4 Ways To Keep Your Kids From Being A Grinch This Holiday.

This time of year is magical for toddlers and young children. They get to help bake cookies, open presents, and go to holiday parties. All while spending quality time with their family. It’s hard to believe that with all that magic children can get stressed out. But the holidays really can be a strain on them. When children feel stress, it can make them act out or throw tantrums. A lot of your holiday activities probably depend on your kids being on their best behavior. Taking these steps to keeping your kids stress-free can help ensure everyone has a happy holiday.holiday tree and article title

1.Try to Maintain Their Sleep Schedule

Sticking to your child’s normal bedtime routine as much as possible is key to minimizing their stress levels. It’s tempting to let the kids stay up late during the holiday break, but you spent the school year getting them used to their routine for a reason. Kids function better when they get enough sleep and keeping their bedtime the same helps prevent sleep deprivation. Even adults struggle to relax when their sleep schedule is off. Keeping them on their regular sleep schedule will help prevent cranky attitudes and unnecessary stress. Adding too many holiday activities to their routine can exhaust them. Keeping their sleep schedule as normal as possible helps keep them from getting overwhelmed. Then they are more likely to enjoy themselves.

2.Don’t Over Scheduleblack pen on a planner

Speaking of fun activities, try not to overload their schedule. Just like you, your kids can get burnt out when they’ve got too much on their plate. Pick and choose which holiday parties and family gatherings to attend. Try giving them a day or so in between each event. This way, they can do something quiet at home to unwind. That way, they won’t become overwhelmed at the next event.

3.Keep Yourself Calm

Monkey see, Monkey do. Kids can feel the tension in the house when you are stressing. Set an example for them, you can’t help your kids stay calm if you’re not calm yourself. Allow yourself to get the sleep you need and make sure to set some time aside for yourself to take a break and regroup. By setting a calm environment you can help your children find their own calm and make it through the holidays stress-free. 

4.Stay Healthydinner plate of pork and vegetables

Holidays are full of sugary junk food. Unfortunately, with all of that sugar comes hyperactivity and difficulty sleeping. Making sure your kids get 3 normal meals a day with healthy options to offset some of that junk can help keep their mood balanced. You don’t want to deprive them of all the delicious snacks the holidays have to offer, so try to balance it instead! Lots of sugar can also cause dehydration so it’s important to add a little extra water into their diet as well. When their bodies feel healthy their minds will too, making it easier for them to remain stress free.

While keeping up with your to-do list and busy schedule remember that kids have big feelings too. They can experience the same emotions you do except they’re still learning how to identify those emotions. And sometimes those emotions show themselves as attitude or crankiness. If you keep them well rested, well fed, and schedule time to relax you will have nothing but wonderful memories with them.

Co-written by Brianna Hartnett

5 Tips for Surviving Family Stress During The Holidays

The holiday season means time for celebrating with those closest to you. Whichever definition you choose, this usually means family–and family stress.

Family can be many things and if the movies teach us one thing–it’s that a holiday trip can be annoying but end with a loveable lesson. Here is what we do to make it past the awkward hugs, the eye-rolls, and weird, invasive questions about your love life.

holiday wreath and presents outside a front door
The holiday season means different things to different people–but the main theme is time with family.

1. Don’t Let Guilt Control You

Guilt is a great tactic to get people to do what you want. While this is taken to an extreme in abusive relationships, it’s usually just a mild bit of stress when it comes to family. However, stress can build up over time, especially when you have other things to do. 

Need to get a ham on the table, but also have to hold a conversation with Mom? Dinner time can get hectic. Just remember, those closest to you generally have your well-being in mind.

 If they are guilting you, determine what it is they actually want. Do they want to spend more time with you? Address this. Get it out in the open, and don’t let the age-old tactic control you.

2. One Day at a Time

Have a two-week trip to stay with your relatives? Just take it one day at a time. This can work even if you’re not on an extended stay. One hour at a time, one moment at a time. Just focus on the task at hand, and give it your full attention. Don’t worry about the rest of it. 

With stressful times, it helps to use these bite-size moments. If you worry too much about the future, you’re going to put more stress on the present moment.  This is where meditation comes in. You can use this tool to help calm your mind and increase your patience.

3. Organize your Giftlist (and Budget)

Organization will set you free! Think you have an insurmountable pile of tasks? Break them up, just like the previous step. It’s going to stress you out much more if you have this cloud of ideas floating over your head.

baby with santa hat with a lit tree in the background
Practice gratitude! Be thankful for the time you have with your family.

Here are some steps to help with that to-do list:

  1. Write them all down –  Get everything out of your head and onto paper (or screen). Make sure you have access to your notes so you can edit them as needed.
  2. Organize by priority – You’ll see some relatives first and others later. Rearrange your gift list in order of whom you will be running into throughout the months.
  3. Organize again by gift – After you know who you’ll be getting gifts for, you can start assigning gift ideas to each person. Brainstorm with some warm cocoa for bonus points!
  4. Set realistic goals – You probably have a good idea of your budget for these things, but price check each item first and get yourself a total. It’s easier to plan with concrete numbers to work with.
  5. Finalize it with a checklist – For some, the act of checking things off a list imparts a sense of satisfaction. Grab a big marker and put a check next to everything you accomplish. 

4. Be Realistic with Family Expectations

It may seem counterintuitive, but saying “no” to people will actually foster healthier relationships. Your family and friends will want to see as much of you as possible over the season, and that pressure can stress you out!

champagne glasses with holiday decor for surviving family stress
Bonus tip: making drinks or cooking can be a great way to cool down and stay present.

Think about what you can realistically accomplish. Take the checklist from earlier but instead of gifts put family members you wish to see. Then, instead of gift prices, place trip prices for each one. 

If you can’t fit in everyone, make promises to visit instead after the holiday rush calms down. They’ll most likely understand, and if they don’t–well, unfortunately, we don’t have the answers to everything!

5. Keep Self-Care in Your Routine

This extends beyond simple meditation. If you have a fitness regimen, don’t fall behind during family visits. Try to get to a gym or do home exercises. 

Sticking to your routines (self-care or otherwise) will not only give you a mental boost, but it also sets an internal standard. You’re going to give your time and energy this holiday season to those you care about, but don’t lose your own way in the process. Stay grounded.

Any visit is a chance for family stress. You want your parents/relatives to have a good time with you and enjoy your stay, but the holidays can add an entirely new dimension of pressure on the events. Keeping good friends and family have surprising health benefits, so these visits are definitely worth it in the long run.

Just remember these five rules and you should sail through with no problem. Don’t forget to refrigerate leftovers and keep receipts. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Tips To Help Seniors Manage Holiday Stress

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time, but in reality it is a stressful time for a lot of people. This is especially true for seniors, because it can accompany grief, as well as depression. Travel plans, party planning, shopping, and entertaining guests are just some of the stressful things seniors may deal with. While on the other hand, some can not be with their families during the happy season. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind, and exercise in order to reduce the stress of the holidays.

Create a schedule for when you travel to make it less stressful.
Create a schedule for when you travel to make it less stressful.

A Solid Schedule

The holidays can get very hectic. Traveling to see your loved ones is one of those hectic times. It is important to set a schedule and stick to it. Work around your current day to day schedule. This includes taking your medications on time, and eating and sleeping as close to your normal times as you can. It can be a lot to travel, and then try to stay up late with family members. But it is important to take care of yourself too, and get the rest you need.

Be Realistic

If you can not travel during the holidays, it is okay. It can be both physically and mentally exhausting for anyone, especially as we get older. If you do decide to travel, then make sure you get enough time for rest. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to make it somewhere if you are not capable.

Watch Your Wallet

A lot of seniors live on a fixed income, so if you do, then you are not alone. Because of this, it can be really stressful to buy gifts, food, pay your bills, and pay for travel expenses. Plan ahead and stick to a realistic budget.

Eat Well

During the holidays, make sure to eat as healthy as possible.
During the holidays, make sure to eat as healthy as possible.

What else can we expect during the holidays other than good eating, and lots of sugar? As much as you want to indulge in all the delicious and savory sweets, you must be mindful. For seniors, it is especially important to watch what we eat. Try not to eat too many sweets, and stick to nutritious foods such as fruits, proteins, and vegetables. Eating these foods will help your body fight against diseases like the flu. It is important to stay hydrated, and drink plenty of water.

Speak Up

If you are overwhelmed, depressed, or just need help getting around, then speak up. The holidays are a super stressful time, and can bring on depression, especially if you lost a loved one. People do not want to let their family down, or have them worry, so a lot of times they will keep our feelings of stress and overwhelm to themselves. Speak up and notify your family so they are aware and can accomodate you and your needs. Families love and support each other, so do not feel like you have to please everyone. If you can not make it to something, or plan to have family over your house, ask a family member for help. Take some of the stress off yourself. Make sure you are healthy and your energy is up. Your family will help, but only if they are aware.

Taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do during the holidays, because if you do not, then you will not be around for it. Your family members are there to help when you need them to be, but this can only happen if you talk about it. Tell them what kind of schedule you need to follow, your limitations, and the help you may need. In order to reduce the stress of the holidays, plan wisely with your expenses, and time. It is okay to indulge during the holidays, but be mindful of your health. If you plan to travel, stick to your schedule and rest. Do things in moderation if you need to. The holidays are about being happy, feeling loved, and enjoying your family. The only way to do this is to be prepared, and minimize stress as much as possible.

Tips For Mental Wellness This Holiday Season

The holidays can bring on a lot of stress, accompanied with anxiety, and depression. This is known as the “holiday blues”. If you feel these blues, just know that you are not alone, because it can affect anyone at any age, and are mainly triggered by a life event. Not to mention the pressure to impress people with gifts, attend parties, and deal with family or toxic people contributes to the blues. The holidays are also a time that people remember those who are not there any longer to celebrate. Some things that one may feel, especially if they have mental health ailments, are fatigue, tension, frustration, loneliness, and sadness. But there are ways to tackle on the blues, and tips you can do to minimize the stress and depression.

In order to reduce stress theis holiday season, try to budget in advance and save money.
In order to reduce stress theis holiday season, try to budget in advance and save money.


It is okay to opt out of gift exchanges if your budget is tight. or if finances are a stressor for you. Instead of buying presents for everyone, ask them to donate to charity instead, create a homemade gift, or a low budget activity for you all to do. If traveling is too expensive for you, then ask family or friends to help pay for the ticket instead of giving you gifts. If you can not make it, then ask to skype, or FaceTime with the person, or persons so that you can still be a part of the festivities. Plan your budget in advance so you know what you can do.

It Is Okay To Say No

The seasons are a difficult time, especially when you commit to too many functions, or to unrealistic expectations. If you say yes to something when you should say no, it only causes a rush of overwhelming and resenting feelings. Our schedules are hectic enough with work, and limited time off. Do not try to be too many places at once, because then you can not enjoy the time. You will be too busy rushing to get to the next party, or worry about hosting your own. Go at your own pace, learn to say no. You can say no to some of the parties and choose to spend more quality times with the people you do choose to see. Prioritize and stick to your limits.

This also goes for family functions. If you are not comfortable about doing something or being around a toxic relative, then you do not have to. We all have that one or multiple toxic family member that always says something witty, and push the limit. Set boundaries with your family. If a toxic family member talks with you, then just remove

Spend some time focusing on you this holiday season. Listen to some music or so something for yourself.
Spend some time focusing on you this holiday season. Listen to some music or so something for yourself.

yourself from the conversation.

Get Some Me Time In

Take a breather from the busy schedule you have set and make time for yourself, Spend some time alone, whether it is to read a book, go for a walk, or listening to some music. Relax and refresh from everything you need to do so you can reduce stress.

Stay Healthy, Don’t Overindulge

Think about all the desserts and foods you will be eating and drinking during the holidays! While some of us can’t wait or stay away from the treats, it is important not to overindulge. Overindulging will cause you to feel bad about yourself and upset that you gained weight and lost self control. Get some exercise, even if it is a short walk. Allow yourself the time to be active, so that you can enjoy all the yummy treats. Try to have a healthy snack or meal before a party, and get a good night’s rest. This way you feel good about yourself and avoid added stress or guilt.

Don’t Isolate Yourself

Loneliness can be a problem for some people during the holidays. But you do not have to be lonely if you do not want to be. You can join a group, volunteer at a soup kitchen, go to community activities, and make new friends. Let your neighbors, friends, or coworkers know you will be alone and would like to get together.

It is okay to grieve those you have lost. Your family can remember them by looking at pictures together.
It is okay to grieve those you have lost. Your family can remember them by looking at pictures together.

Dealing With Loss

The loss of a loved one has a major impact on us during the holidays. It is okay to acknowledge the grief that accompanies the holidays. Take the opportunity to keep your loved one’s memory alive by continuing their tradition, looking at old pictures of them, and express your feelings.

Professional Help

If all else fails, and the feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety can not be shaken, then talk about it. Seek professional help from a doctor or mental health professional if you need to. It is not something to be ashamed of, because mental health is just as important as physical health.

Make the holidays an enjoyable time, instead of something dreadful. Use the helpful tips provided to prevent the holiday blues. Focus on you and realize your limitations, but more importantly, have some fun.

Mindful Tips During The Holidays

While the holidays are a cheerful time with loved ones and filled with a lot of delicants, it is also a very busy and stressful time. It may be a busy time of year at work, and can get stressful running around shopping, and decorating. It is easy to forget to rest and focus on yourself so that things can be a little less hectic, and you can get through it all effortlessly. This is important for good mental and physical health, especially during a stressful time of the year.

Find Solitude

It is important to prepare yourself mentally, because it can become draining with all the socializing and running around. Adapting a morning routine will help you get focused and prepare for the day. Take a deep breath, and accomplish your routine to attain strength to tackle on the day.

Put down the electronics, and take the time to connect with family and friends this season.
Put down the electronics, and take the time to truly connect with family and friends this season.


Make the holidays a time to strengthen relationships with your family and friends. Tell someone why you are grateful for them. Take the time to connect with friends and family without interruption from TV, cell phones, tablets, or electronic devices.

Be Attentive

While it is easy to indulge in all the delicious food and treats during the holidays, take a minute to be mindful when eating. Ask yourself why you are eating, and take the time to enjoy your meal in moderation in order to keep your body and mind healthy, without thought of self-sabotage and guilt.


Take the time to relax, meditate, and reflect on yourself
Take the time to relax, meditate, and reflect on yourself and your blessings.

Take the time to think of accomplishments and people you appreciate. Reflect on the meaning of the holidays, whether it be religion, the meaning of love, or tradition. Do not get caught up in the need of perfection or expectations.

Relax and Treat Yourself

Remember to take care of yourself first, take the time to relax and mentally, emotionally, and physically take care of yourself. Hydrate and get a good amount of sleep to refresh. Try yoga or some form of exercise to relieve some stress and maintain good health.

You do not have to say yes to everything, remember to treat yourself too. Self-care is very important and can be something as simple as a bath or a meal. In order to give kindness and love, you must be kind and love yourself!

Taking care of yourself and practicing these tips every day will help you reduce stress and anxiety not only during the holidays, but every day.