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The holidays are in full swing. And while it may be the “happiest time of year” that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without stress! Check out some of the following tips for how to de-stress your holidays!

  1. Make a holiday planning calendar with lots of colors and fun decorations. Sit down with the whole family and ask some questions: When are we decorating for the holidays? What about sending holiday cards? How about holiday baking? When do we have religious services? What community activities such as drive through lights can we do? Post your colorful calendar where everyone can see it.
  2. Before holiday vacations sit down and set some expectations. Do you need to work during the break time? When are we traveling? Use your holiday calendar so everyone knows. When do we pack and what do we pack? If you are not sure, Google your destination and season.  Then have everyone, especially your teens, help you create the family schedule. You may want to try the schedule on some weekends before the vacation starts so that everyone has a chance to offer input and make changes.
  3. Planned downtime is important for everyone! Part of the planned downtime can be structured such as a car ride to look at lights in the neighborhood, a Netflix binge night of your favorite shows or a family game or card night. Think about community events such as holiday concerts or productions. Try to schedule exercise time such as going for a walk, a YouTube exercise video or a dance video.
  4. Manage screen time. Set expectations about time spent on ”screens”.  Sit down with your teens and together decide the amount of time. If children live between  other households, coordinate with all of the adults so that expectations about “screen” use are clear and ideally in sync with each other. Practice on a couple of weekends before the holiday. Adjust as necessary. 
  5. Practice “box” breathing to help yourself stay calm.  Check out the Midwest Educational Therapists and Associates YouTube channel on how to box breathe. Designate some quiet time each day during the break. Give yourself permission to unwind and listen to relaxing music or guided meditation. Apps such as Headspace, Aura or Calm all provide great resources for short relaxing meditations.  A great free resource is the Insight Meditation app

 

If you’d like some more strategies or ideas for your child don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Midwest Educational Therapy and Associates Facebook, YouTube channel and at www.metaoh.