A burnout message from my Christmas hammock…

This post was written by Megan on December 22, 2009
Posted Under: burnout and stress management

Burnout and Christmas

"I'm too tired for Christmas," I've heard people say.  Actually, they tend to whisper it.  It's their little dirty secret.  And I've seen others thinking it…they're not quite ready to confess.

But they will all follow through anyway.  Guaranteed.  Let everyone down because you're too knackered?  Not a chance.

So why is Christmas so tiring?  Here's a few possible reasons:

  • commando-roll shopping in savage retail environments
  • pretending that you're friendly with those that you work with at Christmas parties (avoid the photocopier room)
  • drinking large quantities of alcohol with people that REALLY press your buttons (relatives)
  • cooking for armies of amateur food critics (relatives)
  • the damned relentless heat (if you're in the southern hemisphere)
  • the damned relentless cold (if you're in the northern hemisphere)
  • eating lots of sugar 

But I'm not going to tell you to avoid these things for the sake of your health and sanity. Why?  Because it's like trying to tell a two year old not to play with the electrical socket.  The only problem is, no one has invented a plastic safety cover for Christmas.

So, given that you are going to electrocute yourself, let's look at a good aftermath strategy.  What are you going to do on Boxing Day?  And the day after that?  And the day after that?

Step one:
Take the phone off the hook and lie down.  Tell everyone that you live with that you are a method actor who's preparing for the lead role in a Helen Keller play (the story before Helen learns sign language…and how to walk).  

Step two:
Have some healthy food pre-prepared, but don't go 100% mung beans and tofu or you'll immediately resent yourself and the entire world.  Then bad things happen.  

Step three:
Hire some DVDs that make you laugh.  Avoid horrors, thrillers, action and traumatic dramas – even if you enjoy them.  This is because your nervous system doesn't know the difference between fantasy and reality yet.  Same goes for books, even ones without pictures.

I'm sure there's a Step Four but I'm too tired to think of it.  Anyway, this is your Christmas aftermath survival strategy.  Decide what works for you.  

But please don't make it into a 'project'.  That's just exhausting, so shoot for the obvious and go from there.

Okay, that's it.  Have a merry Christmas.  It can be done.  

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