Holiday Stress and How to Renew, Relax and Rejuvenate

'Windows Into the World', United States, New Y...

Image by WanderingtheWorld ( via Flickr

Life can be very stressful, especially for parents.

Juggling work, home and family responsibilities can rob us of our peace of mind.

Add to that the upcoming gift-giving holidays and you increase the stress level exponentially.  Our expectations of what the holidays should be often conflict with our finances and our available time and energy and we are doomed to disappointment.  Letting go of the past can definitely help.  For more information and great tips from Deepak Chopra, read a recent post from a great blogger, Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way.

Stress is a factor in many health-related conditions…and parents who are under a lot of stress can over-react when their children misbehave…for some of these parents, a crying baby or a toddler who wets his training pants can elicit rage and inappropriate punishment resulting in physical or emotional harm to the child.

How can we relieve stress in our lives?

  • Recognize that you are feeling stressed.
  • Make a list of the stress factors in your life.
  • Find solutions to each of these problems…when my children were younger and didn’t have much money to buy gifts for me, I told them to write a love letter or draw a picture…those letters and pictures are still dear to me and I treasured them more than the sweater or scarf they couldn’t buy.  Want to have a family get-together but can’t afford to buy all the food and trimmings?  Have a family pot-luck, with every member of the family bringing a casserole, side-dish or dessert!  No time to make those “from scratch” holiday cookies or don’t like to bake?  It’s true I encourage parents to spend time in the kitchen with their children, making nutritious meals and snacks…and my book, Show Me How!, provides 100 healthful, child-friendly recipes…but you can buy the refrigerated cookie dough rolls and just slice them, bake them and decorate with edible gel.  Maybe you have a friend who LOVES to bake holiday cookies…how about offering to watch her children while she bakes.  Perhaps you love to shop and she doesn’t…be her personal shopper in exchange for several dozen cookies.  There are always options for every situation.
  • Ask for help…if you have a friend or two who are in the same situation, plan to watch their children while they have a free morning, afternoon or evening to relax or shop or cook or bake or clean together without kids tagging along…and then rotate so that each parent gets a chance to have this special time.
  • Carve out some time for yourself every day…while your children are in school or napping, take a bubble bath, read a chapter in a good book, dance to your favorite music, exercise to a great DVD, walk in a park and listen to the birds.  I love watching a classic movie in the evening and munching on a bowl of air-popped popcorn…each person has to find what works for them to relieve the stress that is part of life.
  • Check out online shopping deals…this can save you time and money…and you won’t have to drag the kids along.  Many bloggers have holiday gift guides this year…a really nice one is from Jenny at MyLittleMe.
  • Start some simple family traditions…your children will remember them even when they are grown and on their own.  For a wonderful list of fun and frugal holiday possibilities, please go to  this post by Prerna, The Mom Writes.

Wondering what to get the young children on your list?  How about picture books and arts and crafts supplies?  Reading with young children and participating positively with them in arts and crafts activities builds self-esteem, develops pre-literacy skills and strengthens the parent-child connection.  Visit your local library…you can borrow the books for FREE and many libraries have an area where they sell discarded library books or donated books VERY CHEAPLY…sometimes for only 10 cents a book!

If you are looking for some guidance as to which books to choose, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is the answer.  Please visit my website for an online special that can’t be beat…only $19.95 per copy!  This ultimate resource of picture book suggestions, EASY eco-friendly craft projects and QUICK child-friendly healthful recipes is also the perfect gift for any parents, grandparents, preschool and kindergarten teachers, daycare providers, babysitters or nannies on your gift list!



Photo of Christmas on Fifth Avenue: WanderingtheWorld

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2018), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, cooking, playing Monopoly with my 8-year old grandson and fly-fishing with my husband.

Posted on November 6, 2011, in gifts, parenting, Preparing for the Holidays, Stress, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Great tips, Vivian!

    Seeing Holiday Ads on TV in early October creates Holiday Stress for many. We picture having a perfect holiday filled with love and laughter but we’re so busy shopping that our expectations diminish as frustraton mounts.

    Reminding ourselves of our TRUE priorities helps us bring things back into balance.


    • Yes, often our expectations lead us to disappointment. Parents think they need to buy the latest toy or gadget and stress out about money. Happiness is wanting what we have…not having what we want. 🙂


  2. Love the tips, Vivian!


  3. Great tips for everyone. Each Brain Color also deals with stress differently. Yellows need a plan; Blues need cooperation; Greens need alone time; Oranges need fun!


    • Hi Sheila,
      Nice of you to stop by. 🙂 Hope all is well!
      I must have a lot of yellow in conjunction with my blue…I feel so much better with a plan…it creates a comforting sense of order and helps me to see that I WILL get everything done.


  4. Wonderful tips on a subject close to my heart. Glad to hear from you! 🙂


  1. Pingback: Festival of Trees Festive Family Fun Days: A Few Reflections « Positive Parental Participation

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