Having a stress free holiday

Kicking off the holiday season without stress can lead to a year with less stress.

Holidays can be a stressful time for you and your children. How we stay stress free has a direct impact on how our children can handle stress now and in the future. Remember that children learn by observing us and how we react to situations.

When you decorate your home, Michigan State University Extension recommends trying to do a little at a time, so a project does not seem so overwhelming. Have the whole family decorate together and try not to be critical of your child’s work. Remember it is a special time for them to make memories as well. Add to the decorations that your family already has by having your children make their own decoration to hang; these will be the keepsakes you will always cherish.

When shopping for your love ones, always use a list prepared ahead of time in order to stick to budget and limit impulsive shopping. Other ideas for a stress free holiday include getting plenty of exercise, eating healthy and getting plenty of rest. When we are healthy and taking care of ourselves, we are able to handle situations better. As a family, we can volunteer our help to a neighbor or relative by running errands or helping them around their home. This is a great way to illustrate to our children the gift of time to someone in need.

Adults and children can make a list of all the things they are thankful for during the holidays. As a way to reflect, continue adding to the list throughout the year. In addition, remember to make sure you give yourself quiet personal time. This is a great time to start a new hobby if you don’t already have one. Some ideas are reading, walking, knitting or watching movies. Try anything new that you enjoy and that has a calming effect. Try meeting up with an old friend or just calling them, this will have a positive effect on both of you!

You can find more ideas on how to have a stress free holiday, or year by going to Military OneSource. Be sure to check out the Countdown to a Stress-Free Season calendar. It includes many simple ideas to make sure activities are stress free. Even after the holidays pass, try to continue to make an effort to take care of yourself and take action to continue to make your life stress free year-round!

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