We are officially entering the last few weeks of the holiday season, and, for many of us, life often seems to speed up and become a little chaotic with all the things we need to do before the holidays roll around. When life gets busy, there is a common tendency to respond with a “push harder” attitude.

We assume that the harder we strive to get things done—the more stuff we cram into short periods of time—the better off we will be once the deadline rolls around.

It was around this time last year that I was in the process of writing my first book (Empowered YOUth: A Father and Son’s Journey to Conscious Living). I was on a mission to get the majority of my share of the writing finished by the end of November. I had this idea in my head that if I finished writing by then, the remaining six weeks before the January 16 deadline would be a breeze, and I could really have the time and space to enjoy the holidays.

So I set clear intentions. I created the space in my schedule, and I began to invest most of my energy into the book. Other than the speaking engagements and training sessions that were already booked, I kept everything else to a minimum. I felt that in order to go deep within and write clearly from my heart, I needed to isolate myself from other people and activities in my life.

As a result, the majority of my time was spent either writing, reflecting on what I was writing, or slowing down my mind so I could connect and write from my heart. This worked out quite well, as I accomplished all of what I had set out to do and was quite pleased with what I had written.

The challenge was, I felt drained, stagnant, and out of balance throughout the entire process. All I wanted to do was hibernate. But, I realized, what I truly was feeling was boredom.

In the process of striving to get all my writing done, I had forgotten about some of the simplest things in my life that always kept me in balance. Things like laughter, silliness, dancing, singing, and playing had disappeared almost completely from my life during this time. Most importantly, I had forgotten to have fun!

I find this to be a common trend among people in our society, especially during the holiday season.

We become so focused on what we are striving to get done, so we can create the space to have fun later on, but we forget to enjoy ourselves along the way.

I believe that in order to truly thrive in our everyday lives, we need to have fun all the time.

Because we are all unique, the things that bring each person enjoyment, laughter, and fun will be different. For me, I love to laugh, and I laugh the most when I’m hanging out and feeling free to be goofy with my amazing girlfriend and fantastic friends. I also love to dance. Movement is so healing and liberating for me, as it allows me to express myself fully, without having to speak a word. It keeps me in balance with all the writing and speaking that I do.

I also love to sing, and even though I have not quite built up the courage to belt out a tune in front of big crowds of people yet, I certainly am in high spirits when I’m humming or singing a tune in the privacy of my home or while I’m going about my daily tasks.

As I welcomed these simple, yet necessary, pleasures back into my life, everything began to change. My energy went from a two to a ten in less than a day. I was smiling so often my jaw got stiff. I felt lighter and more liberated. I was dancing and singing my way through each moment of each day. I felt ALIVE again!

I realized that my exhaustion had come not from being overworked, but, rather, under-stimulated. As soon as I welcomed the simple joys of creative expression back into my life, I felt balanced, energized, and full of love. Finding my balance allowed me not only to feel so much better about myself, but left me with way more energy to give to everyone else. The more I honored myself, the more I had to offer to others in my life.

As we approach the holidays, I encourage all of you to take a step back and ask yourself:

Are you striving or are you thriving? Are you balanced or are you too busy for balance? Are you having fun now? Or are you too busy planning, stressing, and organizing so that you can have fun later?

Take the time to get back to the simple pleasures that bring you the most fun in your life. Don’t just think about it, do it! Every day from now until the holidays, I invite you to do at least one thing each day that makes you laugh uncontrollably, smile until your face hurts, or scream with giddiness and glee!

Find your unique expression of fun and welcome it into your life every day. As you make balance a priority in this busy time of the year, you will have a lot more love to give to everyone in your life!

Happy Holidays!

Michael Eisen is an inspirational speaker, author, and the founder of the Youth Wellness Network, an organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering youth across the globe to live happier and more positive lives. After positively transforming his own life at the age of nineteen, he is now on a lifelong crusade to share with other young people the principles, strategies, and practices that gave him the strength to start living a more joyful and healthier life. Michael’s first book (Empowered YOUth: A Father and Son’s Journey to Conscious Living) is now available everywhere books are sold. To learn more about Michael and the Youth Wellness Network, visit www.youthwellnessnetwork.ca, join him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

*Photo by orangeacid.