Doug and Lynn Nodland

Doug and Lynn Nodland

Are you ready for the holidays or are you feeling overwhelmed?

This year has been different in many ways. One thing we are realizing is that the most important thing is being able to be with people you care about. Last year it was more difficult to do that. This year things have eased up a bit making it easier to get together. There are other potential problems such as supply chain issues, however we can still have a meaningful holiday season in spite of those inconveniences.

Recently we were on calls and virtual meetings with other business owners. The predominant theme heard during those calls was that of overwhelm. There were discussions on how to finish the year strong, how to put plans into place to get next year off to a fast start, how to maintain some sense of harmony between work life and personal life, and so on. At times people even fantasized what it would be like to give it all up and go live on a beach somewhere! Whew! It can seem daunting to just keep some semblance of sanity in a fast-paced world.

Much of what we heard dealt with doing. Having to do this, having to do that. The irony is that this is the season that is calling us to be, not just do. Be present with our family, be present with our friends, yes, even be present with ourselves. After all, we are human beings, so let’s make time to be.

Yes, we understand it doesn’t have to be either/or. We all have responsibilities. The goal is to find that delicate balance between the two dynamics of doing and being. The danger can exist in always doing now, thinking that when we reach a certain point of accomplishment, then we can be. We’ve all heard stories of lives being cut short because of illness or accident where they never took the opportunity to truly live life because they were always busy doing. A life of constant doing, devoid of being, can contribute to overwhelm.

To beat the stress of overwhelm, here are some ideas from Mayo Clinic. They suggest acknowledging that holidays may be a difficult time, especially if you have lost a loved one or there is discord in relationships. Have realistic expectations, set aside differences and get professional help if needed. Of course, have a budget so you won’t end up overspending. They also see the value of planning ahead and having periods of quiet time to regroup.

We like this simple saying from Lily Tomlin, “For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” In contrast to being overwhelmed, we received an email from a friend who shared his feelings of joy about this holiday season. He said, “My heart once again overflows. Where do those tears of deepest joy come from? Why am I moved so much?” He shared how he and his wife “… love the music this time of the year and all the old Christmas movies which we try to see every year. Life is still great and filled with joy and happiness.”

You would think from his description that all of life is perfect. In fact, he and his wife have both experienced some serious health concerns. Yet, they focus on being in the present and enjoying life to the fullest. They are prime examples of being overjoyed, not overwhelmed during the holiday season.

What are some of the things you could be doing to feel joy instead of overwhelm? Some things could include attending holiday events, enjoying time with family and connecting with old friends. It’s also a time when we feel more like kids. It’s fun pulling out our favorite decorations and filling the home with sparkling lights. Even though that involves some doing, it also involves being because it could remind you of the joy you experienced in years past.

What about you? Are you feeling overwhelmed or overjoyed?

Some ideas: We’ve shared ways to feel overjoyed and not overwhelmed. Allow yourself to be realistic about what’s truly important to you, what isn’t, and when to say no. To feel overjoyed, we encourage you to do what brings you joy — then bring that joy to the world.

Chanhassen residents Doug and Lynn Nodland are success coaches and owners of The Balance Center. Doug and Lynn can be contacted at More information and videos at