Holiday Survival Tips for New Parents
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or is it? A 2015 survey by Healthline revealed that majority of people find the holiday season stressful. There are plenty of reasons to be stressed out during this time of the year from skyrocketing holiday expenses to hectic schedules.
The holidays can be extra challenging for new parents who must find a way to balance parental duties and all the activities that come with the season. If you’re a new mom or dad, this article is for you! Read on to know how you can manage stress and have a good time with your growing family in the midst of the holiday hullabaloo.
What causes holiday stress?
People are stressed out by a variety of reasons during the holiday season. To effectively manage stress, it helps to identify what is causing your anxiety and to remember that you are not alone.
Healthline surveyed 2,280 people and found that top causes of holiday stress to be finances (47 percent), healthy eating and exercise (16 percent), picking the right gift (15 percent), scheduling (12 percent) and other reasons (10 percent) which include being away from family, working in retail, cooking meals and family drama.
6 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress
Here are some tips for dealing with holiday stress. These stress management techniques are useful for new parents but they are also relevant to anyone feeling harried and hectic during this time of the year.
1.Set aside personal time to recharge
Your to-do list may seem particularly daunting during the holiday season. There are gifts to be wrapped, food to be cooked, parties to attend, guests to be entertained and so much more that need to get done. Make sure you take time to relax and always prioritize your health. You can accomplish your tasks more easily and make time with your family more enjoyable if you are not stressed and sick.
2.Have realistic expectations
With everything going on during the holidays, it can be tempting for you to bite more than you can chew. Are you part of the party organizing committee at work and at home? Do you have too much on your plate? There is going to be a shift in priorities now that you are a new parent so take time to evaluate what you can and can’t do. Avoid committing to too many events and don’t be afraid to ask for help with chores or for watching the baby.
3.Do volunteer work
Doing volunteer work is a rewarding experience. It helps you look at your personal struggles in a new light and it will remind you of the essence of the “Season of Giving.” Instead of the usual party, consider organizing an outreach program that you and your family members can take part in. If you are too busy to organize, you could volunteer for a local charity like a soup kitchen or shelter.
4.Keep conversations healthy and positive
Some people get anxious during the holidays because they fear awkward conversations and family feuds. Keep the mood light and positive by gently reminding everyone that the holidays are a great time to express love and gratitude to one another. During family get-togethers, organize activities that encourage everyone to focus on the good and which foster positive connections.
5.Have a support group
The holidays can be particularly stressful for new parents who are still adjusting to their roles as new moms and dads. It certainly helps to have a close circle of friends and family with whom you can talk to and ask help from. It takes a village to raise a child, as the saying goes. Opening up your concerns honestly with trustworthy people will help you manage stress and navigate through new situations in a productive way.
6.Seek professional support
Holiday stress is sometimes inevitable especially with all things going on during the holidays. If you feel like your anxiety is serious and interfering with your responsibilities, consider seeking help from a psychologist or mental health specialist. These professionals are trained to help you identify problems and develop plans of action to effectively address them.
Here are additional tips for a stress-free holiday season:
1. Make a shopping list
It’s easy to get carried away with shopping especially with all the holiday sales and promos going on this time of the year. To avoid spending on unnecessary things, create a shopping list which includes the people you are buying gifts for and set the budget you have for each item. You may want to use last year’s holiday expenses as a guide for making your shopping list as well.
2. Look out for special deals and promos
Make sure you are following your favorite brands and shops on social media. Many retailers advertise special discounts and promos online so make sure to take advantage of these deals. Similarly, if you’re up for it, go shopping on Black Friday to score incredibly low prices on items on your shopping list.
3. Wear something comfortable when shopping
You don’t call it holiday rush for nothing! Expect crowded malls, long lines and lots of walking around when shopping during the holiday season. Keep in mind that in between shopping, new parents need to squeeze in time for new parental duties like diaper changes and feeding so make sure to wear something comfortable. Ditch the uncomfortable shoes and go for flats or sneakers and wear clothes that will let you move around easily.
4. Shop online
Shopping online is a practical idea if you’re running late with the holiday shopping or simply want to avoid crowded malls and long lines. Everything is virtually available online now and it’s much more efficient if you
1. Share gift ideas
Deciding what gifts to give your loved ones can be tricky and time-consuming. Save time and money by sharing holiday gift ideas with friends and family members in advance. Make a list of things you need and ask loved ones to do the same. The list of gift ideas will be useful in ensuring that the gifts you give and receive are actually needed.
2. Recycle wrappers
Consider wrapping your gifts in recycled materials like newspaper or magazines. This way, you are not only saving money, you can also reduce the clutter in your home.
3. Do gift swapping
One genius way to make gift-giving more meaningful and cost-efficient is to do gift swapping between members. Write names on a small paper, put them in a bowl and let family members draw a name each. This will save time and money as you no longer have to buy and wrap individual gifts for all your family members.
Hosting at Home
1. Skip elaborate meals
As new parents you might not have the luxury of time to organize and prepare an elaborate dinner. Breakfast is easier to prepare and much more cost-efficient than a dinner party so consider having a simpler get-together over brunch. Keep things simple, the important thing after all is to have meaningful time together as a family.
2. Focus decorating on one part of the house
Preparing and cleaning up will be much more convenient if you decorate one room or area of the house. Consider decking out the dining room or living room since this is where most of the entertaining will take place. If you think about it, it’s much more beautiful to fill the house with happy memories and holiday cheer than disposable decorations.
3. Get professional services
If you have the budget but no time, consider hiring third-party service providers to help you with preparing your home for the holidays. There are loads of professional service providers you can enlist for help from catering to decorating to cleaning. Any help will go a long way for making the holidays hassle-free and less stressful especially with your new parental duties.
1. Pick your parties
Don’t feel obligated to accept all event invitations this season. Now that you have a child and new parental duties, going out will not be so simple anymore. Prioritize the more meaningful get-togethers like the ones with people you rarely see or enduring family traditions.
2. Set expectations
As new parents your child is now your top priority and it will help to set proper expectations when attending holiday events. Coordinate an exit plan with your partner (what time you will be leaving and where you will meet up) and let your hosts early on how long you plan to stay.
The holiday rush coupled the seemingly endless flood of advertising can make us forget about what the season is about. Take a step back to reflect on these good things if you feel like you’re becoming too caught up in unnecessary details. Remember, the holidays should be spent and celebrated with a heart of gratitude and this is especially true now that you have a bigger family.
Don’t sweat the small stuff this holiday season! Don’t be like this mom going gaga while getting ready for company: