School and holiday breaks are often much needed but can be super hectic or have too much down time. Reaching a balance is key to reducing stress and creating lasting memories.
Routines & Schedule
Predictable schedules reduce stress. When kids are aware of what the daily schedule or routine is, their anxiety is reduced. This is especially important when things are hectic and there are different schedules for each family member. Creating a flexible schedule with the entire family may help everyone. You can make sure to allow for everyone’s “must dos” while taking care to build in “down time”. A little bit of pre-planning can go a long way toward creating balance for all.
Maintain Good Habits That Fuel You
It’s so easy to feel like holidays and breaks are the perfect time to let go and indulge in things such like eating sweets, heavy foods, and staying up late, etc. While it’s perfectly natural to occasionally indulge, it’s super important to be aware of how these “indulgences” effect each individual. Lack of sleep and too many snacks or sweets tend to negatively impact mood and can lead to meltdowns in children (and sometimes adults). Getting enough sleep and eating nutritious foods (at least the majority of the time) goes a long way toward helping everyone feel balanced.
Keep It Fun
Hectic schedules can lead to short tempers and “snapping” at others. Incorporating humor and periods of fun throughout your daily errands makes everything less of a “chore”. If there is a specific task that needs to be done, enlist the help of the kids. Assigning small age appropriate jobs allow everyone to feel helpful and valued.
Preparing For New Situations
New situations can be anxiety provoking. Preparing kids for new situations or people you may encounter by talking about what can be expected will take away some of the anxiety that comes from unexpected things. Providing brief “scripts/scenarios” on what to say and do can be helpful for children who become easily overwhelmed in these situations.
Taking a break from our everyday lives can provide families the time to come together and make authentic connections. While these times are usually jam packed with errands and work and family obligations, taking a little time to plan some fun activities with the kids can help build and strengthen your connections with one another and possibly lead to the creation of new family traditions.
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