We all want to feel happy for the holidays, yet a Health and Medical news article reports that 88% of adults in the US find it difficult to relax during the holidays. So, how do we work, shop, decorate, cook, take care of children, plan and relax???
The University of Michigan Department of Medicine reports that 1 in 5 parents agree that their stress negatively impacts their children, yet we're really trying to create magical moments during the holidays. A family friend calls herself "Grandma Magic" for this reason.
Let's face it -- emotions run high during the holidays. What we do is important but how we do things matters even more. The how means accepting our own emotions and those of a child, taking mini breaks to notice your thoughts, and notice what your child might be feeling. Take a few moments for yourself each day to meditate, walk, reflect and remember that the goal is to create relaxing times if we want to experience happy ones. If we want more happy moments, accept and nurture the less than happy ones. Minimize stress by planning ahead. For instance:
Keep mealtimes and food choices consistent, OR prepare a young child for upcoming changes.
Keep bedtimes and morning times calm and consistent, OR prepare a young child for upcoming changes. If you keep a holiday calendar add notes about mealtime and sleep time changes.
Plan ahead for favorite movies, and keep in mind that two hours or more of screen time RE-duces happiness (Jean Twenge's book on iGen).
Schedule downtime for you -- you can move that one to number one!
Plan a holiday storytime or make and take time. The marshmallow snowman can be made in minutes.
Remember that too much of a good thing is too much! Whether that is too much travel, food, sugar or shopping, just do your best and know that you are what matters to a child and you are enough.