Anxious about the holiday season? Here’s how to avoid burnout while caring for others

In the whirlwind of holiday preparations, your to-do list takes on a life of its own, expanding like a festive firework. Suddenly, you’re engulfed in a whirlwind of family festivities, friend-filled hangouts, and the quest for the perfect gifts. Laughter dances through the air; every corner is a runway for the most dazzling Christmas attire. It’s not just a checklist; it’s a lively, chaotic adventure into the heart of the holiday season!

The holidays promise happiness, but they also bring a lot of stress and tiredness, especially for those taking care of things. You might spend a long time cooking, cleaning, organising gifts, planning events, and ensuring everyone is happy. Meanwhile, others enjoy the delicious results of our hard work.

Taking care of others during the holidays can be rewarding, but it’s not just about getting through it – it’s about enjoying and thriving in this special time. The practical tips in this article are here to ensure you take care of yourself during the holiday hustle.

Understanding the struggles of a holiday caregiver

This time of year often brings forth a unique set of challenges that demand attention, energy, and effort, making it essential to understand the struggles faced by caregivers.


  1. Juggling work and caregiving: The demands of work and caregiving don’t take a break, and it’s expected to feel stretched thin trying to meet job commitments while caring for your loved ones.
  2. Family expectations and duties: Holidays mean getting together with family for happy celebrations. It’s not just immediate family; extended family reunions are part of the tradition, adding the responsibility of ensuring everyone’s well-being and joy. Forcing smiles at jokes or planning family outings when you’d rather catch up on sleep can be taxing physically and emotionally.
  3. Getting ready for the holidays: Managing multiple tasks at once, from decorating the home to planning and cooking elaborate meals, can overwhelm caregivers.
  4. Emotional impact: The holidays bring emotions, from joy to stress and sadness. For caregivers, these emotional ups and downs can be even more intense. Dealing with guilt over taking breaks, feeling exhausted, and the pressure to create the perfect season for your loved ones can be challenging.
  5. Taking care of yourself: Caregivers often put their well-being on the back burner during this busy time. It’s easy to neglect health, self-care, and even your own enjoyment of the holiday season while prioritising others.

Recognising these struggles is the first step in addressing the overwhelming role of a caregiver during the holidays to provide practical self-care tips.

Self-care tips to nurture your well-being during the holiday season

During the holidays, your well-being matters, too. These tips will rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit, ultimately leading to a more enjoyable and fulfilling holiday experience.

Mastering Time:

Efficient time management is your secret weapon for maintaining balance in the season. Craft a schedule that weaves your responsibilities, work commitments, and personal time together. Designate specific time slots for each task, ensuring you sprinkle in moments of respite throughout the day. Explore time management tools and apps to streamline your schedule and reclaim control.

Boundaries That Empower:

As a caregiver, the impulse to meet every demand and accommodate everyone is strong. Yet, setting polite yet firm boundaries is a crucial form of self-care. Communicate your limits to family and friends, letting them know when you need a moment to yourself or cannot take on specific tasks. Establishing boundaries ensures you don’t drown in overwhelming obligations.

Soothing the Soul:

Infuse your daily routine with simple relaxation techniques. Whether it’s deep breathing exercises, moments of meditation, or short walks, these practices offer pockets of tranquillity amid the holiday season. Dedicate a few minutes each day to these techniques and witness how they dissolve stress and foster a serene mindset.

Championing Your Health:

Elevate your well-being by making personal health a priority. Ensure you sleep well, eat nutritious meals, and stay physically active. Recognise that taking care of yourself equips you to care for others more effectively.

Rely on Respite and Allies:

Don’t shy away from seeking support from family, friends, or support groups. Let them lend a helping hand with caregiving tasks, affording you a well-deserved break. Furthermore, sharing your thoughts and experiences with those who understand the challenges of caregiving can be remarkably therapeutic.

Small Wins, Big Celebrations:

Amid the whirlwind of caregiving and holiday hustle, it’s easy to overlook your triumphs. Take a moment to recognise and celebrate small achievements. Reward yourself for your dedication and effort to create a memorable holiday experience.

Mindful Merry-Making

Embrace the art of mindful enjoyment this holiday season. Focus on the moments of joy, laughter, and connection with your loved ones. Embrace imperfections and release the pursuit of a flawless holiday. Your presence and love are the true magic of the season.

As you gear up for a season filled with love and giving, remember that self-care is not a luxury but necessary to enjoy and engage in the holiday season entirely. So, wrap yourself in the warmth of self-love, and let the joy of the holidays embrace you. After all, taking care of yourself means you’ll have even more love and care to give to those around you.


  • Omotola Saba

    Hi, Omotola here, the human form of the 100 Emoji and the fashion and beauty writer at Marie Claire Nigeria. She started writing for fun and merged it with her love for fashion, and beauty. She's mostly at home, picking up yet another new hobby, scrolling through pinterest, laughing with her family or at dad jokes, or sleeping.

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