Tips For Coping With The Holidays

Dec 8, 2021 | Individual, Family

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Holidays Coping Title

The holidays are a very exciting time, however, they can also be stressful. Traveling, large groups, change in routine, the list goes on. The last thing anyone wants is a meltdown at a big family gathering. Below is a list of helpful suggestions to make the best of your holiday season and allow the good times to outweigh the bad. Planning ahead can go a long way to help prevent hiccups.

Be kind to yourself.
The holidays are a very exciting time, however, they can also be stressful. Traveling, large groups, change in routine, the list goes on. The last thing anyone wants is a meltdown at a big family gathering. Below is a list of helpful suggestions to make the best of your holiday season and allow the good times to outweigh the bad. Planning ahead can go a long way to help prevent hiccups.

Set the stage.
You are the role model and your behavior is what your children will model, so lead by example. If they see you stressed out, they will feed on that and the tension in the house will explode. If the kids see that you are calm, cool, controlled and reasonably stress-free, their attitude and actions will follow. Like most things, kids take their cues from. Show them that you’ve got everything under control and they will follow suit. 

Don’t blame – make a plan.
It is easy to blame a family member for a less-than wonderful holiday experience. Create a plan that works for you and your family, and try and carve out time and activities that lift you up. It might include going to your place of worship, calling a friend when you’re having a moment, working out, or making a special dish from your childhood. Whatever it is, find something that makes you feel good. 

Create a plan of action for your family.
When you are making a plan, consider what you have control over. Parents cannot predict every detail of every day…we are only human. Do your best to help the family sequence how the day will flow. Discuss the expectations of the day and be firm. Also, role-play ways to “ask for a break” if needed (coming up with a code-word can be very helpful). You may even come up with a distinct location of a safe place where the break can take place. Again, be firm and realistic when to ask for a break, how long it will last, and what follows the break. 

Get creative and ask for help.
Cooking, cleaning and shopping on top of regular parenting and household duties is a lot for anyone to bear. You are only one person and can only do so much, so be realistic and give yourself a break. Have activities for your kids planned in advance in order to keep them busy. These can include playdates with other kids, movie and game nights with the family, and day trips within your town. Also, ask for help whenever possible. Take advantage of relatives visiting that have been anxiously waiting to spend time with the kids. Take them up on their offer, guilt-free, and use the time to catch up on your to-do list. Now is the time to take up friends and family on their offers of support. 

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