How to manage stress during the holiday season
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays all around!
Whatever you celebrate this season, there’s one thing that’s for sure – it’s a busy time. Not only busy, but let’s face it – it can get crazy if you have kids.
Many of us parents experience take on the lion’s share of stress between late November and early January every year. The holidays begin and the kids experience a level of excitement and anticipation that puts a fine point on the need for a plan of action, if you’re going to keep sane.
And while the big day – or days – may pass, you likely have the kids at home from school during this time and they’re going a bit squirrelly. Sure, they can play with their new toys for a while, but there will come a time each day where they’ll say “I’m bored! What are we going to do now?!”
Distraction is the name of the game, and what better way to keep the kids cool than to have a planned set of activities for them before they push you off the deep end?
To that end, here are the Top 6 Tips For Keeping Your Sanity Over The Holidays:
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1) Share the Joy – We’re all in this together, right folks? That being the case, share the love and help a fellow mom or dad out over this holiday season. Set up play dates with other parents at each others houses and trade off so that you can have a bit of down time when your kids are away for a few hours. On the flip side, having friends over occupies the children and will give you a bit of breathing space during the kids’ time away from school.
2) Have a Game Plan – Plan a Family Game Night (or day) with the kids. Some of my most cherished memories of childhood are playing Scrabble or Monopoly with my family. Seems like we as a society don’t do this that much anymore. What with the advent of video games, the Internet and technology in general. Good old-fashioned Crazy Eights or a similar cards tournament with your kids will surprisingly be an activity that they will likely enjoy.
3) Movie Madness – Plan a Family Movie Night (or day) with the kids. Why not make it a marathon of two or three movies that you all enjoy to add to the experience? Tell the little ones that because it’s the holidays, they’re allowed to indulge a bit more in their TV or movie- viewing. Get some snacks, pop some popcorn and put up your feet and relax for a few hours. After all, you deserve it, mom and dad!
4) Your City is Your Oyster – Become a tourist in your own town. Many art galleries, museums and similar locales have specific holiday programs that cater to children and families. Check them out and plan to visit a couple of them while the kids are away from school. Making a day trip out of it will entertain them and tire them out (!) and keep you sane as well.
5) There are Never Too Many Cooks – Become the head chef and make your child or children your sous chefs in your quest to try out some new recipes. Like all of us, there is often not time during the school year to experiment with new dishes and recipes because, let’s face it – getting dinner on the table is an effort in and of itself. Use this extra time to plan with your kids, looking at recipe books and choosing items that may take a bit longer than usual to prepare. Making it a special family project will entice the kids, give you the opportunity to experiment and occupy your time while you’re home with the family.
6) Be a Good Sport – If you live in a colder climate, now’s a great time to take the kids out to do some winter-related activities. Skating, skiing, tobogganing and more await you and your family. If you’ve never tried a particular activity, there’s no time like the present. If you live in a warmer locale, you likely have year-round sport-related options that are open to you, so take advantage of them. Make it a plan, round up the family, get some light exercise and have a blast!
The holidays don’t have to fill you with stress and dread. Follow these tips and enjoy this very special time of the year.
What are your plans and tips for keeping the kids sane over the holidays?
VIDEO: Tips For Keeping Your Sanity Over The Holidays