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managing holiday stress

Managing Holiday Stress for Families

While the holidays have the power to bring some of the most joyful times in your life, they can also cause a great deal of stress. This stress can stem from many situations, such as family disagreements, scheduling conflicts, and money issues. One in five parents say their stress level ruins the holidays for their kids, according to a C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital national poll. We want to think of the holidays as joyful, but they can also be a challenging time for many families. How can you celebrate the season without becoming overwhelmed? Try these tips for making the holidays more peaceful for you and your family.

Setting Reasonable Expectations

Are you trying to keep up with Martha Stewart and Instagram stars? Your kids may not even notice if you serve fewer side dishes and quit wearing matching outfits they’ll outgrow by next year. Try these techniques:

  • Clarify priorities. Be selective about which activities and events you take part in. Ask yourself what gives your family the most joy. Give your kids options to choose from. 
  •  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. 
  •  Stick to your budget. Spend only what you can afford, so you won’t have to start the New Year deep in debt. That might mean shortening your gift list or saving money ahead of time for holiday expenses.
  • Take time off. If possible, request a day or two of leave time to help you squeeze additional commitments into your schedule. Use the time to get organized and work on lengthier projects.
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Photo by Cottonbro Studio from Pexels

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:

  • Limit sweets. Enjoy your favorite holiday treats without going overboard. Watch your portion sizes and eat a balanced diet the rest of the day. 
  •  Drink responsibly. Parties and stress can lead to consuming more alcohol than you intended. Make a plan and write it down, like allowing yourself a maximum of 2 cocktails a night. 
  •  Be active. You might not have much time to visit the gym and take fitness classes. Try taking your kids ice skating or snowshoeing. Wake up early and exercise at home while they’re still asleep. 
  •  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.

Cultivating Social Connections Your favorite holiday memories probably have more to do with your family and friends, rather than any expensive gifts.

Strategies to show your love and appreciation:

  • Bond with loved ones. Focus on spending time with each other. Engage in long conversations. Bake cookies and play board games. Enjoy movie nights at home and evenings out to watch festive light displays. 
  •  Reach out to neighbors. Build a sense of community. Join your neighbors to organize events like caroling nights, gift exchanges, and decorating contests. Take turns babysitting and driving. 
  •  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 money and toys. 
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Image by Van3ssa 🩺 Zheki 🙏 Dany 🎹 from Pixabay

Make the holidays more fun and meaningful for you and your family this year.

Reduce seasonal stress by simplifying your schedule and taking care of your wellbeing. With careful planning and a little optimism, you can have a great holiday season that you’ll remember fondly for years to come. Make this holiday season the least stressful you’ve ever had.

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Author

  • Angel Lewis

    A bit about me. I was born and raised in rural North Carolina, and currently call Virginia home. My passion for writing was awakened while attending Guilford College (Greensboro, NC). In 2021, I published my first book 'My Self-Care Plan: 12 Monthly Strategies That Will Transform Your Life'. It inspires readers to make self-care a priority during the next 12 months so that they can live their best life possible. The spring of 2022 saw the release of 'Ready. Set. Fly!' my debut children’s book that encourages self-belief and perseverance.

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5 thoughts on “Managing Holiday Stress for Families

  1. What a great article. It definitely gives the feel-good factor of family and the holidays. Honestly, as you have mentioned, it really is the good memories that help to reduce the stress and enjoy the season. Thanks for sharing!

  2. These are really excellent suggestions Angel. It’s easier to fall into a trap of striving for the idyllic Christmas. Making reasonable expectations is definitely key. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for sharing all these ways to deal with stress during the holidays. It definitely is a stressful time of the year for sure!

  4. The holidays can definitely be stressful, and these are great tips for managing stress. It is good to have reasonable expectations because you can feel like you have to go overboard due to it being the holidays, but that’s not the case.

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