Not 100% sure I would call it the “Most Wonderful Time of Year”!!
The malls are full of people bustling about. Children are bouncing off the walls with excitement. Parents are trying their best to make this a happy time adding pressure to their already busy times. Some people have located far away from family and friends which can add to feelings of isolation. My chest is pounding just writing this post!
It is possible to take a great deal of stress out of the holidays but it will take time and a change of perspective.
How can we make this a Wonderful Time of Year?
1. Lower your expectations!
A number of people ( me included) put so much pressure on ourselves to make everything perfect! What is perfect? You are the one setting the bar so ….lower it! This year my goal is that we take in the holiday spirit as much as we can handle.
2. Schedule Downtime
I am blocking out time that we have absolutely nothing planned. I will not fill it with an activity. Why? We all need time to decompress and do whatever we want. This reduces your stress level which makes it easier to cope with the high demands this time of year.
3. Have Fun
Play and have fun! Do things that you enjoy.
I will be following my dad’s lead. My father made it very clear that Christmas day was all about the kids. We had time to play and have fun. I have a number of memories of us laughing and playing as a family.
4. Be Prepared
I recommend having lots of extra batteries on hand! Remove a great deal of the packaging on your child’s gifts. Make it easy for your child to play with that toy.
Also, make sure you have all the food on hand that is needed. Hangry people makes for a bunch of cranky people. If your child is prone to be anxious in new or crowded places utilize the techniques that help your little one cope well. Here is a link to a member only article that may be helpful How to Help an Anxious Child
5. Pack your Patience
The most important thing for you to pack is your patience!! The calmer you can be the better. I will be the strange woman taking deep breathes while I am in a lineup. I will do my best to be patient. This will help me as a parent. My little man is already showing signs of being excited. He is pointing out the lights or anything he finds interesting. I now take extra time to get places so he can explore and enjoy our time together.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday experience with reduced stressed and a great deal of fun!
From my family to yours, Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/etc….!!
All the Best,