Cozy season is upon us friends – and so is the holiday shopping season. Throw a few family birthdays into December, gathering gifts, company parties, fundraising galas, all of the activities to make the holidays memorable for my kids, baking all the things, parties with friends…. the list goes on and on! If I’m not careful, my favorite season can quickly turn into a cycle of feeling like I have a million things that fall completely on my shoulders > going through the motions to get things crossed off my list > chastising myself for not slowing down and embracing each moment [any fellow enneagram 1’s out there feel me?] > feeling like I’m falling behind because I took too long to soak it up > and on and on and on! Sound familiar?
Over the last few years I’ve been on a mission to stop the cycle. I had the realization that while I was getting A LOT done, I didn’t feel like I was living my life- and it was time for a change! I’m noticing myself genuinely being present in the moment and fully enjoying what I’m doing – whether it’s the fun stuff or productive stuff, I’m embracing it.
So what’s the secret to embracing the busy holiday season and enjoying each moment? Well – I can’t say I have a cure-all magic formula, but I can share what’s worked for me and hope that something from this list works for you too!
How to Avoid Holiday Burnout
- Accept that YOU don’t have to do it all! // For some this may mean literally cutting back on what is being done to simplify. For me, it means not volunteering for every.single.need that arises over the holiday season. Yes, I love baking cookies. Yes, I love volunteering my time in my kids’ classrooms and ringing bells to raise money for a great cause. Yes – others love doing this stuff as well!
When I volunteer for EVERY opportunity, I not only add more to my plate than I can enjoyably handle, I’m taking that opportunity away from someone else who enjoys those things too. Give of your time if you enjoy it, but don’t give all of your time!
- Share the load! // Why was it ingrained in my brain that I was responsible to buy every single gift “we” gave during the holidays? I have no idea! Here’s what I do know – my husband genuinely enjoys finding and giving gifts to those he loves. When I felt like I had to search for, buy and wrap every gift we would give during the season, I was taking that opportunity from him and making myself feel overwhelmed.
While I still do the majority of the shopping (I do work for LIY – looking at products online every day is a hazard of the job), we divide and conquer – and both enjoy it more! Our new process is typically to brainstorm what we’d like to get, divide up the list a bit and schedule a shopping day-date together for the things we want to purchase in person. When it comes time to wrap- we wait until the kids are in bed, put on a holiday movie, grab some cocoa and our wrapping supplies and get to work, together. We’re building in two simple dates which gives us time to connect during a busy season, and less for me to handle alone.
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself! // We can get so focused on what we’re doing for others we forget there’s nothing to pour out from an empty cup. What helps you relax and feel cared for?
For me it’s the simple things consistently rather than big things (like scheduling regular massages, although you certainly could do that too!). While my kids brush their teeth, I head to the bathroom to wash my face (otherwise I’ll wake up in yesterday’s makeup 5/7 days at least!). I carry around a big giant water bottle so I don’t forget to hydrate. I take time to read before bed to unwind, but I can’t do that if I don’t go to bed before I’m exhausted. I take 15ish minutes to put on press-on nails each week because I feel more put together with my nails done and it takes less time than going to a nail salon. I sip a mug of seasonal tea in the evening. Honestly this can look like whatever you want it to – just don’t forget about Y-O-U! Much like our relationships with others – our relationship with ourself can suffer if we forget to prioritize it. The little things you do for yourself can go a long way.
- A clean space equals a clear mind // I am not at all suggesting you try to keep your house in perfect order all the time – you do live there! However, I know that I personally can struggle a lot when my space is messy. It feels like just another thing on my already overflowing plate when I look around and see the mess.
So how do I keep a clean space without it feeling like another overwhelming task? I set a 15 minute timer each evening and get to work! Some days the entire 15 minutes is spent picking up clutter and finishing dishes leftover from dinner because we had to run to an activity right after we ate. Other days the 15 minutes is spent cleaning out a drawer that has been bugging me, my car or my purse. Always, the 15 minutes leaves me feeling lighter, accomplished, and ready to relax for the evening!
- Simplify your shopping! // Find a store that offers gifts for multiple people on your list, and items you need this season, for one easy checkout. I’m looking at you aerie! aerie has so many great gifts for a wide variety of people on your list – tweens, teens, your girlfriends, your book club, any cozy lover in your life! Plus – through Wednesday, 11/23, Sweatshirts & Leggings are 40% off + 30% off the Collection!
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite fashion items and stocking stuffers to get your holiday shopping started off right. But first – we need to chat about this dress. It just may be the perfect little gift to give yourself and also save time shopping for that holiday party ‘fit later! It’s made from some of the softest, coziest fabric and is my ideal style for holiday parties. You won’t get cold, you won’t be uncomfortable, and you won’t regret wearing it after dinner because it’s just fitted enough to show off your curves without showing off the evidence of your recent meal.
Buttercream Sweater Dress [Size down if between, wearing in M]
Gifts they’ll want to receive
More holiday gifting goodness from aerie
As our Director of Operations, Steph is single-handedly responsible for any structure that exists here at LIY. Between communicating with our amazing brand partners, organizing blog content, managing the team, Steph loves organization *almost* as much as she does the latest cookie recipe she came up with from scratch. Give her a puzzle to be put together, a candle to burn and new sprigs of green growing out of her garden, and you’ve just explained the perfect day in Steph’s world.