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4 Tips to Create Balance and Avoid the Holiday Overwhelm

By Courtney Lee

Congratulations, you’ve made it to December and the official kickoff to the holiday season. For most women, this means we’re leveling up our everyday jammed-packed to-do lists and taking on even more to create a magical holiday. That includes the addition of tasks to express our gratitude for everyone who makes our world turn; to give of our energy, time and financial resources in ways that help others; to set the scene and execute picture-perfect celebrations; to cook, shop, wrap, mail, decorate, make, bake, dress, light, host, and give. 

It’s not a stretch to imagine that most of us will overextend our to-do lists and find ourselves in a state of overwhelm, stressed out and completely over the holidays before the season has even begun. The irony is that the magic we’re trying to create during this season simply cannot exist within this state of overwhelm we create. If you aren’t actively working to create a more balanced, peaceful state, you run the risk of sabotaging the delightfulness December promises.

Here are some tips to restore a sense of balance in your life, by way of your to-do list this season:

  1. Be intentional about where you spend your time and energy. It’s easy to overcommit yourself, piling more and more on your plate. Consider the things that truly matter to you during this season, and focus your energy there. 
  2. Know your limits. Undoubtedly, there are many things that matter to you during the holiday season, but there is, assuredly, only 24 hours in each day. Avoid using your to-do list as a catch-all, and instead think of it the same way you would your Thanksgiving dinner plate: you must find the edge and recognize when you’ve added more food to the plate than would be enjoyable to consume. Start saying “no thank-you” before you’ve reached your limit so you can enjoy what you did put on the plate. 
  3. Ask for help. Once you’ve committed to the things that matter, it’s easier to assess the rest of your to-do list and enlist help from partners, friends, family, and those amazing magicians who come in the form of Tula assistants. 
  4. Make a conscious effort to create balance. You’re not on a treasure hunt for some illusive, coveted object. Balance is not something you will find. It’s something you must create through continuous action to equalize competing demands on your time. You must lean in, let go, and be open to making constant adjustments. 

December is, of course, a very specific time of year when it’s easier than ever to find yourself with an overwhelming to-do list, but these tips apply throughout the year – at any point when we feel ourselves stretching beyond that limit. Instead of hoping the edge of your plate will hold and you’ll avoid the hot mess of gravy spilling all over the table, look to balance things out. Remind yourself of your intentions, your goals and priorities, your humanly limits, and all the resources available to help. And then act, do what matters and delegate the rest. 

Courtney Lee is a brand strategist and freelance marketing professional based in Denver. She works with private companies and nonprofit organizations to tell meaningful stories and create business value through strategic communications. Follow her work on LinkedIn.