Holiday Balance: Does it Exist?

I have a “coffee talk” for you today. Actually, it’s one I’ve been pondering since last Friday. This is when FITFLUENTIAL posted about achieving balance during the holidays. They focused on eating well, exercise, rest, and enjoyment. All play a key role in Holiday Balance, right?! RIGHT!


The question that then came up was “how do you achieve balance during the Holidays? And what are some tips?”

All weekend I thought about it because let’s face it, I ‘m struggling. Heck I am still trying to find balance since moving to New Zealand two weeks ago, yet alone now during the Holidays. ha-ha. So I called about some FB friends to share some ideas and boy am I glad I did. Their answers made me feel some what SANE.

Winking smile

Lindsay Cotter trying to think about Balance this week. I think everyone is so different in the way they achieve it. Less is more for me. What’s yours?

Kristin Stehly Less is definitely more for me too. It’s just getting to that point and figuring out how to let go of a few things. :)

Joyce Cherrier Mine is more time for movement/exercise/meditation & less time trying to change things I can’t.

Bonnie Lang Been thinking about it too…and I agree, less is more for me…usually. But at this point in my life I’m actually not that busy with work, so I feel like I have TOO much down time and I’m not always using that time to be productive. I’m struggling to find that type of balance at the moment, but as long as I’m loving God and loving people I know I’m moving in the right direction!

Carla Birnberg for me balance can be elusive. I’m all about the HARMONY.

Tara Burner my balance is nowhere near what most would consider balance but as long as things go smoothly & get done, that’s balance for me.

Rebekah Borucki making ME a priority. with four kids, I get lost in the shuffle. if nothing else, I always make my yoga classes. :)

Heather Gannoe My balance is ASKING for help! I always put EVERYONE ahead of myself. Now as a single mom, I hate to “burden” my family by asking them to watch my boys. A week will go by without me running, and when I’m about to snap, my mom or dad will be like “shouldn’t you go run? Why haven’t you asked us to watch the boys?” LOL

Lindsay Cotter so maybe its not balance we, but PURPOSE, PEACE, and HARMONY?!

I think that sums it up quite nicely, don’t you?

After gathering my thoughts (the few that I had left), I decided to VLOG about it. It’s easier and I am too lazy to type it all out.

Please excuse the glare. I’m a video rookie here.

Now if you excuse me, I must go finish my purpose for today.

My own version of Holiday Cards (aka post cards)


And rolling up more of Healthy Bites for Holiday treats.


Yes, I will share this recipe. I’m thinking it will be part of WIAW. Cool?

How do you find Holiday Balance? Do you?




I almost forgot to finish up my THANKFUL BOARD.

Days 18-21

TIME with Family here in New Zealand. We will be taking the ferry to Tauranga in one week and going through the Marlborough Sounds. Check it out here.

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  1. Great post!!!
    I try to treat holidays like every other day of the year just even more special and its okay to relax a little more and be leniant with yourself :)

  2. I think holiday balance totally exists! I definitely give myself more slack with exercise around the holidays, but that works for me and feels like balance. Everyone is different- some people find they need to exercise all through the holidays and before events to feel balanced, which is great too!

  3. I think it can exist! I know I used to know it was at least… I am looking to get back to that point- where I will enjoy what I want to, and turn down whatever does not appeal… and not think about it so darn much! Balance :)

  4. Oh I love this little vlog of yours! Not only does it let me see and HEAR you, but your message is even better since its through your actual voice, I dunno, it just makes me happy to hear ya 😉

    As for balance, you’re right – putting purpose behind all of those things you mentioned, SO important. For me, what’s also important? Is being ok with saying “no” more often rather than trying to be everything to everyone all the time. Know what I mean?

    • oh good, i am glad. Vlogs help me feel connected with you! cause i really do miss you!!
      Saying NO is huge. I hear ya. Its the guilt factor, but the only person making us feel guilty is ourselves, right? I totally get you! of course!

  5. I love your VLOG– so fun to hear your voice. :-) I maintain a balance at Christmas time by remembering, as cliche as it sounds, the reason for the season. Then I realize if I don’t get something done, it really doesn’t matter. Christmas is about so much more.

    • hehe, glad i can “talk” with you Maryea. And i am always impressed on how you maintain balance, being pregnant during the holidays an all. But you are right, learn to let go and focus on the more important!

  6. One day and One week at a time! I plan out my meals and workouts the night before so I don’t get side tracked. I try to keep alcohol to once a week and eating out 1-2 times a week. But when it’s Christmas day, there are no rules, only good food, wine, laughter, and one full belly! 😉

  7. Oh yes, balance DOES exist. 😉

  8. This was great! What a wonderful way to express your idea of “balance” in a busy time…and I agree – loved your vlog. :) You really make me smile, Lindsay! I think there are aspects of our lives that are similar right now (like you mentioned earlier – the free time we have!) and I struggle to find balance in that free time. Reading my Bible, visiting with others, making freshly cooked meals – it’s all oddly harder to me when I have time on my hands! Learning to restructure my days. Thanks for getting the ball rolling for my Fitfluential post – love the idea of purpose behind it all.

  9. There is NO Holiday “balance” in my world! Ha! I like that theory though. It just doesn’t work for me. :)

    Always love your VLOGs :)

  10. i think the key to holiday balance, for me, is to understand that all my problems are “good” problems and to re-frame them as such. lots of family in town (= surrounded by loved ones), tons of dinners to prepare (= plenty of food), and too many activities to fit into one day (= energy and health and resources allowing me to spend my time out and about). for me, it’s all a matter of perspective – maybe the imbalance is in my mind, not in reality!

  11. Love this post! Balance is so different for everyone and it’s constantly changing for me right now. My health is never a balancing act…it’s always priority. My life in general…I’m still trying to find that balance, but I’ve definitely found that breathing and dealing with one task at a time helps! Keep your chin up and you will find that balance again!

  12. Ah, yes. Balance. I don’t find it any more difficult around the holiday season, simply because I know that if I don’t have my (relative) health–physical or mental–I’m of no use to anyone else. Because of that, I make it a priority to do what I need to do to stay sane while staying social.

    The food will always be there–it’s not going extinct and it’s important not to overthink things, as someone mentioned above. Keep a schedule as best as you can, but simply remember we all need a break. Maybe that break is exercise or maybe it’s rest-balalnce is unique to us all :)

    • oh well said Abby! i tend to back off on exercise and rest a bit, because like you said, i’m of no use to anyone if I don’t have my health. Or at least part of it.
      Now we just need to keep that sanity for longer than a week, eh?

  13. Yet again, I LOVE this post! Balance is such a hard thing to achieve, especially during the holidays. But I feel that when people put in the effort, it can totally be achieved :) It must be difficult being away from your family this Christmas, but it’s awesome to know you have the love and support of your hubby and his family! YAY!!! 😀
    PS–send some o that NZ sun back here to Texas, it’s been so cold and overcast! 😛

  14. Another great post my friend. Loved reading the comments on FB today. I loved Heather’s response about asking for help. Wow what a great reminder huh?

  15. I feel more balanced this year than ever, i think because I was proactive rather than reactive and began chipping away at holiday stuff early and often. That ‘flow’ and feeling of accomplishment feels awesome.
    Love the VLOG! : )

  16. Great video, Lindsay! Finding a purpose for each action is a great way to look at it!

    I’m not sure what my purpose was in having a second cherry pie brownie tonight, but it sure was tasty 😉 I do tend to overindulge during the holidays, but there’s so many delicious goodies around to try!

  17. Balance…my daughter just asked me how a cat balances if it has to get its tail cut off.

    I need balance … I say that exercise keeps me balanced, but sometimes I do spend more time exercising than I should. But seriously, a good run or good spinning class can put me in a fantastic mood. I rely heavily on the to-do lists. My kids also balance me out, because I look at them and get reminded to stop, play games, make the gingerbread house, and talk to them. It has to be hard to move so far away for you this year from family, especially so close to the holidays. Good luck with this balancing act. When you find the magic potion, let us all in on it. For now, for me, it’s exercise, merlot, and deep breaths!

  18. Did you get mine and Keith’s holiday card? I sent it to the NZ address you gave me so I hope it made it or will make it soon!!

  19. ah balance at the holidays. Like you, I’m getting to try out a new “balancing act” this holiday season as it’s the first time in 7 years that I will not be swimming 10-20km a day, 6 days a week for the entire holiday season- balance with that was easy because there wasn’t any…eat, sleep, swim and repeat two or three times a day!! And much like you, I know there is a reason for the change this year and I’m trying to find a new balance this holiday season. I’m actually struggling to find a balance with it as I’m totally lost with not doing training camp and struggling to find a sense of “balance” without it.

  20. YAY vlog! I’m happy you made it lolz. I find it hard to balance school, blogging and running but I find taking a step back is the way to go.

    PS: Those post cards are so rad.

  21. I do not maintain balance at Christmas time. I am in a constant frazed state until things just “get done”. Stressful? Yes. Did I put this upon myself? Yes. Do I regret it every.single.time? Yes.


  22. So insightful, Lindsay! I love the idea of finding purpose in our actions. We’ve heard that rest, sleep, healthy eating etc. will help us achieve “balance” over and over, but sometimes it’s tough to find the perfect harmony between them. Maybe by thinking about our intention–or purpose (“to enjoy”; “to nourish”; “to recover”; “to savor”…) we’ll feel more at peace with the world around us–both with the things we can control and the things we can’t control. :-)

    Whenever I begin to feel frazzled, I take a deep breathe and remember what this season is really about. Most of the time, that alone fills me with so much joy and peace, I stop caring about the skipped workout or the 5 “missing” cookies. Maybe balance also means living in extremes at times. It’s all about the big picture, right? <3

    • we get so side tracked with the true meaning of christmas due to all the media. I hate that! but you are right, deep breath, and stop caring about those little things. Its about the season!

  23. Your holiday cards are beautiful – much nicer than a dull ‘traditional’ xmas scene. The spectacular scenery speaks for itself.


    • and they are cheaper too. haha, don’t tell. Hows the hip??

      • Eh, it’s okay. It had completely stopped hurting me until I started having to run on a treadmill sometimes due to black ice (I’ve tried to run on it so many times, even in YakTrax it just is not happening). Now I’m getting those stabbing twinges back. Grr. I am praying it’s just ghost/phantom pains! Thanks for asking <3

  24. It’s so interesting (to me :)) I used to FREAKIN ADORE the holidays.
    As my Jewish family used those lazy slow everything closed everyone else with her family days to cocoon.
    And then I married into a family who celebrates christmas and it all lost its luster and became a weetad frazzly.

    • its funny you say that because my husband is used to having a quiet christmas with a few family members and my family is just large and crazy! So being here is a nice escape for us, it almost feels unnatural not to be too frazzled. Now i just to need to appreciate every second of it.

  25. Balance is such a tricky thing. Sometimes we think we’re in balance and then you take a step back and your like “whoa. When did my life get that crazy?!” I think the holidays tend to do that to you, but then when you finally get to relax and celebrate you realize how busy you were really were! I totally agree with what you said. Less is more!

  26. I think holiday balance (for me) is all about being even smart with your time. I’m pretty good with time management, but I find it’s most beneficial at this time of year. Somehow, finding a way to plan out your time so that you are wasteful, yet still feel relaxed and free. Oh, I make it sound so easy. :)

  27. I think that it helps me to give myself permission to just enjoy. Sometimes I put such high expectations on the holidays, and the build-up is so exciting and intense, that I find myself almost let down on Christmas Day. This year, I’m trying to focus on small joys and just appreciate the fact that I get to spend time with my husband. Like you, we aren’t going home for Christmas this year. In a way, I think it will make it easier to enjoy the small moments during the holidays, because there won’t be such a huge build-up. It helps that we’re going home in January, though, so I won’t feel quite so sad about not seeing my family.

    (Oh – and on Christmas Day? I eat whatever my pretty little heart desires. Including chocolate for breakfast.)

    • AGREED! we set our expectations so high and then go into a sad mode after christmas. Not a good pattern. I think this time apart from family helps us live in the moment. well said Steph.

  28. Great post. Balance definitely looks different for every person. For me, especially this time of year, it is trying my best to focus on what is REALLY important in life, not what the world tells me is important. I also try to just live simply and realize that all the extravagance is just not necessary and most of the time, just makes me cranky & selfish.

  29. Balance…yes, seems to be a catch-all term for lots of things we want :)
    Love the video!

  30. ummm. i went to pilates and TRX last night. and then came home and ate approximately 1,523 mint m&ms. clearly i have zero balance!

  31. I love that you shared everyone’s tips for balance. It is SO different for each individual. And I like your version of holiday cards. Something different is always good in my book. :)

  32. I love these vlogs!! And I think you just look so relaxed and happy and I am totally envious of that sun and warmth 😉 I completely agree with you on this balance and harmony, both of which get so lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

  33. Your voice is so relaxing. How cute are you? Hubs is napping, I’m vlogging, power couple. I think asking for help is a good one, bc today I am about to lose it. This couldn’t have come at a better time.

    • haha, glad i am relaxing. I always think i sound like a boy. And i am TOTALLy learning to ask for help these days too! Just wish i would have let go of my pride earlier and done it, ya know?

  34. The elusive holiday balance…..difficult to find, but I think we all can to some extent! I think of this time of year as just embracing the business and enjoying the time with people you may not see too often, otherwise. :) We’re lucky not to be traveling for xmas this year, which helps take a little bit of stress out of the equation!

  35. Love this post! :-)

    Postcards as holiday cards is a great idea!

  36. I am finding a good sense of balance this year even though the year is flyyyyyyying by me! I am busy, but I don’t feel overwhelmed, which is awesome! I LOVE the idea of postcards for Christmas cards!! :)

  37. I am so terrible with finding balance during the holidays – I usually deal with it by becoming scrooge. Not awesome. This year I have given half the Christmas shopping to my husband, and done my portion online. It has been the most relaxed season yet!

  38. i think realizing that you just cannot do it all, and making some compromises for my sanity and health. think about what’s most important, and do that. anything else that comes is icing on the proverbial cake.

  39. yes! i find balance by taking the time to make me feel complete. i refuse to be at the mercy of the craziness so yesterday i left work early and got my nails done. i have also been going to bed super early so i have the time in the morning to walk pepsi. i swear girl it is the little things :)

  40. I wish I could grab one of those healthy bites and eat it right now! They look soo good!

  41. awesome post!! i want to do a video…i’m just nervous!! you are a natural :)

  42. I think the biggest part of achieving balance during the holidays is cutting ourselves some slack! When I don’t, I run the risk of feeling deprived or guilty, none of which are enjoyable! More than any other time of the year, I just try to take each day as it comes and do what I can, when it is realistic!

  43. Balance is something I strive to achieve, but still have a lot of trouble with. Balancing work outs with family and friends, balancing having fun w/ being smart, balance w/ work and focus…..Oh, and I am a little jealous you are vlogging in the sun with a tank on!! Can’t wait for the healthy bite recipe – I have been wanting to try those!!

  44. dudeeee two vids of LC in one day?! it’s my lucky day! also.. i feel guilty for skipping holiday cards this year… i guess there is still time…

    • haha, girl i am just lazy and don’t feel like writing. Uploading a video is way faster and i don’t have use my brain cells. Gotta save those for the important stuff.
      I only sent holiday cards to about 10 people (family/close friends). It’s the thought that counts though, right?

  45. Great post! Balanace is so important all year long but especially during the holidays. For me finding balance means blogging a little bit less right now and putting more time into those things that bring me more harmony and purpose.

    I cannot believe how sunny it is there. I hope Santa can still find you. 😀

    • haha, santa might be sweating in his suite here. I agree with you friend. Less of certain things can help us regain focus. Thank you for that reminder as always!

  46. good stuff! holiday balance is pretty tough..i just try to focus on getting exercise in because i think that makes a big least it makes you feel better if you overindulged!

    btw, marlborough produces my favorite wines…sauvignon blancs mmm

  47. love your videos!! and jealous you get to chill outside…too cold here, although today was nice that Lori and I did go for a walk.

    balance…well I have failed at that recently. been feeling a little stressed and frustrated that my view of balance pretty much does not exist. but working on it 😉

    • again, we are right in the same place. sheesh! wish i could teleport you here and share some sunshine. Hope the stress gets less as the holidays approach friend.

  48. Awww…. purposeful. I like that. Make each one purposeful. I was just working on my post on thsi topic and realized I was up way too late. That in NOT purposeful. It’s too hard to do it all sometimes. Need to sit back and enjoy each day and each moment. :) Hoping the “ripple effect” will start soon over here. :) Luv ya!

  49. how do you achieve balance during the Holidays? = eat a few bites of what I REALLY WANT rather than making it off limits. I find that overall, if i just do that, I end up eating less than eating 12 things of things I didnt really want anyway than if i just gave into my ‘temptation’ food…balance by way of moderation I’d say!

    • ahh, thats what i do too! savor the ones i want then give the rest to whoever. I end up sampling a bunch but am very satisfied in the end. And maybe a trip to Aruba would help me. hehe

  50. Holidays can definitely get overwhelming – so much that you lose the reason for the season. I think minimizing and keeping everything simple helps alot. And makes you put more meaning in the little things than just being overwhelmed with quantity.

    • i iike the way you think Susan. Minimizing things, keep them simple, keep them meaningful. I hate missing out on the true reason for the season so this is perfect!

  51. My only balance during the holidays is the balance between stress and fun. Holidays can be very stressful, but they should always be fun.

    I look forward to the recipe!

  52. I get it and thank you for sharing that message. Yes it makes sense and it really struck me.

    I’m off to remind myself of my purpiose and then infuse EVERYTHING I do with it.

    I learned in a treatment center a technique of SERF-ing through each day.


    At the end of the day you make sure you did something good and right for you in those four areas and they provide a stable patform on which to “ride the waves”

  53. I’ve been doing circuit workouts, because they’re really fast, and really intense! I don’t have as much time, but I can get in a solid workout in 30 or 40 minutes if I do a tough circuit!

  54. Aw- I’m just catching up and can’t believe I missed this post. Balance: a cookie in each hand :)
    Actually, around Christmas it is one of my mother in law’s nanaimo bars in each hand…but not everyone knows what those are.

    As many have said- I’m ok with a little unbalance at this time of year.

  55. i don’t believe in holiday balance haha i just believe in just being and if you’re happy and making the choices and decisions you want then that’s balance in itself! who says you can’t have balance year round right? and what is balance anyways, i don’t think balance exists because if you’re overworking yourself in one area but you’re happy then isn’t that okay? random thoughts!

  56. I think holidays are the real challange to prove whether you can relax or not. In everyday life, it’s so easy to find an excuse for being stressed, but it holidays, it’s really up to you. If you can’t relax then, you have to change something.

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