Managing the Stressors of the Season
Tips on How NOT to Overschedule and Overcommit!
What comes to mind when you think of the holiday season? Perhaps it’s fond memories of traditions, time with family, or an oven with freshly baked goodies filling the house with warm and delicious smells. The holiday season can be all those wonderful things and a time of intense stress, pressure, and obligation, robbing us of much-needed joy, time, and rest. However you celebrate, the holidays can magnify life stressors. We want you to take inventory of what this season means to you and your family and how you can make the most of it without feeling overscheduled, overcommitted, and overwhelmed.
How do you want this time to look and feel for you, your kids, and your family?
Can you relate to any of the following holiday stressors?
The behind-the-scenes work to make the holidays magical, living up to family expectations, traditions, and traveling can all be stressors during this season.
Financial strain, on top of work and household obligations, also factors into the stress levels of the holiday season.
Being overwhelmed by overcommitting and overscheduling ourselves and our families- to the point where we are stretched thin causes stress.
When we place this type of holiday pressure on ourselves, it’s no wonder we struggle to enjoy this particular time of year!
Be mindful of how you show up.
Be a model for your children and show them how YOU refuel YOUR tank. Focus on your stress management. Remember, our kids are looking to us, learning to love and care for themselves by witnessing how we love and care for ourselves. We welcome you to read our end-of-summer blog, where we discuss ways to incorporate and prioritize self-care to manage stress, feel better, and enjoy a calmer home.
Say YES to all the things that bring you and your family joy. Commit to saying NO to any commitments you feel you should be doing or pushing your kids to do. Collaborate as a family and consider everyone’s perspectives, so each member feels heard.
Schedule downtime for you AND your kids! Teachers often assign end-of-period work or exams that need prioritizing. What can you scale back on to prioritize the necessary tasks and push other things aside? It’s important to note that students with a slow processing speed or struggle in social situations especially benefit from downtime! It’s ok to schedule REST into your schedule.
Be curious! How does it feel to let go of things you don’t truly want to do? How does allowing your kids to step back from their flurry of activity feel? Why do you keep those traditions that bring more stress than joy? Looking at why you feel you need to keep up with everything can give you great insight and be the first step in scaling back, setting boundaries, and choosing what matters to you.
Enter into this season with the mindset that you get to decide how you want it to look. There’s almost always room to slow down. It may feel foreign and counterintuitive at first, but practice makes progress! Practice being mindful of what matters to you, setting the boundaries you need, and prioritizing what really matters to your family during this special time of year. The great news is that you have more control over how you and your family experience the holidays than you might think!
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Written by Jenny Aguilar (M. Ed., ET/P) and Geneva Walsh (M. Ed.)