Build Great Family Memories During the Holidays
The holidays provide a lifetime of memories for children. Parents should try not to lose sight of that. Don’t let the hectic schedule and stress get the better of you. Do everything you can to create great memories for your children.
Remember what matters most. Time spent with family and friends is what makes the holidays memorable – not the gifts or parties.
Here are 10 easy, low (or no) cost ideas that families and loved ones can do together to enjoy the spirit of the season:
- Eat meals together
- Read books for fun
- Go skating or sledding
- Take a drive to see holiday lights
- Visit local museums, science centers, or aquariums
- Host a holiday movie night
- Exercise or visit one of Tennessee’s state parks
- Talk about hopes and dreams
- Volunteer together
- Start a new family tradition.
Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues
The holidays bring joy and excitement every year. But many people experience stress or depression caused by the hustle and bustle of the season. Others feel a sense of loneliness or are affected by financial concerns or unrealistic expectations. According to a 2014 survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 64 percent of people with mental illness reported that the holidays made their condition worse.
In most cases, holiday blues are a short-term issue. Be patient. Take things day by day. But if these feelings last two weeks or longer, consider contacting your primary care provider or reaching out to a mental health expert or agency.
Here are some tips to ease the pressures of the holiday season:
1. Take care of your body. Exercise and get plenty of rest.
2. Eat and drink in moderation. Don’t drink alcohol if you are feeling down.
3. Manage your time. Take charge of your day by scheduling your time and focusing on your goals. Create a to-do list. Be sure to cross items off your list as they are completed.
4. Be smart with your money. Don’t overspend. Come up with a reasonable budget and stick to it.
5. Be positive. Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t. Don’t be afraid to ask for support from friends and family.
6. Take time for yourself but don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with supportive, caring people.
7. Keep expectations manageable. Set realistic goals for yourself and pace yourself.
8. Relax. Listen to music. Try deep-breathing exercises, get a massage, take a nature walk or pamper yourself with a visit to the spa.
9. Recognize and accept sadness. Holidays can bring sadness because it can be a reminder of losses in the family. It’s perfectly normal to feel grief and sadness at times. This can be a good time to discuss those feelings with others and bring about healing.
10. Enjoy today and look toward the future. Don’t get caught up in comparing today with past holiday experiences.
11. Enjoy some down time when it’s over. Give yourself a break by easing into January. Try to keep your schedule light in the early days of the month.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides 12 tips for a healthy holiday season.
Learn about steps that help children through a difficult time.
For simple steps families can take to get healthier—including tips for healthy eating, exercise, good sleeping habits and dental health—check out Healthier Tennessee’s Small Starts for Families tool.
Watch this video for tips for happy holidays: