Don’t forget to take time to breathe during the Christmas and holiday season

Dashing through the stores, stress building day-by-day, over our credit limit we go, cringing all the way.

During the Christmas and holiday season there is always so much to do and so little time. This is a stressful time of year for mom and dad, and also for kids. Think about it, if you are running around with a massive to-do list: shopping, baking, going to parties, decorating the house, and worrying about the expense of it all, your kids are going to feel and react to your stress.

You can help decrease the stress of the holiday season by following these six tips suggested by Rosanna D’Orazio, Professional Coordinator of the Social Services Program at The Montreal Children’s Hospital.

  1. Get a little fresh air and some exercise – One of the best ways to cope with stress is exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon! A 15-minute walk with your kids to enjoy the holiday lights and decorations will do. 
  2. Stick to the family routine — This is especially good advice for parents of young children. Try to maintain regular bedtime and napping hours and meal and snacking schedules. When a child’s routine is broken, stress can build up.
  3. Nutrition —Try to enjoy at least one healthy meal with the family every day. And when you head to the mall take along a healthy snack and drink so you won’t be tempted by junk food.
  4. Family traditions —Family traditions offer great comfort during the holiday season. Start a tradition with your family, it can be as simple as baking cookies, making tree ornaments, building a snowman or enjoying a seasonal concert or play.
  5. R & R —Take the time to rest and relax. Enjoy a hot cup of cocoa; read a book with your child; take a walk and enjoy the fresh air; get to bed on time. If your family schedule is too jam packed you won’t enjoy any of the holidays.
  6. Laughter — It really is the best way to turn a frown upside down. Enjoying a good laugh is still the best way to keep stress at bay and change the whole family’s mood from gloomy to cheerful.

Armed with these tips you and your family are set to enjoy all the best the season has to offer.