Creative Child

Handling Holiday Stress

by Sarah Lyons


Choose joy

A positive attitude can have a huge impact on how we view our circumstances. “I only do things that bring me joy during the holidays.” says Colorado mom, Kara Thomas. “Picturing the joy I am spreading to others makes a huge difference too.” Holiday stress often comes from people or situations that are out of our control. “I realize I can’t change people around me or their choices.” says Candice Zimmers, Kansas mother of three. “I can, however, change how I react to them. I keep an open mind, embrace the chaos, and keep in mind there are many more positive times than negative ones.”

Break out of the norm

Holiday stress often comes from trying to keep up with elevated expectations we create for ourselves. Sometimes a break from the norm is just what we need to reduce holiday stress. “A few years ago, we went away for a few days after Christmas and stayed in a cabin with no TV or internet access.” says Lisa Parrish mom of three. “The kids loved it so much, we decided as a family to cut back on gifts and spend a few days away each year. They look forward to it every year. Even better, I have less to buy, less to wrap, and they get our undivided attention when we are there. Everyone returns with full hearts rather than feeling hungover from holiday stress.”

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The source of holiday stress is different for everyone. For some it may be shopping for and wrapping gifts. For others it may be family situations and hosting holiday dinners. Some may be overwhelmed by all the expectations that go along with the holidays such as parties, baking, decorating, and creating family traditions. Try to define the source of your holiday stress and come up with a solution to simplify, organize, and prioritize that particular area. If the holidays are less stressful, they will be much more enjoyable.

Sarah Lyons is a stay at home wife and mother of six children, including 18 month old triplets. Using creative consequences with her kids has improved their behavior and encourages healthy relationships with each other.

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