Balancing everyday life with added holiday chores and festivities


At this time of year, in addition to maintaining daily functions and tasks such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, errands, and activities, there are also decorating, finding meaningful gifts, added grocery shopping, parties and events. To help keep balance in our busy lives, it is essential to determine what needs to be done and in what order. By prioritizing, we may eliminate less important tasks, thereby saving precious time, and achieving a sense of accomplishment. We must also schedule a bit of needed time for recharging our energy. This is not a self-centered act, it is necessary to take care of ourselves so that we can give to others.


When we have a lot to do, staying focused on the task at hand is crucial. When we are juggling many things, our mind may tend to wander. The holidays require a great deal of planning and organization, therefore, a written list (in any form) is crucial. We often become overwhelmed thinking of all that must be done. However, when writing everything down, we soon discover that many of our tasks take only a few moments. Checking them off gives us a needed sense of accomplishment.

Targeting Procrastination

Not all procrastination is negative. You might intentionally put off the “nice to do” but “not critical” aspects of your holiday plan. Make a “if time allows” list. Your priority list will alert you to those things which need to be done in advance of the holiday—the things that will add stress if not done well ahead of time. The holiday season is meant to be filled with love and good spirits. Don’t let situations that could be avoided take a toll on your wellbeing.

Set a Realistic Time Schedule

By planning the amount of time required to accomplish our well-organized plan, we will know if we might need to ask for help or not. For example, if decorating the cookies becomes tedious due to a full schedule, maybe the kids can help. Of if after all the shopping, the wrapping of the gifts is getting in the way of cooking, perhaps another family member can help. By knowing where your time goes, you will be able to delegate smaller tasks to others.

Set Deadlines

Making sure things are completed in a timely manner will guarantee everything will get done before the holidays. Write the deadlines on your calendar, in the same manner you do for a doctor or dentist appointment. In this way, you eliminate constantly thinking of what to do next.

Ask for Help

At this time year, many of us could use assistance, and yet we resist asking for it. When I speak to large groups, I usually ask the question— “How many of you like helping others.” Generally, there are no hands that remain unraised. We all like to help others and yet I find that many of us are reluctant to ask for help. I do not mean things like asking your teenager to empty the trash or other daily chores. What I am referring to is asking someone to help you with something you need to have done that you know they can do without upsetting their own schedule. We feel good about helping others. And, there are many people that need to be given the opportunity to feel good about themselves by doing something to help you—even if it is something as small as picking up a carton of eggs.

Find What Works for You

Stick to what works for you. Some of us like to have paper coupons, others like an app. Some of us like to have a written grocery list, others like to add everything in a note on our phones. If we are in control of how things are getting done, we will feel calmer and more relaxed.

Keep Perspective

Remember what this season is all about. Also, realize that no matter how well planned, there are bound to be a few unexpected bumps in her road. Be as forgiving of yourself as you are of others. In the long run, the small mishaps will not be remembered. What will be is the love and the joy experienced.


I hope that by keeping these skills in mind, you will accomplish this holiday season’s tasks and fully enjoy every moment of this wonderful season.

A little management goes a long way: By saving needed time for ourselves, we can be giving to others. As they say, “You can’t pour from an empty glass.”

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