Have a Question? Need Parenting Advice? Ask Michael Hawton

by Daniel Sherman

Beating stress during the holidays can be tricky, especially when you have a full schedule and a family who needs your time and attention. For parents of small children, the holiday season goes hand in hand with more sweets and excitement than usual, and summer holiday routine changes that can make for stir crazy children (can my friends come over? Or the ubiquitous: are we there yet???). In short, it’s a constant challenge to keep the routine that keeps your household running smoothly and ensures everyone gets the rest they need intact.

However, it’s important to take time for yourself when you need it and to figure out a way to stay organised and on task while keeping stress and anxiety at bay. Mornings are often the hardest; many families have trouble getting ready and out the door without a little chaos and if you’re travelling we all know it can be like herding cats. Creating a solid morning routine will help you and your loved ones get through that initial part of the day without adding to your stress.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help mornings go more smoothly, both in the holidays and in general. From getting organised and creating storage solutions in your home to ensuring that you get enough sleep at night, there are several ways you can keep stress from creeping in during the holidays. Doing so will not only help you feel better, but it will also allow you to enjoy yourself and take comfort in your family and friends. Keep reading for tips on how to beat stress during the holidays.

Get Organised

Getting organised will help reduce morning confusion, so free up some space on the kitchen counter by creating storage solutions; make an area for the kids to hang up their backpacks or place their travel bags (preferably the night before), and help everyone stay on task by providing space in the fridge for easy, quick breakfasts. This will allow your little ones to be somewhat independent, meaning you’ll have more time to get chores and other tasks done before you head out the door.

Get Some Help

If there are tasks that can be handled by someone else, ask for help in order to free up your time. Hiring a dog walker to take your pup out in the morning, for instance, will give you a chance to take care of the kids or cross chores off your list. It’s not always easy for those who are accustomed to handling everything themselves to ask for help but doing so will allow you to cut some stress out of your daily schedule.

Plan Ahead

Mornings are often so tough because we’re struggling to fully wake up and get energised for the day, so it can be hard to make decisions. Save yourself some hassle and make important decisions the night before; this way, you can focus on getting things done in the morning at your own speed. You might go through the kids’ backpacks and take care of any paperwork, prepare bills to mail out, or pick out clothing for yourself and little ones.

Wake Up a Little Earlier Than Everyone Else

It’s really difficult to get through a busy morning when you’re pressed for time, so set your alarm for 10 or 15 minutes before everyone else gets up. This will allow you to sit with a cup of coffee, take a hot shower, or just gather your thoughts to prepare for the day before all the chaos starts. Waking up a little earlier may require you to go to bed sooner than you’d like, but it will help you keep things running smoothly.

Beating stress during the holidays can take some planning and preparation but doing so will help you enjoy this time of year without suffering from anxiety. Talk to your family so that you’re all on the same page and create a routine that works for everyone.

Most importantly though, enjoy your precious time with family during the break and have a happy holiday!

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