During this time of year it’s easy to forgo the bliss and joy of the season and instead become overwhelmed with the stress, chaos, and endless to-do lists. So, with five days left before Christmas, our gift to you is some practical advice on how to stay sane and healthy during the holidays. We tapped the wonderful women of the Women’s Voices family and asked them to give us their tried and true blueprints for navigating the holiday season. Here, they share with us the beauty of pressing “pause,” saying “no,” modeling imperfection, creating time and space for reflection, being selective, keeping it short and sweet, and of course, making lists! 



I allow myself to say “NO” more often without any guilt or ‘shoulds’ attached. I model imperfection to my children by repeating a mantra often: “We can’t do everything.”  Above all, I try to remain grateful for all of my blessings and I focus on the things that really matter: Health, Love, Family, and Friends. I am truly fortunate. Everything else is the cherry on top!”

Paige Morrow Kimball | Director, Ending Up  x Related: Women of Reinvention: Paige Morrow Kimball


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I always cook every Christmas and I always keep up the traditions—the Christmas tree, the wreath, the candles that smell like pine. Then I invite my friends and family to come by to share and reflect about their year. It’s also important for me to create that reflection time for myself. I take as many quiet moments as I can so that I don’t get overwhelmed. It’s important that I balance the time for others with time for myself.”

Cherokee Black | Model, Sister, Caretaker

Related: Women of Reinvention: Cherokee Black




“Because I cannot attend all of the events and parties that I am invited to, I allow myself to be very selective. I try to spend time with the people who are most important to me, and I cut out all unnecessary obligations. My focus is on getting into the holiday spirit, not running from party to party or store to store. I drink a lot of Christmas tea, listen to traditional Christmas music, and I always watch Ingmar Bergman’s film Fanny and Alexander.”

Suzanne Russell | American artist living in Copenhagen, Denmark

Related: Suzanne Russell Art Reviews & Interviews 



KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET XX “I stay sane during the holidays by only staying a short time at most social festivities. In and out. Happy to be there, then out before ‘anything’ happens. I stay healthy by . . .well, alcohol has medicinal properties, right?” XX Eleanore Wells | Author | ‘The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons For Living Happily Single and Child-free. x

Related: Eleanore Wells Dating and Lifestyle Articles 



MAKE LISTS “My favorite attempt at staying healthy during this busy holiday season is to make sure I always have several Herban Essentials towelettes in my bag. Available in several wonderful scents, they are made with 100% pure essential oils, making them naturally antibacterial and antiseptic. As for staying sane—lists, lists and more lists are my answer to everything. Thank goodness for the microphone feature on my iPhone, which is a savior for recording last-minute reminders!” x Stacey Bewekes | Author/Blogger | Quintessence: Living Well with Style and Substance. x Related: Stacey Bewkes on Fashion  

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  • maxwell o September 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Most people are not healthy by chance. It takes planning. You have to be conscious of your choices.

    Thanks for posting and sharing this information – great tips

    Max :)>

  • APS December 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Just Look on the Bright Side! http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/its-12-21-12-did-the-world-end/

  • Toni Myers December 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Thank you, Stacey B., for recommending Herban Essentials Towelettes. The site is closed for the holidays, so I ordered some via Amazon. Free shipping and they arrive by Dec. 24. Wonderful gift idea.

  • Diane Dettmann December 20, 2012 at 9:37 am

    During the six years after my loving husband passed away, I put up a tree every year, not sure why. The decorated tree without people to share the glowing pine with or any gifts under its boughs became more a symbol of loss and loneliness than joy and celebration.

    This year the house is “treeless”. Instead of spending endless hours stringing lights and hanging ornaments, I scattered a few special decorations around the house—reminders of loved ones past and present. Without the stress of elaborate decorating, baking, and cleaning, I now have time to reflect on the season, relax and focus on sharing my time and energy with those I love. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!

    Author of Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow’s Story of Love, Loss and Renewal http://outskirtspress.com/snowangels