Staying balanced through the holidays

December 4, 2007 12:00:00 AM PST
Don't be overwhelmed by holiday stress! How to stay sane and maintain mental balance this holiday season!

The holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Between the parties, shopping, and traveling to see relatives, there's enough to make any mom lose her mind. Here with some savvy advice to help us balance it all, is a contributor to "inspiration to realization". She's also a professional life coach. Please welcome back Amber Rosenberg.

How to Stay Balanced This Holiday Season:

  1. Borrow from the past. What made previous celebrations special? What memories come to mind? What was satisfying about them? Use the best pieces of the past to create the best celebration this year and in the future. This way, you can start your own traditions.
  2. Plan the holiday you want. Think about what your dream experience would look like so you can design a celebration of your own making. Do you crave rest, relaxation and rejuvenation? Do you want to party with 100 of your closest friends? Could you use a holiday getaway with your partner? Your festivities can reflect who you are and how you have fun.
  3. Say "No" Without Guilt. During the holidays, your time may be in high demand. If you struggle with saying "no" to invitations, people or favors, it may be helpful for you to examine your personal boundaries and determine where you can strengthen them. Simply put, personal boundaries are the limits you place between yourself and others. The stronger your boundaries, the more free you feel to express yourself. Setting boundaries is best done with a graceful or neutral tone. When setting boundaries, there is no need to justify, give excuses or over- explain your feelings. Be firm, gracious and direct. For example, if you're invited to a several parties in the same night and don't want to go to all of them, simply say, "thanks for the invitation. I'd love to attend and at the same time, I already have plans that evening."
  4. Slow down. Part of what makes holidays so stressful is the frantic pace. Try slowing down with 10 minute daily renewal rituals (breathing, solo walks, meditation, prayer, etc.). You'll be able to experience the present more fully and are able to be here now without worrying about what's next. You'll be better able to notice the people, the moments or the situations that give you the most energy and fulfillment and to prioritize these moving forward. When you spend time with your family or friends, you'll be better able to connect with them and on a deeper level. You'll also have more time and space to remember what you're grateful for this holiday season.
  5. Celebrate. Now that you've taken the best pieces from the past and planned a holiday that will bring you joy, it's time to actually enjoy yourself. Don't worry if a dessert isn't perfect or if a gift isn't the right size, enjoy the interactions and opportunities to share with people you love. So don't sweat the small stuff, just go have fun.

Amber's Bio:
Amber Rosenberg is a professional life coach who helps high-achieving working mothers manage their guilt and stress and re-define success on their own terms. After 12 years struggling to create her own work/life balance in the corporate and non-profit worlds, she is passionate about helping women actively choose how they want to spend their time. A popular speaker and frequently interviewed for national print, TV and radio media outlets, Amber co-authored the book Inspiration to Realization with a chapter on "How to Manage Your Love/Hate Relationship with Time".

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