Boca Raton, FL – Christmas is almost here, which means families will soon start gathering to celebrate the holidays. While family time may be one of the best parts of the season, it can also add stress and the added pressure of keeping everyone entertained. The Children’s Healing Institute is a Palm Beach County organization that focuses on strengthening families dealing with crises. They offer these tips to help families cope with holiday stress and extended family visits.
Effective Time Management: Create a shared family calendar or schedule to coordinate events, tasks, and commitments. Encourage delegating responsibilities among family members to distribute the workload and reduce individual stress.
Navigating Interactions with Relatives: Discuss setting boundaries respectfully and practicing active listening and empathy. Encourage open communication within the family to address potential concerns or tensions beforehand, fostering a supportive environment for everyone.
Engaging Kids during Holiday Preparations: Keep kids entertained and engaged during the holiday preparations. Plan fun and inclusive activities that involve children in decorating, cooking, or crafting. Setting up designated play areas or activities can help manage their energy and enthusiasm while allowing parents to focus on tasks.
Stress Reduction Techniques: Families can practice stress reduction techniques together. This could include mindfulness exercises, deep breathing exercises, or brief meditation sessions. Encouraging breaks for relaxation and self-care activities benefits everyone’s mental well-being during this busy period.
Setting Realistic Expectations: Emphasize that perfection isn’t the goal and that it’s okay to adapt plans or traditions to reduce stress. Encourage embracing imperfections and finding joy in the moments shared rather than aiming for flawless outcomes.
Establishing Self-Care Practices: Promote the idea of self-care for each family member. Encourage activities that promote relaxation and stress relief, such as walks, reading, or listening to music. Reinforce the importance of self-care to maintain emotional balance and energy during the holiday hustle.
Creating Boundaries and Saying No: Discuss the power of setting boundaries and knowing when to say “no.” Encourage open conversations about prioritizing commitments and respectfully declining additional obligations that could overwhelm the family. Reinforce that saying “no” can sometimes be a positive choice for mental well-being.