Managing Holiday Stress

Keep the “happy” in Happy Holidays! 

It’s that time of year for parties, decorations, baking and gifts. As wonderful this time of year is, the holidays can be hectic, overwhelming and stressful.

Here are some suggestions to help you through this season:

  • Be realistic.  Decide what you value most about the holidays and plan time for those activities that are important to you. Be sure to include your children in the planning and preparation
  • Maintain routines.  Keep schedules for your children’s naps, bedtimes and meals. At the same time, talk with your kids about what to expect if you travel or have company.
  • Enlist your whole family to get holiday tasks done.  Children can help with the cleaning, baking, decorating and gift wrapping. 
  • Discuss realistic gift giving and receiving expectations.  Often the most treasured gifts are those that require more thought than money.  Keep gifts age-appropriate and simple.  Some suggestions:  Handmade gifts, baked goods or cards. Exchange handmade certificates redeemable for baby sitting, breakfast in bed, back rubs, or a trip to the library with Mom or Dad.
  • Focus on maintaining valued family traditions or creating new ones. Holiday traditions are an important part of the season. Sharing religious or family rituals will give meaning to holidays and instill in children a sense of identity and pride in their heritage.
  • Create family memories.  Together, watch a favorite holiday TV show; sing songs and read holiday stories.
  • Take time for yourself.  Try to exercise regularly, eat healthfully. And, just as important, spend some time alone. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to really enjoy the holidays with those you love.