Regulate the Holiday Madness
Tips to make the holidays run smoothly
While Christmas usually barges it’s way into culture right after Halloween, Thanksgiving can also be stressful to prep for. Consider some tips for combating the overwhelm that can accompany these times:
Does the idea of addressing Christmas envelopes and sending them out already leave you frazzled? Consider opting for a card printing company to address and send for you. While varying fees accompany this service, consider the valuable ways your time could otherwise be spent and decide if it’s worth it.
Less Can Be More
While you may feel like “creating holiday magic” rests entirely on your shoulders, remember that you do not need to attend every holiday event that your community holds. Chances are, your kids will be just as happy sitting at home watching Christmas movies under a blanket as they would attending yet another Christmas bazaar or concert.
Leave Perfection Behind
Social media can make many parents, mothers in particular, feel like everything about the holidays must be homemade and/or picture-perfect. Care less about how pristine a ribbon-tied present will look and more about how the gift itself will light up your child’s face. And store-bought cookies? They can be pretty delicious.
vocabulary. Visuals can also help a child feel validated in their emotions, which can be helpful for children who don’t understand their feelings and/or don’t feel that their emotions are being acknowledged by others. With appropriate use of the Zones, children can be taught how to identify their feelings, recognize what zone they are in, and utilize strategies that will help bring them to the zone that is appropriate to the situation at hand (known as Zones Tools).
Examples of Zones Tools include the following for each zone:
Red Zone (to reduce anger, frustration and extreme feelings):
- Deep breaths
- Heavy work
- Taking a walk/run
- Listening to music
Yellow Zone (to ease worry, tension and silliness):
- Writing in a journal
- Talking a walk
- Being in nature
Green Zone (to maintain a level of calm):
- Reach out to a friend
- Write a list of accomplishments
- Reflect on what you’re thankful for
- Help someone
Blue Zone (to reduce feelings of fatigue, loneliness or illness):
- Do a puzzle
- Talk to someone
Many strategies are helpful for a range of emotions. For example, breathwork, journal writing and taking a walk could all be potential strategies listed under the blue, green, yellow and red zones.
To help children learn the Zones, parents can identify their own feelings in the presence of their child, such as stating, “I’m sad right now. I’m in the blue zone. I think a bubble bath will help me feel better.” Similarly, you can label your child’s emotions throughout the day to help them begin to recognize how they feel, and help guide them to strategies that would appropriately regulate their emotions.
As parents, it can be difficult not to mimic the zone that our children are in. After all, a child having a major meltdown likely drives their parent to feel on-edge as well. Similarly, the stress of parents can sometimes transfer to their child without conscious awareness. It is worth it to pause and evaluate our emotions and what zone we are in before expecting our child to modify their behavior.