Juggling the Balancing Act During the Holidays

If you are like most people with the holidays fast approaching, you are probably juggling work deadlines, travel plans, gift shopping and coordinating family and friends gatherings.  It’s enough to turn any of us jolly Santas into a Grinch.  Does the most joyous time of the year have you feeling a little overwhelmed, stressed and wishing for joy?  Here are some of my personal practices that help me maintain balance during the holidays.

Ways to Maintain Balance During the Holidays

Take Time for You
Especially this time of year, you may feel the pressure to be everything to everyone.  Remember, you are only one person and can only accomplish certain things.  Self-care is the best thing you can do and others will benefit when you are stress free.  Go for a long walk, hit the gym, take a yoga class, get a massage or take 15 minutes to read or listen to holiday music.  Recharging your batteries will give you more energy to accomplish your goals.

Help Others
Studies show that helping others helps improve your well being.  Even a small amount of time to give to those in need can give you perspective on your own situation and can be the best gift of all.  One of my favorite charities in need is Little Smiles.  Or consider inviting out of town neighbors to join your family gathering.

Have Realistic Expectations
Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good – and that means holiday festivities.  Break “olde” traditions and start new ones while getting your family and guests involved. View inevitable missteps as opportunities to demonstrate flexibility and resilience.

Remember What’s Important
The barrage of holiday advertising can make you forget what the holiday season is really about.  When your holiday expense list is running longer than your monthly budget, scale back and remind yourself that what makes a great celebration is loved ones, not store-bought presents, elaborate decorations or gourmet food.  Less is more.

Seek Support
Talk about your emotions with your family and friends.  Getting things out in the open can help you navigate your feelings and work toward a solution for your stress.  A recent study shows that hugs increased levels of oxytocin, a “bonding” hormone, and reduced blood pressure, which reduce the risk of heart disease.

December doesn’t have to mean “holiday stress” – you can integrate your work, life and family into the truest meaning of the season.  Comment below and let me know your balancing act tips during the holidays.

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