Beating the Christmas burn out

Beating the Christmas burn out
leeds energy centre

This year, the struggle has been freaking real. Usually when it comes to Christmas, I see it as a well earned break that I’m ready for, but this year, it’s been something I have needed more than words can describe. I haven’t been on holiday this year which means I haven’t taken any blocks of annual leave since February 2017. I worked out that I haven’t had more than five consecutive days off work in 22 months.

We live in a society where being super busy 100% of the time is like a badge of honour, whereas actually, all it does is eventually drive you into the ground. You can only do it for so long. All the endless mid week plans, weekend plans, nights out, subsequent hangovers and the Sunday afternoons finishing work when there wasn’t enough hours in the working day – it can’t go on forever. A fast-paced world may never be boring but it does get to the point where something has to give if you don’t give yourself a break.

I know that in part, it’s my own fault. I’ve worked in jobs where I’ve left at the end of the day and not thought any more about it until I’ve gone in the next morning, and I chose to leave that behind for agency life, which for the most part, I love. I choose to fill my weekends with plans with friends. I choose to go out on the odd Friday night, lose my Saturday to a hangover and cram in all my life shit into a Sunday. Hell, even when I plan in ‘mental health’ weekends where I make no plans whatsoever, they’re the busiest of them all when it’s the first time in a month I’ve had chance to get on top of life admin.

But going back to today, as I write this from my sofa having spent most of the morning reverting to a childlike state of refusing to get out of bed and listening to a Harry Potter audio book, the Christmas burn out is real. It’s not just when you run on empty throughout the December parties, deadlines and festivities then get a rewarded with a cold (though I’m just seeing mine off and it’s been a week of endorsing Sudafed’s nasal spray to anyone who will listen as it’s an absolute game changer), it’s like running into a brick wall and having the adrenalin knocked out of you.

This year has been the ‘lesson learned’ year as fuck me, I didn’t think I could feel this bad for just taking a break. Never again will I go so long without taking proper time off. Never again will I slam on the breaks rather than slow down. This year has been a pretty intense emotional rollercoaster that has seen the highest of highs and lowest of lows, and my stress levels have peaked (primarily at 3am which is an absolute delight, let me tell you), but it’s been a year where shit has sorted itself out in the end. And now the end is here and whilst my head is saying happy days, my body is saying fuck off its nap time.

But how will I be beating the Christmas burn out? By listening to my body. By spending a day or two being antisocial af. By watching Christmas films from my sofa and listening to Harry Potter from my bed. By forcing myself to eat something that vaguely resembles nutrition and not resorting to ordering a takeaway. By spending my nights sipping a Lemsip rather than a G&T. Hell, I might even go wild and go for a walk tomorrow, who knows.

Are you struggling with the Christmas burn out this year? Let me know how you’re curing yourself in the comments!

1 comment

  1. Here Here.
    Regardless of who you are, everyone is entitled to and should take breaks.
    Make sure you get plenty of plans in the diary for next year and that some of them consist of time with moi. :p