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The holidays can be a really stressful time for you and yours. There are end-of-term recitals, hockey tournaments, swimming wrap-ups, school concerts, bake sales, fundraisers, and endless holiday events, on top of the added stress and anxiety that can come with family obligations and pressures at this time of year (did anyone else get palpitations just reading through that list?!). Then, on top of all of that, we’re being bombarded with images of how perfect our holidays are “supposed to” look from social media, Pinterest, and all the cutest new Netflix and Hallmark Channel holiday specials (and like, we know they’re not good, but they’re weirdly addictive!). Not to mention the added financial demands! It’s a lot, and being a parent or caregiver is already a lot. Regardless of what you celebrate, chances are that you and your littles are feeling a variety of all the stress, anxiety, excitement, exhaustion, and pressure that comes with all of the above. Even though it may seem impossible during this busy season, this, of all times, is when you need to make sure you and your kiddos are getting in some self-care.

Self-care may seem like a very over-used, trendy term, but there’s a reason for that – it works. At this time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in all the giving of time and energy that’s being demanded of you, but please remember to give to yourself a little too. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

5 Easy Ways to Fill Your Cup During The Holiday Season

 

Practice Gratitude

 

While this is a time with a reputation for being about giving, it’s also a time when the comparison game really shines. Take some time with your kids to identify what you can be grateful for each day. This can shift our perspective from lack and comparison, as well as the emphasis on receiving presents, to one of being grateful for everything you already have in your life. Plus, it’s scientifically proven to make you happier!

 

Schedule in Rest And Downtime

 

It’s really common to feel spread too thin at this time of year and, likely, your kids are feeling the exhaustion as well. Block off time in your calendar for downtime at home. Maybe it’s a quiet afternoon of colouring and lego, or watching Christmas movies together, but getting in that rest will do everyone some good, as well as help you feel more connected to each other during a hectic time. 

 

Eat Well

 

Now, I know we’re all eating well with the extra holiday treats in our breakrooms and at our social events, but it’s important to try to also eat well in terms of nutrition and maintaining your usual good habits. This will keep your immune system running smoothly, help your energy, and keep everyone’s mood and behaviour regulated during what is an inherently very dysregulating time. 

 

Hydrate

 

This one is included because it’s so simple…that we often forget to do it. Especially since it feels like getting everything done and ready in time for the break requires buckets of coffee. Like nutrition, hydration will help keep your body, energy, and mood balanced. 

 

Early Bed Times 

 

Whenever you can, make early bedtimes a thing for everyone! Making sure you all get enough sleep can make a world of difference to how healthy you are and how your holiday experiences go. As a grown-up, I know being overtired makes me cranky and quicker to become aggravated or teary – and I have the skills and experience to control myself! Our littles may not yet, so even if you’re just putting them to bed earlier and giving yourself some quiet time, or if you’re all going to bed earlier – there’s really no losing. Catching up on sleep will make most things seem better later. 

 

So, here’s to keeping ourselves and our families well as we survive the holiday season, say goodbye to 2019, and usher in a new decade.

 

All the best to you and yours!

 

 

About Sara Christle

Sara ChristleSara is a Hoot Teacher and a passionate educator with experience teaching K-6 and literacy intervention. She believes strongly that all learners have strengths and the ability to flourish - and that everyone is a reader! Sara received her B.Ed from the University of Winnipeg and is currently pursuing her Post-Baccalaureate in Inclusive Education at the University of Manitoba. In her spare time, you can find her reading (of course!), writing, cooking, knitting, and practicing yoga.

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