Tis the season! Helping de-stress the holidays for your little ones!

It is officially the holiday season. Thanksgiving is behind us and the next month or so brings promise of days filled with family gatherings, lengthy shopping and errand trips, and travel to see loved ones near and far. Even the most scheduled of families have to find extra balance during these busy weeks and often that means adjusting the daily routine to fit around whatever extra events are on the agenda that day. As any parent can tell you, having to adjust a little one’s schedule is not always an easy task. Naptimes, mealtimes and even play times are often disrupted and can cause your little one some extra “stress” during the holidays. After all, they do say that the holiday season is one of the most stressful times of year for us as humans….safe to assume that the little ones are not exempt from that either.

So, in the spirit of the season, here are a few tips for how to make the busy holiday season as seamless and stress free for your little love …and hopefully help makes you’re a little less stressful as well:

Make sure to spend some time each day outdoors! It truly is amazing what a few breaths of fresh air can do to help de-stress the day. Even if you are in cold, snowy conditions, take a minute with your little love to make a snow ball or explore the taste/feel of snow for the very first time. Some fresh air can almost always refresh the mood and re-set the spirit!
Schedule some quite time each day. This doesn’t have to be a lengthy period of time. Just a few minutes to take a time out from the chaos with your little one and read a quiet book, look at some family photos (super fun when visiting relatives), or even do a little mommy-and-me yoga. Make sure that they know, you are still there for them even during such a busy time of year.
Avoid overscheduling both you and your children. While the invitations can be plentiful this time of year, know that it is OK to say “no” as well. A few events a week may be what is most manageable for your family, while an event each and every day may simply be asking too much. Tis the season for giving, but be sure that you also remember to make your family priority when it comes to finding that ever-so-important balance.
Make sure that their diet stays healthy and balanced. We all know that sugary treats and over-indulgent meals are ever so plentiful this time of year. Likewise, it can be hard to find the time to make and serve the best meals for your kiddos. Consider making the week’s meals ahead of time and freezing them for easy prep during the week. Pack portable and healthy on-the-go snacks for those marathon trips to the mall or car-rides to grandma and grandpa’s house. Consider using meal services such as local company At First Bite (www.atfirstbitebaby.com) to make sure your little ones meals stay top-notch during the season.
Most importantly, make sure that you take time each and every day during the season to remind your children (and yourself) what the holiday season is really all about. Help them to look past the commercialized façade of the holidays and remember that spirit of giving and helping those around them is what makes the season so magical. It is very easy for this lesson to become lost in the hustle and bustle. As parents, we can simply do our best to help remind our children that the most important gifts do not come from the store. They come from the heart.