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Lutherwood Caring People. Strengthing Lives.

Staying Grounded Over the Holidays

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The holidays often bring about additional stress for families and parents of young children. To do lists get longer with events to plan for and presents to buy, there may be more financial strain and pressure to attend more social events, and there may even be grief tied to the holidays. This year in particular, many families have also been battling colds and illnesses on and off since the beginning of the school year.

Having all these stresses at once may make the end of this year feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to help keep yourself grounded and enjoy the holidays as best as you can with your loved ones this year.

Check in with your Family –
If you are feeling overwhelmed with everything on your plate, chances are your children can sense it and may be feeling the same. Ask them how they’re feeling about the upcoming month, and what their hopes and concerns are. Working towards solutions together can help you bond as a family and make sure you’re all on the same page.

Be Patient with Yourself –
It has been a hard couple of years for everyone. Between the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, inflation, illnesses, medication shortages and health/education system uncertainty, many parents are feeling a strain and you are not alone. Don’t compare yourself to other parents or families you may see posting their perfect holiday pictures on social media. Remember, everyone has struggles behind the screen. You know what is best and are doing the best you can for your family with the mental, emotional and financial resources you have available to you. Connecting and being open with other parents in person and on social media can help build a community of support as well.

Set Realistic Expectations –
After two years of holidays impacted by the pandemic, it seems that many are trying to make up for lost time this year. Countless holiday markets, parades and events are in full swing with some families wanting to schedule dinners and get-togethers. Remember that some of us have lowered our social capacity during the last few years, and the thought of a regular holiday season may seem exciting but overwhelming. Talk with your children about setting realistic expectations of the number of events you all may be up to attending this year, especially taking into account giving yourselves time to rest, or needing to cut back to account for illnesses and keeping yourselves safe and healthy. There will be many more years of holidays to come and hoping that this one will be perfect may set yourself up for disappointment.

Being present, patient and kind with yourself and your family will go a long way in enjoying the rest of the year, whatever that looks like for you.

"I was 17, confused and thought I was a lost cause. I became homeless. I heard about Safe Haven's youth shelter, but was skeptical and scared. [But] the staff are extremely friendly and so supportive...I wasn't judged. They showed me how to cook, do a budget, and even helped me with my homework."