Tips for dealing with holiday stress

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (WYOMING NEWS NOW) -- Eric Patterson, from Cheyenne Youth Alternatives, sent us some helpful tips for dealing with holiday stress:

The holidays are meant to be fun, relaxing, and a chance to spend quality time with family, but too often we find that they end up being quite the opposite. Here are some tips on how to manage family stress during the holidays:

1. Set Realistic Expectations

a. Remember that none of us can do everything and there is no such thing as a perfect holiday.

b. Identify what is most important to you and take small steps towards that instead of trying to tackle everything at once.

c. Keep everything in perspective: The holidays will be over before you know it and we will all be back to normal, everyday life soon so don’t overwhelm yourself with something that is fleeting.

2. Take breaks to unwind and recharge

a. Especially as a parent, it can be extremely difficult to convince ourselves to stop and relax when we have so much to do around the holidays; but we all wear down, become less productive, and often become difficult to be around when we don’t take time to unwind and de-stress.

b. Everyone is much more likely to remember what your mood was and how you interacted with them than what decorations were up, what gifts were given, and how many pies came out of the oven.

3. Stick to Routines

a. Maintaining family sleeping, eating, and physical activity schedules during the holidays is difficult, but can be extremely helpful in keeping energy levels up.

b. It can also help reduce anxiety and irritation as well as help younger children avoid meltdowns.