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Balancing life with family over the holidays

by Kim Jacobs

Posted on November 23, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 23 at 10:07 AM

We all have the ideal picture of how we envision our holidays should be. We all desire to have the perfect family gathering where everyone is united in love and there are no negative feelings or comments.  Everyone is getting along just lovely. Unfortunately, that is not what really happens in reality.  In real life, there are debates that carry over from year to year, family members with past grudges, and those that won’t come if the event is at a certain family member’s house. According to the National Women’s Health Resource Center survey, nearly two-thirds of women say they have suffered from depression this time of year, to the point that they didn't want to participate in activities like party-going and gift giving.  In order to avoid losing your mind doing the holidays here are some tips that will help you keep your life balanced:

1. Be grateful for the many great things in your life: Take time to share how grateful you are to have your loved ones in your life.  Let them know how important they are to you.

2. Master the Art of Delegation: You don’t have to do it all! Let others chip in! Believe it or not other people want to do their share to contribute to the family dinner or the planning of the family outings. Once you have assigned it out, you should remove it from your thoughts.

3. Identify a location to have the holiday event that would be outside of your home (Community Clubhouse, local hall).

4. Enjoy your holiday the way you choose – Don’t let someone else dictate your holiday. Decide in advance what you plan to attend and be sure to carve out some relaxation time. Order take out if you are sick of the holiday leftovers.  Just be sure to do what you want.

5. Don’t get stagnant:  Remain active and continue your work-out routine.  Do some activities that will require physical movement for your family.

6. Don’t deprive your body of the proper rest: Rejuvenate your body with the proper sleep at night, especially during the holidays.

7. Shop Early, Online, or redeem your points.  Most major retailers have online shopping.  If you have reward points, make sure you redeem them in enough time to get the items back for Christmas. Most importantly, make a list of every person that you will buy a gift for. 

8. Give yourself a shopping budget and don’t go over it.  Make sure you do some comparison shopping to ensure that you are getting the best deal.  Take advantage of some of the special sale dates. Also, use money that you have saved throughout the year specifically for this shopping experience.

9. Have Fun!  Don’t let the holiday time be so hectic for you that you forget to just have a good time with your loved ones and friends.

10.  In loving memory of a deceased loved one you can include a reflection ceremony during your celebration. You can either have individual candles that you use as centerpieces for each table or you can have one centerpiece filled with candles where each candle represents someone who has died that is being remembered. As you light each candle, share a funny or serious memorable time about the deceased loved one.  Be real with what you expect to happen during the holidays.  Look at the past holidays and ask yourself if what you expected to happen ever happened in the past or is this just a pipe dream.

Remember, it is perfectly fine to enjoy your break the way you choose to.  Mingle with your family and friends some and maybe clean up a little before you head back to work, do some baking projects with your children, or watch some shows that you pre-recorded just to catch yourself up with what’s been happening on your shows.  This is your holiday time too, so you should get to enjoy it some.  Happy Holidays!

You can watch my television talk show, Daily Balance with Kim Jacobs, on PBS - WTVI every Saturday at 10:00 AM.   If you would like to hear more tips from me, you can see me as the Daily Balance Expert every Wednesday for a segment on Charlotte Today (WCNC – News Channel 36) between 11:00 AM -12:00 PM. You can also visit and send me an email with specific questions. Thank you for your continued support