Managing Holiday Stress for You and Your Family
Managing Holiday Stress
It’s time to ring in another holiday season. For many families that means an increased sense of family demands and responsibilities, which typically involves sending out cards, going shopping, baking all kinds of goodies, putting up the decorations, and traveling here and there to visit family and friends. While children typically get very excited around this time of year, they can also feel stressed when seeing their parents running around frantically doing all of these tasks.
To help manage the overwhelming feelings associated with the holidays and enjoy time with your family, here are some suggestions to keep the holidays manageable and fun for everyone:
Be upfront and express to your family how their contributions can help alleviate much of the stress associated with preparing for the holidays. Your significant other, children, other family members and friends are not mind readers so don’t be afraid to have an open conversation about what is realistic for spending on gifts and how many invitations you accept for parties.
Get Everyone Involved
Instead of trying to take on all of the holiday responsibilities yourself, identify tasks that you can assign to your significant other and/or your children. This is a great way to get everyone involved in preparing for the holidays. Depending on their age, you can allow your children to help wrap presents, participate in holiday baking, put up decorations, and clean the house in gearing up for the festivities. This teaches them that the holiday season is about both giving and receiving and doing things together as a family.
Breaking routines often results in an increase in stress for a child. During this time, children are often taken out shopping and attending more family “get-togethers”. This means they are probably eating more sugar holiday treats. Additionally, you may be getting home later than usual and the kids are getting less sleep. Try and plan at least one healthy meal a day and keep your child on a regular schedule for going to bed. A well rested child will be much happier and healthier when you do take those trips to the store or go over a friend or family member’s house. If you are traveling a distance for the holidays, bring a touch of home with you to help your child feel more at ease.
“All is calm, all is bright…” – Joseph Mohr (Austrian lyricist, “Silent Night”)
Take Care of Yourself
By incorporating the above tips into practice this holiday season, you should, by default, have more time to rest and relax. The less stress you are feeling, the more relaxed your children and entire family will be. Don’t forget that laughter is the best medicine for stress. Engage in different fun-filled family activities to keep you and your family healthy and happy, such as:
- watching a television show or movie together,
- playing a game as a family,
- telling funny stories.
Schedule some time to also get some regular physical activity in, such as:
- taking a family walk,
- building snowmen,
- going sledding,
- having a snowball fight.
Related: Holiday Stress: 5 Ways to Reduce It
Ring in a New Life-Transforming Program for the New Year
This program will help guide you toward your highest mission and purpose on this planet (see ad for more details).
Douglas Haddad, is an award-winning educator and best-selling author. You can go online or to a local bookstore and order his new book The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens: Strategies for Unlocking Your Child’s Full Potential. Visit: www.douglashaddad.com and pick up a free PDF copy of The WHOLE LOTTA LIVING Guide for You and Your Family.
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This post originally appeared on our November/December 2017 Magazine