Are We There Yet? Fighting Holiday Burnout

This time of year is rough on people, and the phenomenon of holiday burnout can be real. For some, the holiday period brings up thoughts of people we miss; for others, it’s dysfunctional family relationships made harder by holiday meals. For many of us, it’s simply the stress of working an entire year feeling like a hamster running on its wheel. Regardless, this time of year can be stressful for many, so take a look at the rest of the month and see what you can do to inject some joy or relaxation into your life as you go through the holidays and into the new year!

IT professionals report high stress year-round; many have suffered from anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. Management, culture, a great work environment, and the right tools to do the job are all critical to creating a successful work environment that allows people to thrive. Still, even with that, the holidays seem to add stress for many people. Here are five tips to help beat the holiday blues!

Holiday Burnout Tip #1: Take time off

Many organizations get quiet towards the end of the year and the start of the new year. Look at the paid time off entitlements, and don’t leave any on the table! A week at home during the holidays with more events and entertainment can be great. A few extra days tacked onto either of the holiday weekends can make it seem you’ve been gone for a week. Taking time, especially unplanned, can considerably lower stress and recharge for next year.

Holiday Burnout Tip #2: Do something for someone else

Givers like people in IT often find helping others to be more rewarding than getting gifts. People who don’t have family close by or nowhere to go for holiday dinner might find it tremendously satisfying to volunteer at a food bank serving a holiday meal to others. It may sound cliché, but it’s social and brings joy to people with little to spare.

Holiday Burnout Tip #3: Do something for yourself

Ever done a spa day? Doing a spa day at a local resort or high-end hotel comes with using their facilities. Planning a treatment or two is a great way to get a one-day staycation alone or with someone you’ve neglected because of the year-long workload. Soaking, steaming, and swimming the stress away is a great way to be ready to get back in the swing of things next year. Even if no resorts are nearby, just getting away for a massage and adding a little aromatherapy or CBD oil will de-stress the most tightly-wound people!

Holiday Burnout Tip #4: Take stock

Even loaners have family and friends, and we must care for those relationships to keep people in our lives. This is an excellent time of year to think about those people (or pets) that have been neglected because of work and reconnect. If it’s a few friends or family, plan a small get-together. If it’s children, schedule some time to do something fun together. There are so many things to do this time of year; it’s easy.  

Holiday Burnout Tip#5: Get support: For some, these tips aren’t enough. Deep-seated sadness or depression that goes beyond the holiday burnout should be a cause for concern. If you or someone you know are struggling, it’s time to get support. Many corporations have confidential assistance programs that can help with initial counseling. If these aren’t available, talk to a doctor or look for local resources. In some areas, it can take a while to get an appointment with a