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Frazzled? 5 tips to stay happy and balanced this holiday

See the best advice from the women at Know Your Value on how to stay grounded and check off every item on your holiday to-do list.
Children kissing mother on Christmas
Happy mid adult mother is laughing and embracing her two kids who are kissing her for Christmas.fotostorm / Getty Images

The days are getting colder and the month of December is flying by, which means the holidays are upon us. And while the season is often full of joy, it can be an incredibly stressful time for many who are dealing with issues like family drama, financial pressures and trying to check off every item on your to-do list

Many of the Know Your Value team members can relate. Here’s their best advice on how to stay grounded and enjoy the hectic — but exciting — holiday season.

Carve out quality time for family and friends

“My plan for enjoying the holidays this year includes leaving time for self-care, quality time spent with family and friends, taking vacation time before Christmas and honoring the boundaries of personal time by disconnecting and shopping local. It’s important to me to support small business owners in the community I love. And being close to home eliminates the stress of shopping mall chaos.”

-Know Your Value’s Jane Kaupp

Stay organized and plan ahead

“Time blocking is the answer, especially this year. In addition to hosting family over the holidays and welcoming my son home from four months studying abroad, this year I am on a tight deadline to turn around the second draft of a book manuscript. This means I have to be super organized and plan in advance. I put together a complete meal plan for the week that I have family in town and do most of my grocery shopping in advance based on that plan. My husband and I plan out our holiday shopping and get it all done online. While I have guests in town, I’ll get up at 5 a.m. and put in a few hours at my desk working before everyone gets up. And, I get a workout in every morning, no matter what — that is a non-negotiable that keeps me balanced.”

-Know Your Value’s Ginny Brzezinski

Make time to sweat it out

“Some years I have abandoned exercising during the holidays because too much was happening. That has always been a mistake because the stress —not to mention the calories! — eventually catch up with you. I find that if I make the gym a priority that’s just as high on the list as all the other holiday tasks and activities, I enjoy the season so much more.”

-Know Your Value’s Duby McDowell

Take it easy on yourself

“My plan to enjoy the holiday season is to keep my expectations low. With a toddler and a baby, you have to be okay if —and when — things don’t go according to plan. Instead of striving for perfection, I’m more focused on having fun and creating meaningful memories with my family. As our health contributor, Madelyn Fernstrom, said, 'You need sleep more than you need to be awake at midnight baking cookies.' I whole-heartedly agree. I also carve out an hour every day to exercise. Usually it’s a run. I find it’s the best way to clear my head and get some guaranteed me time.”

-Know Your Value’s Aliyah Frumin

Be present in the moment and check on others

“I’m always planning ahead in my daily life, thinking of the next step, maintaining a routine. And when I’m constantly moving to the next thing on my to-do list, I sometimes miss special moments that I’ll never get back. Now that I have a 2-year-old, I make sure to spend time just being with her over the holiday, doing something different and watching her discover the world around her. I also use the time to call loved ones and friends I haven’t spoken to in a while – it’s important to let others know how much you care about them, even if you don’t speak often.”

-Know Your Value’s Bianca Brosh