Ready or not…here they come! The holidays are right around the corner and we all know the stress that they can bring for adults and kids alike. Your kids will be home from school for two weeks and you need time to cook, clean, and shop till you drop! First comes Thanksgiving…then Hanukah…then Christmas…and before you know it’s New Year’s Eve! It all happens so quickly and can leave us in a whirlwind. Is all this hustle and bustle worth it?
Whether its overspending, overindulging, or overscheduling, our holiday habits can take a toll. Plus, the days are colder and darker. It’s not uncommon to feel stressed out, anxious, or depressed during this time of year. Unfortunately our kids tend to soak our negative emotions like a sponge. This year you can manage the level of stress in your household with some of these tips:
- Prepare: Give your family an idea of the scheduled activities as much in advance as possible. Offer reminders of the people that will be at various family gatherings. For shy kids or those who have difficulty with changes in schedules, allow them to ask questions and role play new situations with unfamiliar people as a way to build confidence.
- Rest, Move, and Nourish: This time of year we tend to be busy and miss our opportunities for restful sleep. Since it’s cold outside, we are more likely to sit around where it’s cozy instead of getting up and moving. Plus there is temptingly delicious junk food all around us. Be aware of these energy-zapping practices and try to stick with your typical healthy routines more often than not.
- Discuss: Remind your family why we celebrate holidays. The reasons will be different for each individual household. Some might include religion, family time, expressing love and gratitude, rejuvenation, etc. Think about what is important for you and make it know to your family members. This will inspire a sense of hope and purpose.
- Create: Cherished experiences can build memories that lead to family traditions. Incorporate established family traditions and create new ones. Kids tend to look forward to these traditions for a sense of comfort and familiarity. Remember that there are no rules or boundaries. If you want to eat grilled cheese sandwiches for Thanksgiving or wear PJs all day on Christmas, go for it!
- Laugh: Nothing ever goes exactly according to plan and people make mistakes. So expect the unexpected and then just laugh it off.