How to Avoid Family Meltdowns during the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time for celebration and good cheer. However, a busy schedule packed with many different activities can be a little overwhelming for some. All the added excitement leaves little time for rest, which can lead to tiredness. Over-tiredness can cause agitation, which can leave the family feeling fraught and this can manifest into a meltdown. The holiday season is a time for happiness, where meltdowns want to be avoided.

Here is a guide on how to avoid family meltdowns during the holiday season:

Be realistic

With expectations being high due to the hype and commercialism many can lose sight of what the holidays are about. Sharing time with loved ones and having fun should be top of the agenda, with time for rest and relaxation. Expectations need to be tapered and the true meaning behind the holidays should be clarified to allow children to be more appreciative, and less expectant. Meltdowns can occur when children expect to get everything and fail to understand why they haven’t received all that they wanted. A good way to combat this problem is to ask them to write a wish list. Remind them that this is just a guide, and to be happy with whatever they receive.

Don’t over schedule

The holidays are a busy time with many events and activities taking place. However, keep a diary to ensure not to over schedule. Planning too much can only lead to exhaustion which can take away from the pleasure. Ensure to set aside time for some quiet family time to be able to reflect and relax to feel rejuvenated. Taking time to relax is important to be able to appreciate the holidays. Avoid striving for perfection, and aim for happiness, as this can make all the difference. The holidays are about joy and sharing time together, even if it is just time spent watching a seasonal movie with the family. The holidays don’t need to be overflowing with planed activities and events, as some downtime is good for the family to be able to recuperate.

Make time to rest

A happy family is a well rested family. Ensure that everyone gets ample sleep, and avoid keeping children up late for too many consecutive nights. Whilst it might be nice to have relaxed rules and more time together over the holidays, tired children are not always cooperative and happy. Being well rested allows for quality time together. Try to keep the bedtime routine in place where possible to allow an easy transition to sleep. The occasional late night won’t hurt, however, if it becomes too frequent it could cause meltdowns, as tired children can become cranky. Ensure all the family gets plenty of rest and good sleep to keep the atmosphere relaxed and harmonious.

Healthy choices

It can be tempting to overindulge during the holidays with all the rich foods on offer, which can lead to feeling agitated and unwell. The key to enjoying festive foods is to be sensible and continue to maintain a healthy diet to stay in good health. The body may struggle if radical changes are made, especially if the foods are richer than usual. If adults in the family continue to follow healthy eating habits whilst enjoying occasional treats, children are given a good example to follow. Growing children need a nutrient-rich diet that is varied. If treats are enjoyed occasionally, good wholesome foods are more likely to be consumed. Treats are better when they are enjoyed less often, as it makes them more special.

Be active

During the holidays a more relaxed attitude is often adopted, especially when rich foods and alcohol are flowing. However, it is important that the family stay active and get regular exercise to burn off energy and release any tension. Exercise releases endorphin’s that give a feel good factor, which raises mood and well-being. Make time for the family to enjoy activities that raise the heart beat and get the body moving. Activities can be fun and enjoyed together. Taking a brisk walk, or turning on some upbeat music and dancing are good ways to get some physical activity into the day.

Be fair

The holidays can put many families under pressure, as often gatherings are arranged where all the family are expected to turn up. Remember that the holidays are about good cheer, and if certain events are going to cause unwanted stress, decide against going. It can be difficult; however, if partaking in events is going to cause tension and unrest they are best avoided. Otherwise, to keep the peace, attend for a short time just to make an appearance, and leave before the tension rises. However, don’t feel pressurized to do what everyone else wants, and don’t feel guilty for not pleasing everyone. Spending time with immediate family and enjoying the holidays is what it is all about.

Be realistic and taper expectations, and remember the holidays are about sharing time together creating happy memories. Trying to exceed perfection in a bid to have a good holiday can only set up stress. If adults are stressed it can cause tension and put a dampener on the holiday spirit. Instead of worrying about every detail, follow in the children’s footsteps and kick back and enjoy this time in the way it should be celebrated.