6 ways for parents to reduce burnout during the festive season

‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’, So why doesn’t it always feel like it? 

While we, here at Kendamil, ADORE the festive season, sometimes that well-known merry, jolly, happy feeling can get… a little lost in translation.

We’ll be the ones to say it out loud: the festive season can be an overwhelming time - especially when you have small children. From keeping the little ones occupied to preventing their overstimulation during the rush hour shopping period, to ensuring that all gifts are bought. It can be really easy to feel overwhelmed and burnt out. 

What is festive burnout (or holiday stress)?

Festive burnout is our body’s response to pressing responsibilities in our lives. When we’re overwhelmed (which tends to happen a lot more often during the festive season) we’re flooded with stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. These leave us feeling amped up, overstimulated, tense and tired.

Some festive triggers that we’ve found to be the MOST stressful (aka the root cause of cortisol and adrenaline to spike in mums and dads across the nation):

  • Travelling. Especially with little ones in tow!
  • Dealing with extended family members. Ahem. You know the kind of extended family members we’re referring to.
  • Gifts. Gift-giving can sometimes feel like the MOST stressful thing about the festive season.

At Kendamil, we’re parents here too and we’ve dealt with these triggers quite often. That’s why we’re here, with some of the best ways to help keep the festive triggers at bay and the stress hormones from taking all the enjoyment out of the festive break. 🎄✨☃️ 

1. 🤗 Set realistic expectations for yourself.

You don't expect perfection from anyone else, so don’t expect it from yourself. Setting realistic goals can mean:

Being honest about your festive budget. 

Just saying no. As parents, we love this word. You can’t be expected to be everywhere at once. So saying ‘no’ when you’re overwhelmed, or when you feel that a job just can’t be completed, helps set boundaries over your time and energy. Try it! 

Helping your little one to understand that gifts aren’t the be-all and end-all of the festivities. Instead you can show them that the festive season is all about togetherness, love, fun and laughter. Pop on a festive movie marathon, craft some easy DIY festive decorations, or simply have a festive dance party (you're never to young or too old to dance it out!). 

Taking time out of your day to meal-prep can save so much time and effort during the busy week.

Letting yourself accept help from friends and family. We know you want to try to do it all, but asking for help when you’re stressed can help to ease the feeling of overwhelm. 

2. 💬 Talk it out!

Talking to friends and family (or anyone you trust) about your stress can really help to lighten the figurative load. It can be INCREDIBLY therapeutic to vent your feelings to someone you love and trust. Don't be afraid to reach out to someone close to you, and let them know if you're feeling overwhelmed. 

3. 💙 Focus on what matters.

Bit vague, let us explain. This festive season, try making people (and not events, food, parties, social gatherings, expensive gifts or the like) your top priority. Try devoting this time to practicing joy, thankfulness and love. 

One way to really focus on what matters is to focus on YOURSELF. Take some time out of your busy schedule to prioritise your own needs too.

4. 😮‍💨 Get some fresh air.

It may be cold outside, but fresh air can do WONDERS for an over-stimulated mind. Take time to catch a brisk walk, Call up some friends and walk to a coffee shop (for something gingerbread, maybe?). Fresh air, festive sparkly lights, and good conversations can help to relax and recharge. 

5. 🛀 Recharge with your favourite little luxuries

The best way to deal with overwhelm during the festive season? Unwind with some luxuries! We recommend putting the little ones to bed and taking a few minutes (or hours!) to provide yourself with a restorative space to recharge. 

This could mean anything special to YOU - maybe you find comfort writing in a guided journal for reflection, or maybe a warm bath gets you relaxed and ready for sleep. Perhaps you love wrapping up in a comfy robe with chocolate, or maybe you love some yummy mulled wine or spiced tea while watching a Christmas Rom/Com! 

6. 📝 Focus on the things you can control 

The best thing to do, in these situations, is to make a list. Make a list of your priorities and delegate as much as you can if needed. This can really help you to focus on the things that are within your power and control. Everything else? Do like Elsa, and ‘Let it gooooo’.

🥰 This festive season, let’s flourish!

KendaParents, we just KNOW you’ll flourish this festive season. 

Just remember to breathe, prioritise the things which matter to YOU and remind yourself (constantly!) that it’s OKAY to put yourself first, at times.

Let’s reclaim some of that holiday spirit! We ALL deserve to have a healing, happy holiday, this year. 🌟💙

🎵 🎄☃️ All we want for Christmas is to hear from youuu! ☃️🎄🎵

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