Bypass burnout & end the year with a bang: how to relax during the holidays

Bypass burnout & end the year with a bang: how to relax during the holidays

Most years I enter the holiday season in a fog of to-do lists and fierce nostalgia.

I think I look like this:

jimmy stewart

I’m Jimmy Stewart, obviously.

When in reality, I look like this:

crazed elizabeth hope derby

We don’t get much snow here in Virginia, but I imagine that lovely thick snow blankets the hills with serenity and calm. Fairy lights twinkle on porches and the crisp air smells like pine needles.

Nature actively reminds us to slow down, take a breather, and nurture ourselves. But instead of cuddling close with the ones we love…Black Friday happens.

Even if we don’t go crazy for cheap TVs, folks like us are primed for overwhelm—because we’re buyers, sellers, AND hard working, heart-centered hustlers.

That means we get to wrestle with questions like:

Do I need a tech platform so I can launch more webinars in 2016? Did I miss a great deal on Cyber Monday? What about scheduling tools and gifts for my clients and, oh yeah, presents for the family and that dude/lady I sleep with at night? Speaking of presents, wait, what can I afford? What exactly IS my bank balance? Do I need to host a holiday sale? What am I selling? And how can I finish my new course before 2016? Wasn’t this the year I was going to step out into the world with a bold new message and kickass brand platform? How in the world can I possibly do it all and avoid OD’ing on eggnog at Madeleine’s party next weekend?

This is the panicked, gotta-do-it-all script that runs through my head pretty much every year near Christmas. 


For the first time ever, I’m not stressed AT ALL.

Instead of trying to squeeeeeze the last dollars out of 2015, I’m consciously downshifting and prioritizing projects according to my heart, not my monkey mind.

I’m doing my best to embody the way I want to start my New Year: like a badass who owns her gifts, trusts her gut, and surrenders to the flow of this marvelous universe.

That’s why, on Black Friday weekend, I didn’t buy a single thing. I didn’t open a single sales email. I gave ZERO f*cks about the noise and keeping up with everyone else.

Instead, I wandered along the beach in South Carolina with my boyfriend and his family, sipping on salty sea air.

When they detoured to play in a golf tournament, I spent the day building systems for my services.

And it. Was. Glorious.

Here’s my step-by-step plan for diffusing holiday overwhelm. So you, too, can relax during the holidays and end 2015 with a BANG, not burnout.

1. Make a list. Of every single thing you need to accomplush.

You know how your computer starts to slow down and whir like a tiny helicopter when you’ve got too many files or programs running at once?

That is your brain on overwhelm.

So spare your mind the extra effort and dump alllll the thoughts onto a sheet of paper. THEN you can try to make some decisions about your time.
This list is going to be huge. WAY longer than what you can actually accomplish by the end of the year. But that’s okay.
You just want to get all this info out of your head. That’ll free up valuable real estate, clear out repetitive thoughts, and help you move on with your life.
So go ahead, grab a pen and let it flow. (You will need to reorganize this stuff, so I actually create my master list in Word.)
If you like having a virtual organizing system, I enjoy Todoist, a free tool that syncs up with Gmail so you can auto-archive emails onto your to-do list. If you install the Todoist app for Chrome, you can right-click and add websites to your to-do list. You can also download the app onto your phone for to-do list making on the go! Fun times.
You might want to take a break before moving on. Or just take some deep breaths, pop into a downward-facing dog, and shake out the intensity.

2. Organize tasks into groups.

My current to-do list has 100+ items on it. Not only is that insane, it’s way too much to think about at once.

Trim down your list by creating sub-groups organized by outcome.
In the case of my business tasks, I’ve got groups with titles like:
  • New client prospecting
  • Create service procedures
  • Systematize client communication
  • Personal marketing outreach
  • Content marketing
  • Show love & give thanks
  • Upgrade brand platform
  • New product creation
So let’s say you want to write a year-end newsletter to your peeps, promote your latest freebie in specific Facebook groups, finish drafting content and the sales page for your new course by January 1st. Nurturing, list-building, product creation, marketing—all those factors lead to a sweet launch come 2016, right?
I’d see these tasks fall into 3 groups: showing the love to current clients (newsletter), creating new soul products (course content & sales page), and new client prospecting (freebie pitch).
The goal of this step is to remind you WHY any of this stuff is important…so you can have actually have priorities.
Once I’ve got all my tasks into manageable chunks, I move on to…

4. Prioritize tasks that make you feel POWERFUL.

When you’ve got so many items on your plate, priorities. Are. Everything.

For each item on your list, reflect a second on the guaranteed outcome, i.e. how finishing each item will make you feel.
Remember that outcomes like “make more sales” or “land an article in HuffPo” are beyond your control, but the feeling in your gut is not.
When you imagine completing a task and get a hit of inspiration, joy, or mega-relief, scribble a star next to it. 
In addition to non-negotiable items like client projects or paying your bills, your priority should be those items that make you feel sparkly and powerful.
Because once you accomplish several things in a row that make you feel fantastic, you’ll be refreshed and excited instead of drained.
You’ll end the year accomplishing the things you WANT to do…not the things you feel you “should.”

In my case, I’m prioritizing 3 things:

  • Creating systems for my services and emails (which makes me feel calm, centered, grounded, and like a BOSS)
  • Finishing my new website (which makes me feel INCREDIBLE omgomgomg I’m so excited!)
  • Beta testing my new soul services (which make me feel fully alive and aligned in my gifts)

Now it’s your turn!

4. Let go of everything else.

Ah! This is scary, right?
Well, my friend, join me in taking a deep breath. Practice stepping into your feminine and practice surrender. Everything will happen in due time.
It’s the greatest act of self-love to postpone or say NO to the “must dos” that do not truly serve your deepest needs.
Remember, this is a season of love, nurturing, and celebrating the beauty of our lives and the people in them. Too much stuff to do = none of that.
So be as honest as possible with how long things might take. Outsource everything you can. Carve out space in your calendar for the stuff that matters.

More than anything, trust that your sanity is worth it. Because it is. 🙂

5. Celebrate every single accomplishment.
When you’re on fire at the end of the year, it’s easy to snowball back into overwhelm.
I can just squeeze in that last thing, right?
Instead of tossing your accomplishments into the fireplace as fuel for doing more, PAUSE every time you cross something of your to-do list.
Take a deep breath. Say thank you to yourself and the spirit that moves you.
Do a happy dance and feel your body in this moment. Go for a walk outside and listen to your favorite podcast. Or maybe stop working entirely.
I bet It’s a Wonderful Life is playing somewhere. 🙂
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