10 Tips to Balance Your Life Even During Holiday Season? (Yeah, Right!)
I am thrilled today to have a really great post AND GIVEAWAY from a new guest: Lori V. Forgasi. Lori is a writer who lives in our neck of the woods and wrote the award-winning book Momnesia. Read on for her solid tips about managing the holiday season, but head to the bottom for more about Lori as well as a leak about something our next newsletter will hold. Not to mention that if you leave us a comment you could possibly win a signed copy of her book! Here she is!:
Being the author of a novel that’s about the average suburban mom trying to balance her “momminess” and her “sexiness” is always a surefire conversation starter. Comments range from the most common “Ha ha, very funny,” to the occasional defensive, “I have no problem with my sexiness!” (That’s not what I was saying, I silently lament. I was simply telling you about my book because you asked!)
Either way, we all recognize that it’s a challenge. Whether a man or a woman, balancing life’s responsibilities with our Selves can be an ongoing battle at any time. However, for women… during holiday season? Here is where I insert my own, “Yeah, right!” Ask the average mom what it’s like to add an abundance of household decorations complete with breakables and choking hazards, shopping, wrapping, cooking, hosting family events, attending the many additional school happenings, baking cookies… well, you get the picture.
How are we supposed to balance our “momminess” and our “sexiness” when we’ve got all of that going on, plus the usual responsibilities that surround work, kids, the house, pets, meals, etc?! I don’t care how great your husband is… it’s overwhelming.
Interestingly, although “Momnesia” is a novel, it has been received by the media almost as if it were nonfiction. Which it kind of is, because it speaks to the truth of many women’s lives, but actually isn’t because it’s a made up story.
I’ve been invited to speak on this topic at a multitude of venues, including the Lifetime Women’s Network Balance Your Life Road Tour, The My Carolina Today Show, and others, sharing tips for how real women in real life can find ways to balance it all.
10 Tips to Balance Your Life Even During Holiday Season
1. Implement small daily decadences. Whether taking five minutes to sit and relax mid-day, or spending an hour in a bubble bath on Sunday, doing little things for yourself here and there can make a huge difference.
2. Draw the line on activities you don’t enjoy. Do you like making ten dozen cookies for the neighborhood exchange? Great, by all means make them. Don’t enjoy it but feel like you “should?” Stop. Just stop. No one is going to shun you and if they do, they’re not your real friends anyway.
3. Decorate in ways that make you happy instead of anxious. I always thought I was the only one who felt like an OCD claustrophobe with the decorative holiday clutter. After writing “Momnesia” and chatting with hundreds of women at book club meetings? I’ve discovered that I am, by far, not the only one. Pare down your decorating to a level you actually enjoy. If the kids want to have the seventy-five plastic snow globes that you’ve accumulated over the years in their room, fine. They don’t have to be displayed on every surface of your kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Really. They don’t.
4. Do your holiday hosting your way. Remind yourself that if the party is at your house, you can do it your way. Stressing out trying to make all fifteen relatives idealistically happy will never serve any purpose other than to eat your guts out. Make it nice, but make it yours.
5. Dress for the occasion. I’m talking sneakers and a fanny pack, ladies. When you’re out on a big shopping excursion, comfort trumps style. Forget about hauling your gigantic purse until you’re hot, exhausted, and in need of a cortisone shot. Work those sneakers and you’ll feel better about the entire day.
6. Put expenses into perspective. If money is stressing you out, ask yourself things like, “Do we really need to have open bar, or would wine and beer be just as nice?”
7. Put your children’s wish lists into perspective. A wish list is supposed to be a wish list, not an order form. You don’t have to buy everything on the list, or items that you know are sure to cause problems (like the “magic” diary that only unlocks to the sound of their voice but never works and makes them cry daily). You’ll enjoy the season more if you get them things that you feel they’ll enjoy.
8. Impose a ban on martyrdom. Yes, I just said that out loud. We women in particular often have a hard time letting other people help us, worrying that things won’t be done “right.” Trust me, the stress alleviated by not having to do every single thing yourself outweighs the “risk” that your husband might buy snowman wrapping paper instead of snowflakes.
9. Schedule time with your friends. If you wait until you’re not busy, you could easily never see anyone again. Not your close friend, not even your spouse. Instead, make an appointment with them, even if it’s just to meet for an hour over coffee, and adhere to it like you would a doctor appointment.
10. Eat a turkey leg. Don’t like turkey legs? Fine. Eat or do other things you like. The point about turkey legs is that there are only two and most people love them but no one wants to say what they want. Say what you want! It’s not just everyone else’s holiday… it’s yours too!
Do you have any tips for balancing your life during holiday season? I look forward to your comments below!
www.LoriTheAuthor.com. In fact, Lori has a special Turkey Leg Sneak Excerpt posted for the holiday season, which you can enjoy here: www.LoriTheAuthor.com/TurkeyLeg. Keep an eye out, because in just a few weeks, MiCHill will be sharing a special sneak Christmas Excerpt with you too! (Make sure you subscribe to the newsletter!)
BUT YOU REALLY WANT TO WIN A FREE, SIGNED COPY OF "MOMNESIA," DON'T YOU? I know I wish I could! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below giving us your best stress-management tip for the holidays. Winner will be chosen at random from all comments on Monday, December 9th (just in time for you to read this as your daily decadence through the holidays!).
Lori V. Fogarsi has been a freelance writer, journalist, columnist, and professional speaker for 15+ years. Her novel, “Momnesia” has been a finalist in several prestigious book awards. She also has a nonfiction book, “Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies and Adult Dogs,” which has been widely acclaimed in its genre.
Fogarsi is a happily married mom of two, step mom of two more, and has two cats, both rotten. Originally a native New Yorker, she now divides her time between Holly Springs, NC, and Lake Gaston, VA, where she is hard at work on her next novel, “Gramnesia,” to be released in spring 2013 by Brickstone Publishing.
Find Lori online here:
(In fact, you can find her at LoriTheAuthor just about everywhere online!)