Posted on December 12th, 2019 in Anxiety by

This article originally appear in the November issue of Indy’s Child.

Oh joy: Here come the holidays! And along with all the merriment and holiday happiness, ‘tis the season for feeling rushed, overscheduled, overwhelmed and just all around stressed out. Sadly, adults are not the only ones feeling the pain. Kids also feel the burden of anxiety and stress around the holidays. So, let’s not allow this year to be a repeat of last year’s holiday craze; instead, make space for a real sense of peace, calm and family togetherness. Now that is something to look forward to!

Here are five tips to help your family cope with stress this holiday season.

  1. Check your own pulse first. Whether you see it or not, kids can sense our stress and anxiety, leading to their own sense of unease. Take a few moments when you start to feel overwhelmed to check in with yourself. Sometimes, all we need to reduce anxiety are a few deep breaths and a second to refocus on the moment.
  2. Keep your regular schedules and routines. Kids thrive with the predictability created by the family’s daily rhythms. Reduce unnecessary stress by keeping up with regular bedtimes, chores and household responsibilities, and family meal times.
  3. Just say no. All the extra holiday activities and plans lead to an over-packed scheduled. Determine which holiday traditions are really special to your family and say no to the rest.
  4. Lower your expectations. Every year, we dream of creating the perfect holiday experience. Bypass the inevitable disappointment and stick with what you know works for your family.
  5. Keep your sense of humor. Holiday stress zaps all the fun out of being together. Nothing recharges your spirit like a good laugh with the family.

Kate Fisch

Kate Fisch

Kate Fisch is a licensed psychotherapist and founder of Northside Mental Health. Kate’s clinical experience and area of expertise is in the field of eating disorder treatment and substance abuse treatment.