The holidays are a time to celebrate with family. But it can also be stressful when you’re trying to juggle your relatives’ expectations, traditions, and preferences. Here are five ways to relieve stress so you can enjoy the season:
1. Rethink your expectations
You may want your family to be perfect and for everything to go smoothly, but that’s not always the case. Don’t expect your family members to behave exactly like you want them to. And if something does go wrong, don’t let it ruin your holiday!
Kids can struggle with the holiday stress just like adult do. Between being out of their routine, staying up late, being around a lot of people, and possible eating too much sugar, this can be a combination for a behavioral meltdown. Be gentle with yourself and with your children, understand that their behaviors aren’t because they are unappreciative, they may be due to the combination of factors previously mentioned. Gentle parenting techniques may help you to manage your child’s behavior in a productive way.
2. Make a plan
Planning ahead can help to alleviate holiday stress. Some things you may want to consider:
- Who will take care of the kids during a holiday gathering? Who will ensure they get fed and get to bed on time? Who will manage behaviors if they arise. You may want to designate one parent as the one who will take care of the kids during holiday events, or you may want to take turns.
- How will you handle family traditions? It can be stressful when parents, kids, and extended family have different ideas about how to holidays will go. Be sure to communicate expectations with your family. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
- It’s best if everyone knows exactly what they’re expected to do and has input into the holiday schedule.
3. Take a deep breath
You are doing your best and your kids will have a more relaxed holiday, the more relaxed you are. Simply breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth as you allow your lungs to fill to capacity, then relax again. This deep breathing technique can help you relieve the stress and anxiety you might be experiencing during the holidays.
The holidays are a stressful time for everyone, but with a little planning and forethought, you can make it easier on yourself and your family. The key is to keep your expectations realistic and know who will handle what responsibilities so that there are limited surprises. If holiday stress is affecting to your children, a Mindhues therapist can help you and your child discover how to manage holiday stress. Contact us today to get started.