Balance can mean a lot of different things. When I think of being balanced in terms of my life I think "not feeling INSANE."
What makes me feel 'not insane' might be different from what makes YOU feel 'not insane'.
For me: exercise and a plan = sanity! And exercise as I like to do it would likely be defined as INSANE by a large majority of the population. Or so it seems when I talk to people about what I'm doing. I do have to scale back my desired amount of exercise to fit in, well, life sometimes. This is why the whole endurance thing works for me. I like to be WORKED over! I like to run for more than an hour - hell it takes me an hour just to warm up - I like to do multiple workouts in a day.
This gets me in trouble sometimes... I tend to NOT take a break and burn myself out. So there is where I need to discover my BALANCE!
So the truth in HOW I stay balanced through the holidays is to HAVE A PLAN. Not a plan on how to execute parties, or gifts, or decorations... a PLAN for my WORKOUTS!
A training Plan!
The past two years I have trained for a marathon over the winter and I've got to say that they were likely my MOST SANE winters yet. I told myself I was not going to train for a marathon this year because, frankly, I'm a little burnt come spring/summer season when I'm supposed to be training hard for triathlon, but when push came to shove.. I was NOT SANE (aka BALANCED) not running.
An EPIC (to be announced soon) opportunity was pretty much dropped in my lap ... it involves copious amounts of running... and I JUMPED at it. Guess what... I now feel sane. Despite all the BS I've been dealing w/ lately (yea, that non-holiday people dying, back surgeries, tooth aches.. etc etc stuff)
I feel SANE and BALANCED.
Does that make my last, somewhat canned, post total BS!? No... I do those things too, but my workouts are a bit more, um, extreme and mandatory. Did you SEE that word? MANDATORY! Because I am TRAINING for something. I'm not just going to the gym to work off the gingerbread man cookies I gorged on last night. I'm running, lifting, stretching for a PURPOSE that means something bigger than gingerbread men to me. (Side note: this training thing tends to keep me out of the gingerbread man binge.... but allows for me to endulge in one w/o my pants button flying across the room.)
So here we come back to something I've discussed before. Your WHY! Perhaps you don't TRAIN for EVENTS, but you are a certifiable gym rat. What's your WHY... beyond the gingerbread man. And make a PLAN... to progress to lifting heavier weights (or lifting at all), doing more reps, doing a big girl push up, doing a pull up. Have a GOAL! This is what will get you to the gym and keep you FOCUSED and BALANCED over the holidays! (and during any high stress time in your life)
Okay. I feel better now. Having given you the 'standard' speel and my REAL speel. Find your WHY... Holiday or not and the balance will come.
And while that other stuff is important - for me - the workout is the MOST important in keeping me BALANCED/SANE!
Okay... off to RUN!