The holidays don’t have to be crazy days

life scrabble
Work–life balance can be achieved by establishing and maintaining appropriate levels of time and energy expended between your “work” (career and ambition) and your “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development).

Having this balance allows you to experience enjoyment, personal fulfillment—not just happiness, but also pride, satisfaction, love and celebration—an all-encompassing sense of well-being.

When your work and personal lives are out of balance, your stress level is likely to soar. Throw in the holidays and all the added demands for your time and attention and you might just feel as though you’ll either explode or melt. Juggling your career and personal life is a never-ending challenge, and the holiday season only adds to the struggle.

Here’s 4 tips for proactively and positively maintaining a healthy work-life balance this holiday season:

  1. In the workplace: Schedule walking meetings to help maintain an exercise routine. It’s easy to discard your daily workout when your time is demanded upon in a dozen other places each day. A walking meeting will not only keep you well and keep you moving, but will also help to maintain a greater focus on the meeting’s purpose. Those who are in the meeting with you will reap the added health benefit as well, and there will be a lot less opportunity to digress from the meeting’s agenda by those who often do.
  2. Working from home/self-employed: Continue maintaining your daily routine and schedule, but consider reducing your scheduled productive blocks of time. Rather than five 8-hour blocks of focused time each week, it might serve you better to shoot for six blocks that are 6 hours each. This not only frees up more time in each day for family and fulfilling your holiday to-do list, it also makes sense because your creativeness and energy are being drawn in an added direction for the next several weeks. You will need more blocks of time to re-energize in between.
  3. Frustrated_man_at_a_desk_(cropped)Personally speaking: Prioritize where you plan to expend your time, energy, talent and being. Keep rest, down time and sleep at the very top of your list. If you allow yourself to be spread too thin, you’ll end up weakening yourself and your immune system. Your goal for the holidays should be to spend quality, uninterrupted time with those you care about most rather than to end up at home too sick to be around them at all.
  4. Specifically regarding the holiday celebrations: Rather than being perfect, be joyful and enjoyed instead. Stay home for your holiday meal or visit one side of the family—but not both. If you are preparing the holiday meal, keep it simple; prepare only those holiday dishes your loved ones can’t seem to live without. Or consider making it a potluck, ordering your meal in, or maybe even eating out. Again, it’s all about the quality of the time spent making memories, not about the quantity of the food served or the gifts given. Speaking of gifts…consider drawing names instead of having every person giving (and therefore buying) something for every other person in the bunch.

Traditional holiday dinner

The best gift you can give during the holidays and every day is one of memorable experiences.

After all, that’s why we celebrate the holidays: to share love and joy among generations as we reflect on past memories and create new ones.

What good is it to spend all your time and energy trying to build a memorable occasion if the later reflection upon it is one that everyone would just rather forget?

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