Guest Post by Grace Hodgin

My husband and I have a fun and loving marriage but it is a relationship that we have had to work on through trial and error. Having different areas of interest and starting a new business keeps us busy and not always at home at the same time.

We established some rules and routines to keep our relationship happy as well as keeping us physically fit. Now that the holidays are coming we are depending on these routines to keep us grounded so we don’t suffer from the holiday stress.


Establishing an exercise routine and maintaining it before the holidays come I think was a smart plan.

I set my yoga routine at the same time every morning before the day begins so I do not become occupied with the tasks on my to do list. Yoga is not only good for my physical health and keeping my body toned but also it seems to bring me peace of mind as well.

Exercise releases endorphins which also works with the receptors in the brain. Endorphins help create more positive feelings towards life and also helps to make one feel energetic. There are so many great yoga DVD’s and programs on the television that can keep an exercise routine different so it never needs to become boring.

I think there is a great value of starting an exercise regime and making it a solid routine before the holidays. Often the holidays brings on stress and depression so keeping our endorphins active seems like a positive step in avoiding the pressures and depression that can creep up on us during the holidays. After yoga I meditate and then make a list of things that is important for me to accomplish during the day.

blessed element pic“I begin my new day with a shower, then a cup of hot tea and breakfast. My work day begins energized and calmly knowing what I want to accomplish.”

Staying Balanced

I found keeping a reminder visible is a great way to double check myself to make sure I’m staying balanced. I have a small flamingo replica near my computer so I can mentally ask myself if I’m staying balanced and keeping everything in check.

One day I got off my routine because of a phone call that ate into my yoga and meditation time. Skipping breakfast I went to my computer and saw that my flamingo was gone. Looking around I found it had fallen on the floor and took that as a sign to go eat breakfast and begin my day the way it was suppose to start. I was already off balance and the day had not even really started. Those visual reminders really do work!

Making Time For Each Other

On my husband’s days off I make sure I exercise and meditate before he wakes up. We spend some time talking and establishing things we want to do and take care of in our life and for our home once a week in the morning. We have also found that a great activity for us to keep our relationship happy and health is to plan a date once a month to the movies and out to eat. We also make sure we invite family members over for a meal at least every other month. Getting together with like minded people we enjoy seems to bring us together closer as a couple.

Planning and Discussing Finances

We discuss gift buying ideas for the holidays and set a limit on the total amount we feel is healthy for our bank account. Getting carried away with the holiday spirit and all those great sales can really be mentally and financially exhausting when the holidays are over. We create a clear plan we both agree on for financial purchases though out the year and especially during the holidays.

Communication and taking the time to discuss our thoughts and feelings without the other one getting defensive has helped our relationship immensely. In the past it has been easy to get busy and by pass our morning talks but we have found that making it a rule we both abide by has really kept us on track in creating and sustaining routines to keep us balanced and healthy.

Rohn and Grace HodginArt instructor, writer and nature lover, Grace Hodgin believes that each moment is an opportunity to inspire imagination and nurture creativity. A resident of the Ocala National Forest, she can often be found sculpting clay wth her husband or enjoying a good book in the company of her senegal parrot. Connect with Grace daily on her personal blog,


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Comments (25)

  1. Amanda Alvarado


    We make sure to set aside time for just us weekly. It can be watching a movie or just sitting and talking but we are together. With my work schedule, it gets hectic sometimes and that time together balances everything out!

  2. Danielle K


    It’s definitely hard to set aside time when you’re busy, but my husband and I always make sure to set aside one night a week just for us. We turn off the phones and just hang out together – it’s a nice way to stay connected with each other.

  3. Kayte CookWatts


    Discussing finances is a good one! We do that at least weekly. We also set aside time to talk about our specific goals for our relationship, even if it’s just checking in to say things are fine. This makes it “safe” to discuss concerns, instead of just sweeping it under the rug.

  4. Reply

    Time is definitely something I always ensure and figuring out how much we will spend for finances. I must ask you mention drinking tea. What type do you start your day with? My schedule is hectic first thing in the morning and then once the kids start coming home. My issue is managing the time and still trying to be healthy running after a toddler.

  5. Reply

    Focusing on the now helps me stay healthy and keep my life balanced. I try my best to not worry about the past or what’s on the agenda for tomorrow, etc. Oh, and it also helps to have some tea 🙂

  6. Vilma Pacheco


    During these hectic times I make it a must to cook balanced meals and have dinner with the family at least four times per week without cell phones around and the television off. We have to interact with each other to keep the communication alive.

  7. Mary Bearden


    I love reading and when I feel stressed, I just stop everything and grab a book, a cup of tea and maybe a small protein snack and just read until I feel calmer.

    I mostly read fantasy type books because they have nothing to do with real life and it makes it easier to escape. I think everyone needs that one place or thing that they can rely on to help them get calm. Doesn’t matter what it is just as long as it works for you.

  8. Nicole


    I have a wonderful tea blend that is called ‘Anti-Stress Tea’ – it is wonderful, full of lemongrass, leaves & berries. As an extra way to keep my immune system protected particularly in the Autumn & Winter months is a spoonful of organic raw honey. When I feel stressed I just brew a pot of this tea, take deep breaths in through my nose while smelling this beautiful mix, I imagine myself, family & friends in a bubble of white light above a calm ocean. As you breath in the fragrance of the tea and honey you can feel your body relax, your mind unwind and you are able to re-focus yourself. Total bliss and sometimes just a good excuse to have the perfect tea moment!!

  9. Rachael


    If in a relationship, make sure to have at least one thing you love doing that is just your thing, so you have some alone time to recharge away from any family issues and really spread your wings. Also, make sure to have at least one thing that you *both* love doing that you do together, it builds on all facets of the relationship and makes sure you have time to connect even when life gets hectic.

  10. Melinda L.


    Schedule in workout time, that way you will have no excuse not to complete that daily workout.



    We spend time together outside- no matter the weather – a nice walk or a game in the back yard – helps us all keep moving.

  12. Rachael


    Remember to keep breathing, lol. Often chronic stress, irritation, etc. cause us to breathe shallowly. Not only do a few slow deep breaths calm us and give our body more of what it needs, but it’s a chance to take a brief pause, look around, and literally come up for air 😉

  13. leslie twining


    I like to make lists – that way I feel like my thoughts/tasks are organized and in from of me and I am less stressed. It also feels great to erase things from that list. I also set a daily time limit for the end of my day. If it hasn’t gotten done by that time, it is for tomorrow. That way I always finish up my day with some ‘me’ time or ‘us’ time

  14. Valarie Lee Gentry


    A tip that helps my daughter and I to stay healthy and balanced when life is busy is to remember to stay hydrated and take a moment every day to just breathe and enjoy being alive!

  15. Dawn


    I take time to enjoy the new rescue kitty in my life. His soothing purrs are so calming as I close my eyes and just enjoy the moment of now.

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