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Coco Warner reporting It may be "the most wonderful time of the year"-- as a song suggests-- but, we could also call it the most stressful time of the year.
Our to do list increases ten fold, as does our stress. All the shopping, cooking, travelling, and entertaining can be a bit much. And if you're stressed out, think about your children.
The good news is, by lowering your own stress, you will help lower everyone's around you.
All the hustle and bustle of the holidays can be fun, but it can also be stressful. The noise, the crowds, and the demands on our time all add up.
Marge McCoy/Valley Mental Health: "You can get so consumed with trying to make your house the best house for the hoidays, or the best Christmas for the kids."
So to cut down on stress, experts recommend trying to keep to your normal routine as much as possible. Take time for yourself, and even skip events if you have to.
Marge McCoy/Valley Mental Health: "I think you have to remind yourself a lot of the best holidays are just made out of you feeling comfortable and being able to relax, and the people that you like. So whatever you can do to take care of yourself, [do it]."
If you're feeling stressed as an adult during the holidays, imagine what your child is feeling.
Michele Orphanakis/Expanding Horizons Dir.: "This time is such an exciting one for children. We know that there are so many fun activities and events that children can attend. But sometimes the same things that may be so exciting for them can also overwhelm them."
So watch for any changes in your child's behavior-- if they're overtired or cranky. And make sure you talk about what's happening. Also, help them get enough sleep, prioritize events and don't overbook.
Still, family traditions this time of year are important.
Michele Orphanakis/Expanding Horizons Dir.: "A little predictability is great. But typically a day or two notice is all a child really needs to prepare for an event."
You don't want to give too much advance notice, otherwise your child may get over-excited about the visit to Santa Claus, or whatever it is.
So, here's how you can reduce stress this year, for you and your child.
Keep a routine
Take time for yourself
Get enough sleep
Prioritize events-- don't overbook!
Creat family traditions
Tomorrow we tackle managing your time during the holidays.