The holiday season can be fun and joyous as many of us get into the spirit and festivities. However, it can also be stressful for a lot of families, especially as you seek time to finish your holiday shopping, prepare for gatherings, fulfill social demands, and deal with changes in routines. We have some tips on how you and your family can manage and reduce the overwhelm and be able to enjoy the holidays.
Maintain your family’s routine as much as possible.
Your kids might want to stay up late on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Dinner might start an hour later than usual when you have guests over for a gathering. While it’s normal for schedules to fall out of sync on holidays, try to maintain your family’s typical routine on the days surrounding the holidays as much as you can. Make sure your kids are getting adequate sleep and eating well. Staying up late for New Year’s is fine but it’s important that your kids don’t fall into a new sleep pattern where they’re going to bed later than usual and waking up late. This can make returning to school after winter vacation more challenging.
Enlist your children’s help.
As a parent or caregiver, you probably have a lot on your plate. And preparing holiday dinners and gatherings can quickly make everything more stressful and exhausting. Your kids can pick up on that energy too and it can interfere with their own well-being. Try enlisting your children’s help in holiday tasks and preparations. Not only will that alleviate some of the workload on your end, but it will also be a fun way to engage the family in the holiday spirit. Playing music while decorating cookies or hanging up decorations together as a family can become fun activities and ease the stress of getting things done.
Set realistic expectations and learn to say no.
You don’t have to say yes to everything! If a party invitation is just one too many, it’s okay to say no. There’s a lot that goes on during the holidays, including parties and get-togethers. Be realistic with your schedule about what you can attend and what you can’t.
Follow health precautions to prevent illness.
Respiratory viruses like RSV, the flu, Covid-19, and the common cold have been spreading this holiday season and cases have been rising. Your child becoming sick can make the holidays more stressful. Ensure that your family is taking precautions, including regular hand-washing, disinfecting surfaces and objects, distancing from people who are sick, and wearing masks in high-risk spaces.
Don’t forget to unwind.
You might have a long to-do list, but always make time to unwind during the busyness. Doing so will give your family a break, time to relax and de-stress, and some peace. Down time can be sipping cocoa while watching a holiday movie or reading your kids a book.
It’s also good to check in on how your kids are doing. Holiday stress can sometimes affect children’s anxiety and mental health. Show them your support so that they feel comfortable opening up, which will allow you to be able to help them. And remember, we are also here for your family. Call our office if you need to reach us.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season!