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.
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.
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.
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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