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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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How to Find Your Balance During This Season

Holiday shopping, parties, and out of town guests…oh my! Those are some of the causes for our temporary disruption of balance and calm. Seasonal excitement and stress is evident almost everywhere I go. Some of us take off for the season to unwind and relax. No work or obligations. However, even the vacationers can experience holiday stress in preparation for taking time off.

I began wondering about ways to find balance during this busy time of year. While I was pondering, my gaze became fixed on the bowl of fidgets on my desk. This collection of miniature toys includes reminders of attitudes, places visited, childhood memories and more. When working in my office, I’m accompanied by uplifting thoughts and tiny toys to play with.

It occurred to me, that some of the messages in my bowl were a great starting point for restoring balance and adjusting that holiday season perspective. Maybe one of these will be useful for you.


1. Optimism

Is your glass half full or half empty? Where do you lean? Shifting your thoughts to positive outcomes and possibilities can counteract your seasonal anxiety and stress. What fills your glass?





2. You Are Here

Locate yourself. Be present. Take in the moment that is now. Sit with it and appreciate where you are, whom you are with, and what you are sensing. Don’t past or future-think. Just be here.





3. WW

Access your Wonder Woman, superhero powers. These include superhuman strength, speed, durability, reflexes and longevity. Strike a Wonder Woman power pose and feel your balance, strength and confidence increase.





4. Try Smile Therapy

Smiling creates physiological changes in the body including lowering blood pressure, releasing endorphins and relieving stress. Have you tried smile therapy? Bring back some happy balance to your days by smiling your way through the holiday season. Watch some slapstick, put on your favorite comedy, or share a smile with a stranger. Mouth corners up!



 5. Feelings

This can be a tumultuous time of year that brings about all kinds of intense feelings from happy to sad to angry to frustrated. Don’t judge your feelings. Acknowledge them. Feel them. They are temporary and will move on. Don’t let them derail your days.




 6. I Like Big Puns

Humor is a wonderful way to re-balance a stressful day. There’s nothing quite as fun as laughing at silly jokes with your friends or family. My brother-in-law was visiting recently and showered us with his long list of puns and jokes. Even though I’d heard them many times before, I couldn’t help but laugh. How about this one? . . .

“I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.”


 7. Sparkle

Let your inner sparkle shine, while appreciating the outer sparkle of the season. There’s more glitter and glitz this time of year. I love it! I’ll admit that I love a little sparkle all year long. Let the luminosity of the season remind us to focus on the bright spots. Take the path away from the frenzy towards the joy. Sparkle on.



Which items from my bowl of fidgets speak to you? What helps you bring some balance and perspective back to this full, busy season? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation.





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Reader Comments (20)

I love your bowl of fidgets - what a great idea! Most of them resonate with me. My word for the year was "laugh," and I've been pursuing anything that makes me laugh all year. What a delight it has been to prioritize laughter. Even in very difficult times, I find humor can be the fuel that keeps me moving forward. If I had to single out one of your ideas for maintaining balance, it would be "You Are Here." Especially at this time of year, our minds seem to be constantly trying to fix, address, handle, solve, and deal with a constant stream of issues that bombard our brains. This just steals the attention (and joy!) from the moment. I need to continually work on closing the door to the noise and live in the now.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

@Seana- I love that your word this year was "laugh." That's awesome. It's amazing what humor can do in the darkest of situations. And as we know, laughing is good for the mind and body. Science backs research to support that. Good pick on the "You Are Here" message. It's so true that our minds can ruminate about things that will never happen. Grounding ourselves in the present moment can help us focus and experience the moments that ARE happening. I'm so grateful for you, your wisdom, and continual participation in the conversations.

December 8, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I love this! While we are in the holiday season we forget to really enjoy this time of year. I see a huge difference when I smile and laugh often. Your pun is great! I'm going to tell my son that one. He's a big "pun" guy. Lol

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina Quairoli

@Sabrina- I'm so happy you liked the post. From reading your posts, I can tell what a great and encouraging attitude you have...and that you've got a lot going on. Smiling and laughter are wonderful ways to participate in life. And they spread some joy to others too. I'd love to hear one of your son's favorite puns too...if he feels like sharing.

December 9, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I love that you chose Sparkle! That is you Linda!

What I find most valuable is that you found a tool - your figdets - to create a strategy to help you. Having a tool box to help us makes it easier to move forward. It's what we rely on when we face the next challenge.

December 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

@Ellen- Thanks so much for the sparkle compliment. I DO love those sparkles. It's like a visual feast for me this season. You bring up a great point about having a "tool box" to access as a resource. That "box" can take many forms such as fidgets or people or mantras that help us move ahead. What is one of your favorite strategies or resources when you're feeling stuck?

December 10, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Hi Linda
Loved your post! As far as the optimism goes: there IS another option. The glass may be half empty or half full, but it is also refillable! So even if you're not in the best of places and your glass appears to be more empty than not...there is a chance to fill it again (or have someone do it for you). Best wishes for the holiday season!

December 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHilde Verdijk

@Hilde- What a beautiful perspective and option to offer to the standard half full/half empty glass analogy. I LOVE that idea of the glass being "refillable." And with that comes the option of filling it with some positivity. Just beautiful. Wishing you and your loved ones a joy-filled holiday season!

December 12, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

What a great post - to me it really sums up what you are all about, and what I aspire to.

December 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Just realized I forgot to answer your question!

Optimism is what I'm all about - I nearly always expect that things will work out well. Being in the moment is what I need to work on the most.

December 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- What a lovely thing to share. Thank you for your kind words of support, my friend. It's a beautful thing to have a positive expecation about life and things in general. I always say my Dad as the eternal optimist and think much of my outlook comes from him. I understand what you mean about working on being in the moment. It's all too easy to think about what will happen, what might happen or what did happen...and when we spend too much time there, it takes some joy out of the now. Wishing you all the best of joy and happiness for this holiday season...and many wonderful moments!

December 12, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Great post! I love your idea of smile therapy! I think we are so focused on getting things done we forget to smile and laugh. Thank you for all the reminders to help us stay balanced during the holidays!

December 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLiana George

This couldn't have come at a better time. I really needed to read this today! Balance is hard year round, but especially at this time of year, great post!

December 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Weigensberg

@Liana- Smiling and laughing makes such a different. We just feel better and so do those around us when we let the "happy" come out. I think you're right that sometimes we're so focused on getting things done, we forget to enjoy the fun moments. One of my favorite quotes by Anna Quindlen is, "I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."

@Allison- I'm so glad to know that this was a well-timed post for you. Take some long, deep breaths and a long exhale to go with them. I'm sure you'll find the things that work for you to bring some balance and calm back to your days. Do you have any favorite go to strategies?

December 12, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Wow, this is just what I needed. This is not going to only help me with the stress of the holidays, but my dear grandmother passed away a few days ago and you have helped me to focus on how wonderful she was and not to focus on the emotional and stressful last couple of weeks myself and my family have had. Thank you Linda.

December 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKathy McEwan

@Kathy- My deepest sympathy to you and your family over the passing of your grandmother. My heart goes out to you. It sounds like you have many beautiful memories of her that will be with you always. I hope that those lovely memories help you through your time of grief and sustain you as you continue ahead.

December 13, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I've learned for me getting a great night's rest can be a really important factor for me! When I am rested I always feel better prepared!

December 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

@Ellen- Sleep can be the great cure all. It's one of the things that helps our minds and bodies to do a reset. I'm with you that when I'm sleep deprived, nothing works as well. My mind is foggy. My decisions are poor. My emotions are wonky. Sleep and rest are essential. Thank you for the great reminder that even during this season of parties, gatherings, and usual days, getting sleep can help us be at our best and enjoy the fun of the season.

December 14, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

This post is so spot on for this time of year! And those pin images are so fun! I am not a glitzy person, but I can appreciate all the lights and sparkle for the holidays. I remember at NERCPO you sported your purple, sparkly lanyard which made me smile. :D

December 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Soboleski

@Sarah- I'm glad you like the pins from my fidgets bowl. I've noticed that when I'm out and about, I gravitate towards small objects with words or images to add to my collection. Once in the "bowl," they catch my attention and help me focus energy on a particular idea or mood. I appreciate that even though you're not into glitz, my purple, sparkly lanyard made you smile. It was great seeing you at NERCPO!

December 15, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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