The holidays can be a stressful time for kids and grown-ups alike. Here are 5 tips on ways to help you and your children cope.
1. Do More Physical Activity – It’s easy to allow the TV or iPad to become the entertainment but children who are stressed need some type of physical activity or exercise to release their stress. Bundle up and go outside, babies and big kids alike. Too cold to go out? Play a rousing game of Twister or roll your kids up in a big towel or blanket and turn them into “burritos”!
2. Take a Belly Breath – That’s right, take a deep breath in and let your belly gently expand out. This sends a signal to your brain that it’s okay to relax and unclench those tight shoulders and jaw. Go ahead. Take another belly breath. Just like a yawn, your kids and other adults around you will start to copy you. Everybody breathe!
3. Remember Routines – Many routines are disrupted during the holidays and this can be especially upsetting for all children (and adults, too!) Talk about the schedule each day with your child and try to keep meals and naps at the same time. Calendars and picture schedules are also a great way to help kids know what’s coming next.
4. Laugh – Laughter is the best medicine! A great way to relieve stress and change everyone’s mood from bad to good. Make up silly “knock-knock” jokes or have a tickle fest.
5. Rest and Relaxation – Everyone needs a “time out” over the holiday season to re-group and recharge, children and adults alike. Naps are great way to do that even though your preschoolers might not think so!