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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 Better Balance This Season

What do I mean by better balance and this season? It’s the holiday season that I’m referencing, a busy, chaotic, party and shopping-heavy time of year. By better balance, think about aiming for a balance that’s right for you, good enough, and factors in the shift that happens as festivities ramp up and the year draws to a close. I encourage you to let go of perfection as an idea or pursuit. It’s not necessary and will only add to your stress and unhappiness. Instead, what ways can you create a reasonable balance that incorporates what’s most important to you and limits the “should” or “have-to” elements?


3 Ways to Find a Better Balance . . .



Let’s start with the simple “yes” and “no.” There will be invitations to parties and gatherings. There will be requests to engage in a variety of personal and professional activities. There will be things we might not want to do but will feel obligated or responsible for doing. Just remember that you always have a choice. That decision is either a yes or a no. Remember that you don’t have to say “yes” to everything unless that’s what works for you. Two acronyms come to mind: FOMO and JOMO. The first, FOMO is the fear of missing out. We sometimes say yes to something just because we don’t want to be the only ones not present. But that yes might not always serve us. The second phrase is JOMO, the joy of missing out. This encourages you to honor yourself and recognize that not doing is sometimes the option that is most beneficial. In some instances, saying “no” brings you closer to being more balanced.



Engaging in what truly brings you joy is a way of tipping your balance in a positive direction. Make sure to include as much of the “good stuff” this time of year. It might mean spending extended time with loved ones, cooking special holiday meals, throwing a gathering for friends, relaxing at home with a good book and a cozy blanket, or taking a long walk in the snow. There were so many parts of the Thanksgiving holiday that I enjoyed. Having my family around was beautiful. My heart is still full just thinking about their visit. Baking cookies together were at the top of the list of balance-inducing, joy-filled activities. Baking was something we did a lot of when our daughters were young and don't do as often now that they’re grown. Cassie, our youngest daughter, wanted to make Moravian Christmas cookies together, a recipe we baked many times when she was little (see video at end of post.) It was so much fun to cook with Cass, her boyfriend, and my husband. Measuring ingredients, stirring the mixture, rolling the dough, and cutting out shapes with the cookie cutters involved a present moment focus and mindfulness that enhanced our time together.



Better balance also comes in the form of returning to square one and revisiting the basics. Especially this time of year, a bit of tweaking can go a long way to preparing you and your home for the holidays. While you might not have the time or energy now to take on a huge organizing project, think about the smaller ones that will create better balance. How about doing a quick edit of your clothing closet or drawers? Instead of that bursting at the seams feeling, you can create some breathing room for your clothes and self. Instead of decluttering all surfaces, pick one place in a central area that when clear, will help you move through your day more efficiently and make holiday entertaining less stressful. Then there are the other types of basics like having some additional pantry (beverages, crackers, pasta, cookies, nuts, cheese, dried fruit, paper goods) items on hand for last minute entertaining and guests. There are some self-basics like getting enough sleep, exercise, and hydration. Since we’re prone to indulging during the holidays, returning to these basics is essential. One of my go-to-balance-bringing-basics is meditating daily. Routinely practicing mindfulness meditation is especially helpful during this season to create groundedness, calm, and balance.

What helps with a better balance? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!




Baking together . . .


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Reader Comments (14)

This is the first time I've heard of JOMO but I have definitely experienced it every time I've cancelled plans I wasn't to keen on. If I could just learn to say "no" right away, I'd be all set!

December 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

I've never heard of JOMO but I love the idea! We've intentionally said no to many things the last few years so that the Christmas season is not as crazy, but I've never really thought that what I'm gaining is joy. Thank you!

December 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHilda Rodgers

@Janet- JOMO is a term I heard about recently at a mindfulness conference. I LOVE that concept and puts FOMO in perspective. I know what you mean about learning to say "no" sooner than later. I continue to work on that too.

December 3, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Hilda- I'm with you and love the idea of JOMO too. While the term is also new to me (just heard it about a month ago,) according to a quick search, the acronym has been around for four plus years. I'm happy to know that you've been finding ways to make your holiday season less crazy. By doing so, you have more joy in the making. Nice.

December 3, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Balance for me begins with the start of my day. I head down to exercise in my basement first thing, and then my 'treat time' is when I come upstairs, have my breakfast, pray and read Scripture. This time is precious to me, and I almost have to make myself do it first because the temptation to hop onto my computer can be strong. I was sitting last night looking at a holiday candle and thinking how much joy I was getting just by watching the flame. That JOMO is really resonating with me. We have to say "no" sometimes. I think we undervalue the incredibly refreshing nature of simple things like baking cookies and watching candles burn in a quiet room. Doing more does not always make us happier, even if it does make for a better Instagram feed.

December 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

This post speaks to me in so many ways. I was very fortunate to be able to engage in some of that "Good Stuff" over the Thanksgiving holiday with my family at the beach. Re-entry into the holiday season here at home was jarring, but I'm finding ways to keep the good stuff going! Thanks for all of the great thoughts.

December 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSara Skillen

@Seana- It occurred to me as I was reading your comment, that discipline is part of the balance equation. Your obvious commitment to putting what's important/essential for you first only happens because you choose this day after day. I admire your ability to lean in intentionally towards what brings you joy. And your comment about appreciating the simple things instead of pursuing "better" Instagram fodder resonated with me. Just beautiful.

December 3, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Sara- Kudos to you for bringing on the "good stuff." How lovely that you got to spend time at the beach with your family. I love the water, any water, but especially the ocean. I have such happy memories from time spent there with family and friends. There's something about the movement of the waves and the feeling of the sand (not to mention the ions) that is so calming. I understand how re-entry after being away (in the vacation bubble) can be jarring. I know you'll find ways to find more "good stuff" moments.

December 3, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

This year was the first year we went to a Christmas show Thanksgiving weekend. It was so much fun and helped us get into the holiday spirit. We will do that again. It got me in the mood for the holidays. I also noticed that we had an extra week because Thanksgiving came earlier this year. I think that helped too. I don't feel as stressed to get everything done.

December 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina Quairoli

Aligning our likes/dislikes with the holiday season helps to balance it out. I think it's important to ask oneself, 'What's my Good Stuff?' Once that list is established, you can schedule those events such as holiday concerts, baking, time with family/friends and celebrate the way that works for you--guilt free. That's JOMO!

December 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Agin Murray

@Sabrina- Isn't it nice to start new traditions? It looks like you found a good one to get you in the mood for the season. How wonderful! Kudos to you for feeling relaxed and well-paced to get done what you need for the holidays.

December 3, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Stacey- I love your JOMO definition! It's like the time management story about putting the big rocks in first. I guess those big rocks are the "good stuff," and the pebbles get carefully chosen to follow.

December 3, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I admire your ability to lean in intentionally towards what brings you joy.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuper Bowl 53

@Fafa- Many thanks. I hope you lean into what brings you joy too.

December 13, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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