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Regardless of how or where you celebrate the holidays associated with the winter months, stress can be felt. From trying to find a parking place to ensuring you were charged the correct sale amount …
Regardless of how or where you celebrate the holidays associated with the winter months, stress can be felt. From trying to find a parking place to ensuring you were charged the correct sale amount for an item, adults feel the pinch of the holiday season and often struggle to keep their feelings, emotions, actions and words under wraps so not to create unnecessary stress for others.
However, these types of stress often apply only to adults. What about youth? Children don’t feel the stress of the holidays, right? With dreams of cookies, snowmen, presents and snow days what could possibly cause stress for youth during the holidays? Plenty!
The following are signs that youth might exhibit when they’re feeling holiday stress:
Tear and cry for seemingly minor reasons
Bite nails, twirl hair or show other nervous behaviors
Express complaints about physical problems including stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, diarrhea, etc.
Regress to younger behaviors such as bed wetting or eating with their hands
Withdrawal from school friends or siblings
Any other behavior the youth doesn’t normally exhibit
Likewise, the following tips can help the youth in your life manage stress during the holidays:
Limit TV and video games. Do not let TV and video games become a babysitter. Remember that youth who are stressed need physical activity and exercise.
Remember routines. A disruption in routines during the holidays is something we may not have control over. Yet, keep in mind that this disruption may cause additional stress.
Nutrition. Plan for at least one healthy meal as a family each day and don’t forget some healthy snacks. Adding too much fast food and sugary treats can result in a stressed out, hungry family!
Family traditions. Family traditions tend to offer great comfort and security for children when everything else during the holiday season seems to be disrupted.
Attitude check. Both children and their parents need to have an attitude check before the holiday season begins. Remind everyone that with the right attitude, the holiday season can be a time of joy and peace.
Rest and relaxation. Don’t forget to take a “time out” to rest and relax- this includes everyone. Youth who are well rested tend to be happier.
Laugh. Laughter is the best way to beat stress and change bad moods into good moods. Take time to read the comics or find a holiday joke book to share with youth.
Do not forget to be a role model for youth during the holiday season. Breathe, relax, and take each day as it comes modeling appropriate behavior for the stressed youth in your life. Children really do feel the stress of the holidays, be sure you are helping them to manage their feelings, emotions, actions and words.