Helping Your Kids Manage Stress During the Holidays
By Donna Stark
What should theoretically be a time of joy and peace, the holiday season has a way of becoming the most stressful part of the year. Between the shopping, cooking, hosting, traveling, volunteering, caroling, and giving, it's no wonder that you may find yourself completely overwhelmed and stressed out! But guess what. You aren't the only one wanting to pull out your hair or cry in the closet. Your kids may be feeling the same way too.
Reducing Stress in Children
Granted, your children aren't dealing with the same types of stress that you are. They aren't commuting to work every day, they aren't trying to pay the bills and still have enough money left over for gifts, and they certainly aren't hosting dinner parties for everyone and their brother. But the holiday season is still stressful for them ... just in different ways. Here are some suggestions on how to reduce their stress so that everyone can have a joyous end to the year.
- Maintain routines - As much as possible, keep your children's routines the same. Make sure they are going to bed and waking up at their normal times, choose just a couple of holiday parties to attend, and be consistent when it comes to their attendance at sports practices.
- Maintain a healthy diet - You know the entire family is going to be indulging in extra sweets this time of year, so be very intentional with all the rest of the food they are eating. Start your kids off each morning with a nutritious breakfast, pack healthy snacks for school, and sit down as a family for nutrient-dense dinners.
- Maintain physical activity - One of the best ways to reduce stress is to exercise, so keep your kids moving! Turn the TV and video games off and take them to the park, bring them shopping with you, or include them in your fitness routine. Physical activity helps you reduce stress, so of course, it will help them too!
- Maintain connections - Sometimes, all that is needed after a really stressful day is a hug, or even just a look from a loved one. And that couldn't be truer for our children. So spend some time together. Go to the movies, bake some cookies, work on a puzzle, or schedule a family game night.
Keep the Holidays Light
Remember, kids can also pick up their parents' stress and tension as well, so be mindful of how you appear in front of them. This is a season that should be filled with love, joy, laughter, and peace. Do your best to keep it that way for your children.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Vancouver, Wash.