need during the holidays.
  3. Set boundaries for later: Poor boundaries are a major reason why people reach burnout. During your time off, you can reflect on your year both in a personal and professional sense. You may have spent too many nights this year continuing your work projects and left other areas of your life untouched. Set up a work schedule so you know when you have to turn off your computer at the end of the day. Making these changes now will help you a lot in the New Year!
  4. Practice self-compassion: When you’ve conditioned yourself to move forward even if you reached a breaking point, you’re most likely not engaging in self-compassion. On your road to recovering this holiday season, give yourself permission to do what you want. One helpful way you can practice self-compassion is by treating yourself like you would treat your best friend. If your BFF doesn’t answer your call, you wouldn’t conclude that they were a terrible person, would you? Of course not. You might be curious about why they didn’t answer and you would be understanding about whatever it is that’s kept them from the call (Maybe, they’ve set some boundaries up for themselves!).  Keep doing what you feel like you need during the holidays. Remember, these tasks should not be stressful for you, but a way to rediscover yourself and unwind.

Still need help with burnout? Listen to our (TWO!) podcast episodes about it here! 


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