The Bridge Program: Burlington High School
During the holidays, routines are disrupted, nutritious meals may be replaced with fast food, and bedtimes may be delayed. Children and youth are also sensitive to the stress their caregivers are experiencing. Peace between family members may be disrupted. The holidays may also invoke painful memories for some children, who may be missing a deceased relative or remembering a past family crisis.
· Get enough sleep- sleep deprivation is a major disturber of people’s moods. Jet lag, parties, and over-excited children all make it hard to get our usual number of hours. Doctors recommend that you get at least six hours of sleep every night, preferably more. If you’re burning the candle from both ends, you’re going to feel bad and put yourself at risk for getting sick. Being well-rested affects so many areas of your life. Don’t sacrifice sleep!
· Relaxation techniques- Take 10 minutes and practice deep breathing in times of stress. Taking a few deep breaths can help you separate mentally and emotionally from the stresses.
- Remember routines - For parents of small children, this is especially good advice. During the holidays, children will find their routines disrupted. They stay up past bedtime and eat too many holiday goodies. When a routine is broken, stress can result.·
- Family activities- This could be as simple as going out, baking cookies or playing a board game.
· Change your mindset- Although we may have expectations that things will go smoothly and perfect during the holidays, there are times where things do not go as planned. Instead of becoming frustrated and overwhelmed, try to engage in positive self-talk that reminds you it is going to be OK. For instance, if plan A doesn't work, then lets try plan B (similar to the Growth Mindset post below). A moment of that positive self-talk may remind you that the holidays may not always be perfect, but a time to develop and share memories.
- Holiday playlist- Turn on your favorite holiday stations, or create a playlist of your favorite "feel good" songs that you can have access to during times of stress. Research shows that listening to music can lessen stress and anxious feelings.
· Exercise- is proven to be the best stress reliever. Exercise is good for everyone. It will help relax your body and mind.
· Reflecting- Sometimes just taking a few moments to think of all the reasons that you are grateful and thankful at this time of year and thinking about past memories, can relieve stress and make us feel a lot happier!
· Take a break- Prevent your work life from seeping into your holiday break. You can create a strict divide between home and work by shutting the door to your home office or not looking at your work email. With today's remote technologies, it can be all too easy to get sucked into your work while on vacation. Switch off push notifications, and take a break away from your work phone. Preventing professional disruptions during your holiday vacation can be the easiest way to avoid thinking about work.
- Take Care of yourself! Make time for yourself. Sometimes just spending 10 minutes alone without distractions may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do.