3 Easy Ways To Avoid Holiday Burnout

By: | December 6, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

stressedAre you frustrated at the holidays with just too much on your plate?  Welcome to my world.  A new reader wrote me last Friday inquiring how I can do so much.  I blog, I teach, I advise yearbook students and chess players, all the while I am wife, mother, pet owner, friend, and family member.  The young man who wrote me actually has no idea what my current life entails.  In part due to the holiday season, my life has become a numbers game.

How many presents still to buy and wrap occupy much of my thought processes when not at work.  How many yearbook pages to complete, books to sell, and essays to grade occupy many of my thoughts while still at work.  How many clothes still to buy, appointments to make before my winter vacation starts… the list goes on.  That typically describes this, and every December, I’ve ever had, until now.  This year is different because this year there is blogging.

I feel like I have became the man in the movie “Oculus”.  Rory Cochrane, who plays the father in the movie, continually stares into a mirror in his office.  He isn’t a productive sort of dad.  When his children beg him to buy them food and get their ailing mother medical help, his response, as he stares into the mirror, is “It’s on my list.”

That’s how I feel as I stare into my laptop screen.  Appointments to make?  Papers to grade?  Clothes to buy? Errands to run?  That’s right, Rory.  It’s on my list, too. 

Life has become a numbers game in which I ask myself round the clock important questions like how many views number-icon-setmy blog is getting at any given moment.  If my views aren’t up, why aren’t they up, and where is my traffic coming from when I do get some hits?  When I’m not staring at these WordPress stats, I’m wanting to be.

So, readers the point of today’s blog was not to whine, but to help you, and help I have.  I have three pieces of advice to help you avoid holiday burnout.

Step 1 Pacing.  I have always had an adage I passed on to my children: In life we do what we have to do before we do what we want to do.  Over Thanksgiving break, I brought home 160 essays to grade.  I wouldn’t touch my laptop until I’d graded ten.  I wouldn’t gift wrap a present until I’d graded five more.  My daughter Rachel was an excellent student who was constantly on Facebook.  I asked how she could do both.  She explained she focused on what was important, school, but took breaks to do what was fun, socializing with her friends on the Internet.

Step 2 Prioritizing.  In How to Get Over the Death of a Family Pet (how-to-avoid-holiday-burnout-in-3-easy-steps) I mentioned that I play Farmville 2.  As I write this post today, the truth is I used to play it.  When blogging became a priority, in addition to everything else I had to do, something had to give.  I still think about my crops and my farm animals who must be starving by now.  One day, when my blog traffic is up and the amount of papers I must grade goes down, I will return to them.

Step 3 Scheduling.  Holiday gifts are needed bought and wrapped more than two weeks from now; my vacation is shoppingweeks off as well.  However, my Yearbook and report card deadlines are both next week.  I will, of course, get to the other important items but after the upcoming deadlines are over.

In closing, I’m not the only one in our home for whom life has become a numbers game.  My husband, who sells cruises, constantly checks his number of sales against last month’s totals.  People compete with themselves to have a personal best all the time.  Life is a numbers game.

Do you agree with me viewers?  I used to believe in the right brain/left brain dichotomy, but no more.  Despite my penchant for history and English, numbers are a huge part of my life, are they a part of yours?  Also, do you have additional suggestions for avoiding holiday burnout?

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Debbie,
      Thanks so much for reading what I wrote and writing me. How fun to see you here! I try and write about a variety of topics. I guess my blog is still finding its “voice”. I love sharing my opinion about the news, but I realize not everybody is into that, so I try and mix it up. See you Wednesday.

  1. Carol Graham

    I hear you and understand but I am a bit different. I have 2 stores and another business as a health coach that are all full time jobs plus I do all the bookkeeping for the stores. I am an active blogger. I travel as a motivational speaker. I have my own radio show. I also have an on-line business. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed but it only lasts a day. One of the reasons is my husband is disabled as a result of a car accident and the entire household is dependent on me. I have written a booklet on organization and rarely get stressed. My gifts are bought and wrapped, Christmas baking is almost done. I never procrastinate and my motto given to me by my father works perfectly every single day — it is: Do it Right, Do it Now. I have no answers on how to avoid holiday burn-out because I have never been there – sorry.

    • Janice Wald

      No apologies needed Carol. It’s good not to have stress! Your dad’s motto is a good way to avoid holiday burnout. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Amar Naik

    numbers are forced on us by bosses or in schools . during holidays time i try to avoid thinking of numbers because somewhere i know i will be back into it once i finish it.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Amar,
      Thank you so much for reading what I wrote and writing me. Thanks to your comment I realized my post was about numbers, and I went back in and tagged it as such. Now, more people interested in numbers can find it. So, thanks for helping me!

  3. Joan Harrington

    Hi Janice,

    This is a great post on how to avoid holiday burnout 🙂 Enjoyed and found these 3 tips very good…thanks for sharing!

    • Janice Wald

      Thanks Joan, as always, for your supportive comments. Happy (early) holidays.

  4. peppylady (Dora)

    This year the holidays been so non stressful. Have a some bounds and usual it all will be good.
    Coffee is on

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Dora,
      Thank you for writing me. The consensus seems to be that the holidays have not been stressful this year for people responding to my post. I’m glad! My husband reminded me of a 4th way I cope with everything I have to do: I multitask. Maybe the subject for a follow up blog post! I love coffee too–the more caffeine the better. Thanks for reading what I wrote and writing me.

  5. sophiebowns

    I really need to go on holiday.
    I think I get stressed with the packing side. However, once I’m there, I’m fine!

  6. shawn

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing. Anything to reduce or eliminate stress during the holidays (or any other time) is always welcome!

  7. knottymarie

    Oh man.. I have so much going on right now it would completely blow your mind. I try not to think about it, I just do it. My saving grace has been making lists and calendaring.

  8. Michelle

    Great post! Thanks for the tips. One thing we try to do when it comes to holiday shopping is we start a few months early and pick things up for gifts. We are usually done by December so that takes the stress of last minute shopping away 🙂

  9. lancequadras

    I say one line….. and you made a post out of it… Yeah now i do understand how you handle all such things on your plate!! 🙂

        • Janice Wald

          You sound like a funny guy. Fun to be corresponding with you. If you ever get insomnia again, please write; it might be motivation for a new blog post hahaha.

          • lancequadras

            I’ll try to keep surprising ya 😉

          • Janice Wald

            I read today that someone wrote about the holidays and got a quarter of a million views of their post! If my “Holiday Burnout” post went viral, I would owe it all to you, so, yes, please, keep your one liners coming!

          • lancequadras

            Wow, that must have been epic… Yeah, I’m hoping you get that many views too.. 😉

          • Janice Wald

            Thanks. You and me both.

  10. queenmommyjen

    I have never seen Oculus, but my cursor for the Roku has lingered on it a few times! Great list! This time of year can be so overwhelming we really have to set limits for ourselves!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Jen!
      “Oculus” might be a good rental for what it was worth. I don’t want to divulge anything, but I’m tempted to. I don’t want to give you a spoiler alert. If you see it, you can write me again and we can compare opinions. We saw Brendan Thwaite in the Giver, but it was really the woman who played his sister who I thought carried the movie. Someone actually suggested I become an entertainment blogger yesterday. I don’t think I will since I like offering my opinions about many topics, but I sure do love reviewing movies and television shows. I have a review set to go on Salmon Fishing in the Yemen with Emily Blunt. Thanks again for reading my writing and reaching out to me with your comments. I appreciated your compliments. An entertainment blogger, no. An advice blogger, sure thing! 🙂

  11. lysamebee

    What a great list with even better tips to avoid holiday burnout this year. Thanks for sharing.

    Wishing you a wonderful week!

    • Janice Wald

      You too Lysa. What a nice person you sound like! Thanks again for the compliments on my writing. The validation means a lot.

      • lysamebee

        Thank you Janice for the sweet compliment and I’m glad my words were the validation you needed… I feel honored to have been able to do that for you!

  12. mariet

    I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of things that has to be done in an active household with five kids.
    My family started saying: ‘do what is in front of you.’
    For us it means not worrying too much about everything and focusing on what needs to be done first.
    I like your personal reward system and think I will get my kids to give it a try.

    • Janice Wald

      Thank you for reading what I wrote and writing me. I’ve actually shared that “personal reward” system with parents at Back to School Night. Let the students do 10 math problems and then take a break, etc. It was well received then too. You’ve reminded me to go back in and tag it “parenting”. I think it could help them as well as others. Thanks for the feedback. Janice

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