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5 Tips for Staying Balanced Amidst Holiday Chaos

Are you overwhelmed by the holiday madness?

Parties and activities create a whirlwind feeling, and preparing for the coming year can overwhelm you.

But there are ways to keep a clean mind during this busy time of year. Below are five tips for staying balanced amidst the festivity craziness.

5 Tips for Staying Balanced Amidst Holiday Chaos

The Harvard Business Review affirms that too much work negatively affects employees and/ or their organizations [1].

Additionally, an NCBI study reveals the role of work-life balance in sustaining employees' health and company stability [2]. These studies confirm the need for balance and to tackle this challenge.

So, it's essential to pinpoint and adopt strategies that maintain balance during demanding times, such as the holiday season or year-end work craziness.

As a health coach, one thing we can work together on is balancing your busy schedules and obligations with self-care and time to recharge.


Keep Reading for just a few tips to start with.

Table Of Contents

5 Tips To Help You Stay Balanced Amidst The December Chaos

The holiday season is upon us, so you may feel overloaded thinking about all the work leading up to the end of the year plus all the holiday obligations that pile up in December.

5 Tips To Help You Stay Balanced Amidst The December Chaos

To help you stay balanced amidst all this chaos, I want to share five tips to help you stay on track.

1) Create Realistic Expectations

You should understand that you can't tackle everything during this festive period, so outline reasonable goals. It will help you reduce anxiety from having an overwhelming number of tasks to handle.

Research at Stanford's Business School shows the benefits of realistic expectations [3]. They found that by recalibrating student expectations, the students thrived, especially those from minority, low-income, or first-generation backgrounds.

In my partnerships with clients, I've observed how this, when done right, can support not only success in goals but also reduced stress! It can help you see challenges in a different light and get out of the negative spiral many people fall into.

So, write realistic goals, have a system, and be prepared to say "no."

Finally, prioritize the process over the payoff. You will find that you can enjoy your holiday preparations and reduce your stress levels by doing and enjoying one task at a time within realistic expectations.

2) Instill Morning and Night-time Habits

Develop daily habits to promote balance and set the tone of your day.

Find an example routine below, along with some of the potential benefits:

  • Sleeping and waking at the same hours daily supports your body's sleep/ wake cycle ( or circadian rhythm) and can help cope with stress and anxiety.

  • Consume a breakfast full of nutrient-filled foods to fuel your day with energy and enjoy a lighter dinner for deeper sleep (or give yourself plenty of time to digest,  about 2-3 hours).

  • In the morning, sort out what you want to accomplish that day to avoid feeling overtasked.

  • Skip screen time for your day's first and last hours to improve sleep quality.

  • Note down one thing you're grateful for in the morning or at night. It infuses positivity into your day.

  • Morning workouts can lower anxiety and boost your day's energy, while nightly stretches can ease your muscles.

  • Initiate your day with a glass of water and retain enough fluids all day.

3) Prioritize Self-care

Intentionally organize daily self-care tasks into your December schedule.  It doesn't have to be expensive or extravagant.

You can implement a simple self-care routine:

  • Take a calming bath.

  • Drink hot tea.

  • Get enough sleep at night.

  • Play with your pet. 

  • Watch your favorite comedy.

  • Get a massage.

  • Read a book for pleasure.

  • Go for a walk in the fresh air.

4) Practice Mindfulness

An article from the American Psychological Association indicates that mindfulness meditation can change your brain and improve overall well-being, mood, and mental health [4].

Practice Mindfulness

When you’re mindful, you become more aware of the following:

  • How you are feel

  • What’s happening around you

  • How these things impact your actions

It helps you avoid impulsive decisions leading to unhealthy behaviors such as drinking too much or binge eating.

So, use mindfulness techniques such as:

  • Meditation

  • Deep breathing

  • Group therapy

  • Yoga

  • Or simply paying attention throughout Your day

When you are busy, you can also incorporate short mindfulness moments into your day, whether savoring a cup of tea or observing the twinkling lights on a tree.

Also, ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I grateful for?

  • What is happening right now?

  • How can I do this more mindfully?

  • How do I feel right now? 

Mindfulness works because it helps you recognize and accept uncomfortable feelings, thoughts, and sensations as they arise.

5) Connect to a Support Group

Reach out to friends and family members who provide you with encouragement, understanding, and a listening ear. 

Be in touch with people who understand your need for balance and share your values during this busy season. 

Connect to a Support Group

You can join my 1:1 program, it’s great for helping you find your balance during the holidays. 

Working with me 1:1 may include:

  • A stress relief meditation to start your day off right.

  • Tips (and tools) for managing stress during this busy time of year.

  • An easy-to-follow stress management plan that you can also use for the rest of the year.

  • Access to my Be the CEO of Your Stress Facebook Group, where you can connect with others working on balancing their stress levels.

Prioritizing supportive connections can keep you grounded and nurtured amidst the holiday rush.

The Nature of Holiday Chaos

As a health coach, I help you identify and counter the obstacles preventing you from achieving balance.

December is a month of celebration and festivity, but it can also bring stress and challenges.

The Nature of Holiday Chaos

Understanding what triggers the chaos helps you to tackle the holiday pressures. So, I've included a list of common holiday triggers.

Let's identify some well-known factors:

  • Holiday shopping stress

December is a gift-giving tradition that results in packed shopping lists and crowded shopping centers. 

The search for the perfect present for each loved one and managing finances often contribute to stress and anxiety.

  • Social obligations

You've entered the season of reunions and celebrations. 

While being in touch with friends and family is a beautiful moment, it also means handling multiple social events, often with overlapping schedules. 

This can drain you and generate pressure.

  • End-of-year tasks at work

Typically, employees face year-end reports, targets, or deadlines during December. There's an urgency to wrap up loose ends before the New Year. 

Extra work, along with holiday duties, creates chaos.

Knowing some common causes of holiday chaos can helpl you find ways to keep it manageable.

5 Tips for Staying Balanced Amidst Holiday Chaos (FAQs)

How can we stay safe during the holidays?

Be aware of seasonal safety hazards. Inspect light strings, avoid fire hazards in the kitchen, safely arrange decorations, and designate a driver if consuming alcohol. 

How can we stay healthy during the holiday?

Maintain a balanced diet by controlling your portion sizes, eating plenty of fruits and veggies, and keeping yourself hydrated. Also, move your body throughout the month consistently.

How do I keep stress down during the holidays?

Strive for balance and understand your limitations. Don't overschedule or overcommit. Give yourself a break, split up tasks, and incorporate soothing activities like reading or walking.

What can be done to remain active on holiday?

Plan group games, such as team-based activities or family strolls. Indulge in activities you enjoy, and take moments of mindfulness. Practice self-care despite the holiday rush because it's okay to take breaks. Value your wellness, and say no when stressed.

What to do next?

Life is busy. We are all busy. 

And December is often the most chaotic time. With so much going on, you may struggle to maintain self-care.

But staying balanced during this busy season isn't all about sufficient sleep and healthy food—it’s also about ensuring that you take time each day to not burn out before the holidays even begin!

If you'd like additional insights related to balance, check out my other blogs:

Or reach out to me and let's chat, maybe a 1:1 program is just what you need to set the tone for the holidays and to kick off your new year right! Email me at and put holiday stress in the subject line somewhere for a special offer!


alexa health coach

About the Author

Alexa Hanshaw

Alexa Hanshaw is a national board-certified health and wellness coach (NBC-HWC). She is also a stress management coach who helps women be the CEO of their stress. She empowers her clients to push past the confusion of the health and wellness industry to create lifestyle habits that bring them energy and work with their bodies instead of against it.

Join her free Facebook group, Be the CEO of Your Stress, and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube for quick, easy & healthy tips on stress, health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and how to stay mindful!

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