Sundry Posts

Slow Down and Breathe


The holidays are fast approaching, and challenges are beginning to build. With so many things to do in the next few months, this would be a good time to remind ourselves that just because life is speeding up doesn’t mean that we have to.

How do we find balance? In truth, finding balance isn’t the right word. Creating balance is a better idea. How do we create balance in our world in the midst of so much pressure and busy-ness that the holidays bring?

Here are five ways to help create balance:

1. Plan Ahead: Keep your calendar updated so you can see what is coming. Know what needs to happen and is expected at each event to reduce the surprises. For example, if you must make a dish-to-pass for every party, you will need to find the recipes (or several, as is my case) then you can plan and pick up all the ingredients for the recipe ahead of time.

2. Reduce the “Events”: Not every holiday party or even is a “must” attend. Decide which ones are the most important and go only to these. Not everyone will understand, but you must take care of you. Attempting to attend every event is a recipe for exhaustion.

3. Reduce Gifting: Although there seems to be a competition for the biggest, better than last year, gift giving season, this can create pressure, stress, and, of course, debt. For the most part, we have what we need – for some, we have too much. Do we really need that next gadget? Do my kids really need that “must have” toy? In my family, we have adopted the 3-gift model. For my grandkids, this means a book, a toy, and new clothes. No, I’m not hardcore but when they have three different sets of grandparents, aunties, and uncles, and extended family – each with another party, holidays can be overwhelming. And, the toys are often broken quickly leading to more stuff.

4. Take Time for Yourself: Do things for yourself like long baths, nights out with your partner, or alone time. Have fun. It’s so difficult to give and give, without taking the time to recharge yourself. The exhaustion and burnout can make for an unpleasant holiday season.

5. Breathe: Just 5 minutes each morning of deep breathing can set the tone for the entire day. Breathing can detoxify your system, lower your stress and help you sleep better at night.

If we believe the advertisements or songs, then this is the most wonderful time of the year. But the pressure to have that perfect Halloween costume, Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas morning can become overwhelming. Nothing is fabulous if you are too tired to enjoy it.

Step back and make conscious decisions about this season can help you create balance. Maybe, just maybe, you will have the best holiday season ever.


  • Joanne

    Wonderful advice and I like that you are thinking ahead of time. So many advice articles, columns, blogs, books, etc. tend to arrive too late–that is almost on the holiday times when people are already too much into the stress and “running around like chickens with their heads cut off” trying to accomplish “it all” at the last minute. With not much to do for any of these holidays any longer, I still find your advice useful in respect to my own balancing act of daily life. Thanks, Angela!

  • mom

    Good thoughts! Fall is getting busy already and if it continues, it will make for a busy season! That is Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas seasons! I will try to follow your advice!