For many parents, the holidays are a blend of fun and excitement and hectic schedules. Juggling the responsibilities and busy calendars of this season often leave many adults giving thanks that it only comes around once a year. There are a few simple things working parents can do to alleviate stress and find intentional ways to usher in more peace and serenity throughout the holidays.
A serious note before we go on. Sometimes we can find ourselves making light of a serious situation. For example, almost everybody has said or heard the phrase “take a chill pill,” or have seen a sitcom where someone, maybe even a doctor, offers a character valium or some such pill. But stress levels at the holidays can become intolerable for some and they might end up at the doctor’s office or ER suffering acute anxiety or panic attacks that require prescription medication. With any medication, you’ll want to ask the doctor something like, “how long does Xanax stay in your system?”
Plan Out Your Shopping List
Waiting until the last minute, or at least the month of December, to begin Christmas shopping leaves people feeling as if they’ll never get holiday preparations done in time. Starting the shopping in September or October, buying a few small gifts at a time, will go a long way in freeing up meaningful hours during the actual festive season, and in minimizing holiday stress. Gift shopping in advance also helps parents to avoid pressure because they’re better able to budget for their gifts, and they also have time to scour ads and find the best sales.
Pre-Schedule Activities for Kids When They’re Out of School
A lot of end of the year stress is due to parents suddenly trying to deal with children who are out of school for the winter break. This can disrupt schedules and leave adults trying to find ways to keep their children busy and entertained. Following a few simple tips will help you to meet this season with confidence and inspiration to bond your family together over the break. Prepare one planned activity for each day of the break. Examples of activities may include visiting a local art gallery or museum, taking a drive to see Christmas lights, making homemade cookies or holiday decorations, or visiting a relative or neighbor for the day. If each day is centered around one activity, the kids have something to look forward to, and something on which they can focus.
Be the Responsible One at the Company Christmas Party
Whether the holiday parties you attend are hosted by neighbors or by the company who employs you, added holiday stress can accumulate when people get carried away with alcoholic beverages. It’s easy to get into a festive mood and then over-consume alcohol. This can lead to saying things you don’t mean, making decisions to drive when it’s unsafe, and jeopardizing a professional reputation in front of your colleagues. Drinking too much alcohol during the holidays can also lead to a strain on marriages and on the entire family unit. This year, consider setting a limit to one drink or opt for the alcohol-free punch. While it might not seem as exciting at the moment, you’ll feel better physically, emotionally, and your work reputation will remain intact.
Setting Healthy Goals for the New Year
The great thing about the busy holiday season is the impending new year. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect way to start out on a fresh footing with solid goals in mind. For people who may have struggled with too much alcohol over the previous years and during the Christmas parties, detoxing in the new year can be a healthy new start. If you’ve been eating unhealthy foods and you’re ready to start a better lifestyle, the new year is the perfect time to recommit to old goals that have fallen by the wayside. No matter what your goals may be, writing them down on paper and setting out with commitment in mind will help you to embrace a new season vividly.
This is a featured post by site supporter Anne Davis
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