I’m a list maker. Are you? I get tremendous satisfaction creating my to-do list and crossing off items as they are accomplished. In fact, I start every day with a new list that has everything I want to do for my business as well as some personal tasks. (Go to the bank, write a new blog, follow up with a coaching client, run to Trader Joes, pick up dry cleaning, etc.)

Now this time of year the list gets very complicated for not only does it all have of the above details, it also has holiday gifts for family and friends as well as a calendar full of social events. Trying to keep up with all the holiday madness on top of normal business is a challenge. I get stressed just thinking about it.

It dawned on me this morning as I was putting my list together for today that nowhere on my list is ME! And perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves this holiday season is to take care of ourselves as well as our loved ones. Have you even thought about this? What will you do for yourself this holiday season?

Here are some simple suggestions to maintain your sanity and well-being:

1. Learn to say “no”.

As many events begin to fill in your calendar, focus on your energy and make good decisions about which events to attend and which to decline.

2. Avoid the “what can I bring?” offer.

If you’re like me and love to bake and cook, you probably make this generous offer a lot. How can I turn down someone asking for my special chocolate cake?  Refer to tip number one and offer to pick up something instead.

3. Outsource when appropriate.

It can be a great gift to yourself to hire someone to clean your house or do the dishes if you are having a large party. Think about ways to reserve your time and energy.

4. Keep up your exercise routine.

When we are consume more calories at one meal than we might in one month, we need to burn those calories! Plus exercise boosts are serotonin levels and helps us to maintain our energy.

5. Schedule some quiet time for yourself.

Whether or not you are into meditation, just being alone for a few minutes a day can be extremely relaxing. It helps us clarify our thoughts and focus on what’s important. Holidays can bring lots of stress as well as joy.

6. Focus on gratitude.

It’s a time to be with family and friends and a wonderful time to be grateful for all the wonderful people in our lives.


For more tips on how to keep your life in balance, listen to my conversation with Marilyn Tam on How to Live the Life of Your Dreams on GPS Your Career Radio, Monday, December 12th.