As we inch closer and closer to Christmas, stress levels seem to rise, not just for parents, but for your children as well. The pandemic has brought on more stress than all of us can chew whether you or someone you know has lost a job, lower finances, changes at your child’s school, or not being able to spend the holidays with your extended family. No matter the circumstances, it’s best to try and find the positives surrounding the most wonderful time of the year. COVID-19 is temporary, but Christmas comes around every year and can be experienced all-year-long.
Stay on Budget with Gift Purchases
Unfortunately, the pandemic has cost a lot of parents their jobs and with that their usual income. This in turn has caused a lot of stress earlier in the year, but also upon the Christmas holiday. However, this doesn’t have to mean that Christmas is canceled. It just means sticking to your budget a little more than past Christmases. One way to de-stress from financial hardship is to look at ways where you can spread Christmas cheer to others by baking or volunteering for a non-profit, while still staying safe. Stay within your means and don’t feel pressured to overspend on gifts. It’s not about how much the gift costs, but how happy it will make your spouse or child feel receiving it and you giving it to them. It’s more about spending time with others and not necessarily taking out funds from your bank account.
Keep to Scheduled Routines
Despite disruptions from the pandemic, your family’s schedule might have gotten a little out of control, thus increasing stress levels. Whether your family is all working and learning from home or still going to an office or school, it’s best to stay on schedule as much as possible so that stress doesn’t overtake you. If you already have set schedules in place for daily routines, meal times, and bedtime, then fitting holiday traditions won’t be too hard to handle. If not, create a bullet-tin board or whiteboard calendar to write down normal activities along with holiday traditions so you all stay organized and less stressed in planning upcoming festivities.
Think of New Traditions for Your Family (while still staying Safe)
Whether your family is used to spending Christmas with extended family members or friends, this year might not be the same as last year’s get together. Think of new traditions to incorporate with your family like having virtual holiday parties with family and friends, playing board games or watching movies, delivering baked goods to neighbors or relatives, or volunteering at a shelter, local food bank, or non-profit that distributes toys to kids in need. With volunteering, be sure to check with the shelter and non-profit on their COVID-19 restrictions and how to keep you and your family safe while giving to others this holiday season.
No matter how your Christmas may look, stress doesn’t have to be a part of your holiday traditions. There is joy and happiness all around you. Bring your family traditions, values and beliefs in your family circle to help keep things light and happy for you and especially your kids. Add more ways to laugh as this is natural medicine when combating stress. If you have any questions regarding how to destress or how to explain it to your kids, contact us. We are here to help you and your family enjoy Christmas to its fullest and not let stress occupy your health amongst the pandemic. From our family to yours, Happy Holidays from Bard & Didriksen Pediatrics.