5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Burnout: Advice from an Expert Naturopath

Date: 09-12-2019

The thought of the holiday season can create feelings of excitement and joy, or it can induce fear and stress. If you already feel the stress headaches creeping in at the thought of preparing for the holidays, you’re not alone. With 62% of people feeling “very or somewhat” stressed during the festive season, it’s not a surprise that the term “holiday burnout” is on the rise.

Holiday burnout is a term used to describe feelings of desperation and extreme stress associated with preparation for, and celebration of, the holiday season. Along with financial pressure, many people feel time pressure from entertaining others, booking holidays, and managing competing work-family tension.

By the time New Year’s rolls around, work and school have started up again, leaving you with little time to fully recharge yourself, so we asked an expert naturopath for tips on how to avoid mental and physical exhaustion this silly season.

1. Limit Your Alcohol Intake

Sometimes a glass of wine is a great way to wind down after a long and stressful day. We’re not denying you of that wine, but when one glass turns into two, it doesn’t have to turn into four.As social events revolve around food and alcohol, be mindful of your alcohol intake and don’t forget to drink more water than alcohol – an Australian summer and the dehydrating effects of alcohol can only lead to disaster.

2. Maintain Your Routine

As life begins to feel busier, try to maintain a sense of routine. Whether it’s continuing your morning runs or going to bed by 9pm, it’s important to keep aspects of your life regular. Leading into the New Year, you’ll find that your life feels more put together when you don’t have to suddenly create a new routine. Instead, you’ve continued what already works for you.

Most importantly, pay attention to your diet, sleep and exercise routine. It’s okay to indulge and let loose a little but don’t destroy your routine because it’s suddenly December.

3. Magnesium and Vitamin C

Try to focus on eating foods rich with magnesium and vitamin C. Magnesium can help increase your energy, relax your muscles for better sleep, improve your digestion and assist with general relaxation.

Foods rich in magnesium to include in your diet:
» Spinach (and other leafy greens)
» Avocados
» Bananas
» Vegetables (peas, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, Brussels sprout, green beans)
» Nuts and seeds
» Seafood
» Whole grains
» Raw cacao
» Dark chocolate
» Tofu

Vitamin C can be effective in boosting energy, reducing fatigue, and helping prevent iron deficiencies by improving iron absorption, among many other benefits.

Fruits and vegetables with the highest sources of vitamin C to include in your diet:
» Citrus fruits and juices
» Mango
» Pineapple
» Berries
» Watermelon
» Broccoli
» Cauliflower
» Spinach (and other leafy greens)
» Sweet and white potatoes
» Tomatoes

4. Eat foods for energy

Focusing on healing adrenal fatigue may help you feel more energised during the holidays. Adrenal fatigue may be the reason you constantly feel tired, especially around Christmas, and you can find more information on what it is and how to treat it at healthline and healthdirect.


5. Prioritise your sleep hygiene

The idea of sleep hygiene sounds like a foreign concept. It may conjure up images of washing your pillow case often, or having a shower before bed, but it doesn’t involve actual hygiene practices. In fact, sleep hygiene is more akin to having a night time routine with a variety of different practices and habits that can lead to good sleep quality and full day time alertness.

Think about the two hours leading up to sleep, are you constantly staring at a screen? Do you tend to have a late night snack? Getting home late from another long day at work? All of these factors can impact the quality of sleep you have.

Try making some small changes to improve your sleep hygiene. You can start with avoiding and limiting stimulants, such as caffeine and alcohol, close to bedtime; reducing your screen time before and while in bed; steering clear of late night snacks; and focusing on establishing a regular relaxing bedtime routine that helps you wind down from the day.


These simple, small changes may help reduce holiday fatigue and burnout because we don’t want you to spend this beautiful season frazzled and in a constant state of stress. This is a time to spend time with loved ones, laugh, enjoy and be merry!