Winter Break: Parents Edition

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parents holiday vacation

Setting boundaries for your time will keep your holidays less stressful and more restorative.

Keep the holiday vacation from feeling like anything but a break

We recently featured ways to keep kids productive during their holiday break, lest they fall into lazy summer habits. It can be easy to cast all attention on the children during the winter vacation, but parents, too, deserve some down time.

Many working adults with children save up their vacation to spend with family at the end of the year, and they shouldn’t neglect to carve out some much-needed moments of relaxation.

Parents, here are some ways to ensure that you’re able to give yourself the gift of relaxation this year when the holidays roll around.

Keep Scheduled “You Time”

Hopefully after getting your kids over their new school year nerves, you managed to find some time to do something just for you.

Do you have that one outlet a week that helps you escape from everything for just an hour? Maybe it’s your morning cup of coffee on the porch, or perhaps a book club with friends every other week. These moments are ones you look forward to, because they are restorative and uplifting.

If so, keep these things on the calendar during your kids’ holiday break. Maintaining consistency will give you a sense of control over a suddenly interrupted schedule, and it will guarantee that you get some necessary “you time.” Your mood will be lifted, and you’ll be able to enjoy the time you get to spend with family all the more.

Fit in Some Exercise

There’s no doubt about it; a little sweat can relieve a lot of stress. Over the holidays, our intake of sugars and fats tends to increase, making us feel a little more sluggish and a little less like going on a run. Even if time is at a premium while the kids are at home, strive to get in at least a half-hour of walking or running each day.

Exercise helps aid in sleep, digestion, and a balanced mood, benefiting virtually every bodily system. You can also make exercising a family affair, playing family-friendly sports games to ensure everyone gets some fresh air and physical activity in their day.

Shop Online

If there’s anything we’ve learned from massive year over year increases in Cyber Monday sales, it’s that gathering holiday gifts right from your laptop is definitely the way of the future. Use the internet to take care of simple gifts, like basic t-shirts or socks, as well as popular toys that will be in high demand and potentially difficult to find in stores. Mom blog Mater Mea even offers tips on where to make great cyber finds on kids clothes.

Online shopping often affords better deals and great shipping incentives, so you can skip the line, save time and money, and have gifts delivered to your door. Some merchants will even throw in free gift-wrapping along with your purchase. Just be sure your kids don’t get to the packages first when they arrive!

Exercise Your Right to “No”

Work parties. School parties. Cookie Parties. Gift-wrapping parties. Holidays are overloaded with events, and when everyone seems to be in the spirit, you may feel obligated to participate in everything that is thrown your way. Remember that opportunities are just that; a chance to say yes or no. You don’t have to do everything, and your time to yourself or with family is sacred and often scarce. Choose to participate in festivities that make you happy, not add to your stress.

These guidelines are great tips to practice all year round, but they are especially important around the holidays when so many plates are spinning. Do your best to focus on at least one or two of them this year, and notice the difference it makes.

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