Happy (Mental Health) Holidays
Managing Mental Health During the Holidays
Ahhh…the holidays. The most wonderful time of the year. Food, friends, family…anxiety. It may come as a surprise, but the holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year, especially for our children. But don’t worry, here are a few tips to make this holiday season merry and bright.
Changing routines can be stressful, especially when it happens abruptly. While we want to make the most of the season like going shopping or visiting friends and families, keeping a schedule that closely follows what our children experience during school days is important. Sticking close to bed and wake-up times and eating three healthy meals while staying active can be a good mental health boost.
Stress creates stress. One of the best ways to reduce stress in our children is to reduce our own stress (or atleast manage it.) By setting the example that you are stress-free, your children will follow. Take time for yourself and get sleep.
For some, uncertainty is a big stress trigger. Keep your children in the loop and let them know all your plans ahead of time. Include all the activities and expectations. Predictability will make it easier on them.
Holiday gatherings can be joyous and happy for adults. But for children, they can be loud and overwhelming, especially for children who are introverts or become anxious easily. Let children know who will be there and what to expect. Plan to only do one high demand activity a day.
It’s important to remember that for most of us, these gatherings have become traditions. Making sure your child has fun and is relaxed is important, but if these events are too stressful, it’s ok to sit one out.
Getting 8-10 hours of sleep is important every other day of the year, it should be just as important during the holidays. Also, taking time to relax by watching a holiday movie or baking cookies is a perfect way to recharge.
Anxiety Tool Kit
Parents can plan all they want, but occasionally certain situations can still overcome your child. Having an anti-anxiety toolkit at your disposal can help alleviate stress. Learn some activities like these Breathing Exercises.
Can be helpful. Also take time to let them do some journaling or spend time alone. Getting outside for a walk or even a hot shower can do wonders. Make sure you talk to your child about why they are feeling stressed and help them find ways through it together.
Sure the holiday hustle is fun, but it’s also draining. Don’t get too wrapped up in everything that you forget to have fun together. Stay in for a family game night or go do something you haven’t had time for. Being there for your children with the focus on family can be one of the most memorable parts of the holidays.
Hopefully these tips help you and your family during the holidays. Just know that mental health issues are very common. Do your best to take the time during the holidays to be there for your children.
If you are concerned that your child’s mental health issues are more than just holiday stress, Alta is here for you. Please call us at 330793-2487. We’re always available and willing to help. We have locations in Boardman, Youngstown, Austintown, Mineral Ridge and Howland to help you where you need it most.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Alta Care Group.