5 Key Tips For Parents On Managing Holiday Stress

The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, but parents generally find themselves dealing with particularly high levels of stress during this time of the year. Juggling holiday activities, events, programs, traveling, meal-planning, and trying to obtain gifts for your kids can all be a lot to manage. However, it is possible to manage holiday stress in a manner that allows you to do the things you need to while still enjoying the holiday season. The following outlines 5 tips to help parents manage stress during the holidays. 

Self-Care: Although the holidays are a time to show love and care to others, there is no way you can effectively do so if you are not well. Carving out time to care for yourself is a vital part of managing holiday stress. Stress care does not have to be elaborate (though it can be if that is what you like). Self-care can be as simple as spending time outdoors, taking a nap, or engaging in yoga or meditation practice. The goal is to do something that brings you some measure of peace and joy so that you are able to reset yourself and better cope with stress in your life. 

Ask for Help: A large part of the stress parents experience during the holidays comes from trying to juggle so many things at one time. There is often an unrealistic expectation parents place on themselves that they must do everything on their own- not true. Asking for help is one of the best ways to not only accomplish the things you need to get done, but to be able to do it more effectively. Splitting tasks with a partner, parent, or even friend can make life run a lot smoother and make the holiday season far more enjoyable. 

Set Expectations: Children themselves can be the cause of stress during the holidays, so helping them deal can be the key to helping yourself. Working to set expectations for them during the holidays prepares them for what will happen so they are not caught off guard and don’t become stressed, thereby passing that stress onto us. When our kids are put in the best position to cope, we too are better able to deal knowing that they are okay.

Connectedness: The busyness of the holidays can pull us in many different directions, making it hard to connect with others. However, connecting with others is one of the most joyful and important parts of the holidays. Being intentional about spending time with people who add value and joy to your life can help alleviate stress is a meaningful way.

Mindset: The mindset you hold can contribute in a significant way to feelings of stress. If you go into the holidays thinking about all the work and responsibilities, that hyper focus will likely lead to high stress levels and an inability to see the positives of the season. However, if you are intentional about cultivating a positive outlook and perspective you can manage stress in a healthy way. The more you are able to approach the holidays from a place of positivity, the more you can cultivate positive feelings that help you see the good and better cope with the bad. 

While it is true that the holidays can bring about a certain measure of stress, you can do things to help mitigate that stress. By engaging in self-care, seeking help, remaining connected, and having a positive perspective, you can enjoy the holidays with your children and avoid stressors as parents that would rob you of a pleasant holiday experience. 

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