6 Ways to Prevent Holiday Burnout (at work!)

The holidays can be brutal and lead to total burn out unless you are taking positive steps to maintain your mood – and health! These 6 ideas include both physical and psychological ways to protect yourself.

1. Eat Good Food

When you’re tired and overwhelmed it’s so easy to order a pizza every night or stop for a burger instead of cooking. Trust me, I know! But in the end, the high-carb high-fat foods will just make you feel worse and add to your fatigue rather than fix it.

Try to eat fresh, unprocessed (not pre-packaged) foods. Lean meat, fish, nuts, fruits and veggies. Make more than you need for one meal and eat leftovers to save time. Hire someone to prepare several meals for you if you have to. Do the math – I bet it won’t cost more than getting pizza delivered every night.

2. Cut The Cocktails

Coming home to a glass of wine or bottle of beer seems like a great way to relax when you’re feeling stressed, but alcohol is a depressant. And when you’re feeling tired what you need is more energy, more vitality, not less.

Try substituting sparking water for your evening cocktail and pour it in your favorite wine glass or rocks glass. You’ll get the double benefit of added hydration and less alcohol. I guarantee you’ll feel more “with it” at the end of the season.

3. Leave the Office/Store for Lunch

This is kind of like taking a “free day,” but it’s just during lunch! Leave the office/store to eat rather than slamming a sandwich at your desk. Don’t take your phone. Don’t work while at lunch. Whether you go out to a restaurant or eat in your car at the beach, enjoy each bite of the food and really focus on the flavor. Try to keep your mind focused on non-work ideas. If you give your brain and body regular breaks to rest and reset, you’re less likely to suffer from burnout and you’ll be more productive throughout the day.

4. Stop Doing Something

This one’s a biggie. What can you STOP doing to take the pressure off? There’s probably some stuff you’re doing that’s really just not that important.

Be very rational and unemotional as you think about this question… no sacred cows. What can you stop doing right now (even if you’ve always done it) that won’t affect your business very much but will relieve your sense of overwhelm?

Here are two no-brainers… 1) Stop checking your email in the morning. If you don’t open your inbox until noon, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in those few hours. 2) Stop checking Facebook throughout the day. Respond to your followers one time in the late afternoon.

5. Plan A Reward

We talk all the time about rewarding employees – so how about rewarding yourself? This is a great technique to use when you know you have a difficult or grueling time coming up. Like the holiday season!

Plan a great reward for yourself at the end. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive (although it could be if you wanted to!) Maybe it’s your favorite dessert. Or a pack of your favorite pens. Or a massage. Maybe it’s slippers or new Birkenstocks.

Post a picture of it by your computer. Make it the wallpaper on your cell phone. That way when you start to get exhausted and tired of the long haul you’ll know that something wonderful is wait