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  • Writer's pictureChristi Boujikian

HOW TO BEAT HOLIDAY STRESS FOR KIDS

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

Prioritizing sleep quality and optimal nasal breathing for you and your child during the busyness of the holiday season can feel like a far-fetched wish! But to truly be able to minimize stress and delight in all the wonders of this season, that’s exactly what we need!


sleep health for kids during the holiday season

Not overloading your family’s schedule can be a helpful first step. As we try to see as many of our friends and family during the holiday season, it's worth taking a step back to weigh out the pros and cons of each event and then, only selecting a few to attend to keep stress at bay and opportunities for quality rest open. Lessened sleep quality can affect your child's body and brain in so many ways (including their blood sugar, hormones, mood, immune system, and general health). Even just one night can have a profound effect and throw your child's circadian rhythm off balance...so choose your scheduled events wisely!



For some kids, the whirlwind of the holidays can be overwhelming, especially if they aren't able to get enough rest. That can make it tougher to deal with the sensory overload, schedule changes, and everything else that might pop up – like colds, cases of flu, or other illnesses. But hang in there and remember it’s just a season. Life will return to your normal schedule quicker than you say "reindeer games."


TIPS FOR MANAGING STRESS


To help you manage stress for yourself and your little ones during the holiday season, here are a few tips and tricks to keep in your parenting toolbox:


  • Stay aware of your breath and oral rest posture

    • Ensure your breath is slow – 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out

    • Utilize different breathwork techniques ahead of any stressful events

    • Download the free Buteyko app

  • Keep up with your nasal hygiene routine

  • Focus on balanced meals to help fuel the body and off-set the increased sugar intake

    • Go protein-heavy before sweets & carbs to keep blood sugar more stable and to help with sleep quality!

    • Take vitamin and mineral supplements (Stress can deplete minerals)

    • Stay consistent with your electrolytes and hydration

  • Try to maintain as consistent of a bedtime routine as possible

    • Add magnesium or lavender lotion to the routine to provide added stress reduction and a soothing touch to your little one's bedtime routine

  • If wrapping presents in a time crunch, do not be afraid to find gift bags or just add a bow if it is easier! Don’t stay up late wrapping --- parents need sleep too!

  • If planning a large gathering, see where you can minimize difficulties and maximize time by outsourcing – you don’t have to do it all!

    • Can you do a potluck style? Catering? Pile together some graze trays instead of a large meal

    • Don’t be afraid to use paper plates to help make clean-up easier

  • Protect your mental health!

    • Discern healthy boundaries for any tricky people you may encounter and hold to them

    • Move your body --- even a quick 10-minute walk can help release stress

    • Make sure you are nasal breathing during exercise

  • Prep your kids for the changes in schedule and manage their expectations ahead of time when possible --- most kids do better when they aren't surprised, so talk to them about upcoming events and activities and let them be part of the planning process

  • Make sure to laugh and enjoy your time with your kiddos

 


For kids, the best thing we can do is to take care of ourselves! Their nervous system will mirror ours so anything from the above list that can help keep you in a calming rest and digestive parasympathetic state will be of benefit to our kiddos. Oral rest posture, breathwork, nasal hygiene, exercise, and of course, sleep quality are all important points for kids as well.


Wishing you all a peaceful holiday season filled with abundant blessings and a bright start to 2024!


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