Tips For Parents On Managing Holiday Stress
Wondering how you can cope with holiday stress?
Managing holiday stress seems inevitable—that whirlwind of holiday parties, gift-giving, and activities galore that begins right after Halloween, builds to Thanksgiving, and continues to gain momentum through the end of the year.
Adults know that the holidays are stressful, often bringing unwelcome guests—stress and depression. According to a C.S. survey, one in five parents claim that their stress levels ruin the holidays for their children. We want to think of the holidays as joyful, but they can also be a challenging time for many families.
The holidays often present a dizzying array of demands. We can observe that each year: the TV commercials seem to begin earlier, and the price of toys increases. Between writing greeting cards, buying gifts, buying new clothes, and spending a lot of money on extravagant foods, the holidays can cause financial woes.
This is one type of stress a parent like you can encounter during the holidays, but this season can be an anxious and stressful time for kids too.
How can you celebrate the season without becoming overwhelmed?
Try these practical tips for making the holidays more peaceful for you and your family.
Have Realistic Expectations
The holidays don’t have to be perfect. As families change and grow, traditions often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones.
For example, your kids may not even notice if you serve fewer side dishes and quit wearing matching outfits they’ll outgrow by next year. Even though your holiday plans may look different this year, you can find ways to celebrate.
Try these techniques:
1. Set Priorities Clearly
Pick and choose the activities and events you participate in. Don’t get overwhelmed by too many activities. It is important to decide which activity offers the most positive impact and brings the most happiness to your family.
- Try to give your children a range of possibilities.
- Discuss special plans with kids so they know what to expect.
2. Share Responsibilities
Help your family work together as a team. Share the load with your partner. Assign age-appropriate jobs to each child and put them in charge of their own areas.
3. Follow Your Budget Plan
Spend only what you can afford, so you won’t have to start the New Year deep in debt. Before you buy your gifts, go food shopping, and take a vacation, decide how much money you can afford to spend.
- Save money ahead of time for your holiday expenses.
- Try to find alternatives, like giving homemade gifts or starting a family gift exchange.
Practicing Seasonal Self-Care
There’s a tendency to abandon healthy habits during the holidays. However, protecting your mental and physical health will make your life easier.
Use these strategies to help protect your health during the Holidays:
1. Be Smart With Holiday Eating
Enjoy your favorite holiday food and treats without going overboard. Watch your portion sizes and eat a balanced diet the rest of the day. Avoid eating too many sweets.
- This year, plan ahead to have some healthy food at hand for each meal, be aware of your intake, and engage in mindful eating.
2. Be Active.
You might not have much time to visit the gym and take part in fitness activities. Try taking your kids ice skating or snowshoeing. Wake up early and exercise at home while they’re still asleep.
3. Maintain Routines
Do you relax the rules about bedtimes, snacks, and watching TV when school is out? A consistent schedule may help your family stay nourished and rested.
- Limit using technology because screen time reduces time for the physical activity that helps children stay healthy and reduces stress.
Cultivating Social Connections
Your favorite holiday memories probably have more to do with your family and friends, rather than any expensive gifts.
Show your love and appreciation with these strategies:
1. Bond With Loved Ones
Focus on spending time with each other. Engage in long conversations and worthwhile activities like baking cookies or playing board games. You can also enjoy movie nights at home and evenings out to watch festive light displays.
2. Build a Sense of Community
Reach out and join your neighbors to organize events like caroling nights, gift exchanges, and decorating contests. Take turns babysitting and driving.
3. Help Those in Need
Talk with your kids about volunteering and philanthropy. Sign up for a shift at your local food bank or animal shelter. Donate food, money, and toys.
4. Cope With Loss
Many families have been affected by the pandemic. Adjust your hopes and expectations if this year is different for you. If you’re struggling with grief, depression, and anxiety, you can support each other and consider counseling.
Holiday activities bring joy, fun, and meaningful memories to both children and adults. Don’t let the hustle and bustle ruin your time with your children, family, and friends.
Slow it down. After all, these occasions only happen once a year. We sincerely wish you an enjoyable and stress-free holiday.
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Did you find this helpful? Check out our other parenting blog posts at the Confident Voice Studio blog.