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How to fight festive fatigue in the lead up to Christmas

Posted on 9th December 2022

According to Harvard Medical School, 62% of people described their stress level as “very or somewhat” raised during the holiday season. The National Alliance of Mental Illness backs this up, detailing that 64% of people who already struggle with their mental health find that the holidays make things worse. Stress in the lead up to Christmas can make you feel tired, fatigued and burned out by the time the big day arrives. Luckily, there are ways you can fight this festive fatigue.


Make Time for Self-Care - There are a lot of ways to practise self-care, such as scheduling some downtime or relaxing in a hot bath. It can even involve taking vitamins, prioritising sleep or taking a moment to enjoy your favourite hobby. Self-care can help employees to reduce stress during the busy festive season, even if some aspects of life feel unmanageable. Sleep is the most important aspect of this and maintaining a consistent sleep routine is one of the keyways to combat festive fatigue. Things such as avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and limited alcohol before bedtime can make a big difference.


Ask for Help - A lot of employees are hesitant to ask for help, even though it can make a big difference in how stressed and tired you feel in the run up to Christmas. Instead of trying to do it all, delegate tasks to others. Ask someone else to do the food shop and ask someone else to help with present buying. There is no need to handle everything yourself. Constantly trying to make others happy at Christmas can be exhausting, and there is nothing wrong with reviewing your boundaries. If you need some alone time, ask for it. If you need some help, ask for it.


Keep Work and Home Separate - There are a lot of benefits that come with working from home, but one of the major downsides is the difficulty to keep work life and home life separate. At the end of the workday, keep the laptop closed and try to reset, and avoid letting work overflow into your relaxation time. It can be tempting to quickly check emails during the Christmas break, but this can lead to additional stress and mental exhaustion.


Give Yourself Manageable Goals - It’s always good to have goals but avoid setting any that are hard to reach. There is nothing better than completing tasks, so tick off your goals as you achieve them. However, if you set too many, you could end up feeling overwhelmed and disappointed when some aren’t reached. When you are setting goals, try to be mindful of what’s realistic and what could be asking too much of yourself. At Christmas, you don’t want to be overstretching yourself.


Prioritise Your Social Life - Though work is important, so is socialising with friends and letting your hair down. Since the pandemic, a lot of people have felt cut off from friends and family, but Christmas is a good time to change this. Socialising can boost your mood and help you to relax after a busy time at work.