Whist the summer holidays can be a really fun time they can also be a time of stress, whilst you try and juggle the needs of a young family along with work and personal commitments.
Here are a few suggestions that may be of some help in getting the most out of this holiday season……
1. Have a Plan
Try and plan activities ahead of time to limit the stress of over spending and having to come up with spontaneous entertainment.
Create a list of local events, inexpensive activities and things to do at home so that you can schedule these in. Libraries, Churches, Schools, Leisure Centres and Local Notice Boards, can all be great resources to finding out what’s going on in your area.
Stock up on games, crafts, movies and other at home activities for rainy days or when you need to get things done. The internet can be a valuable resource for ideas.
You might also want to consider limiting the time spent on activities that you don’t want them to do i.e. sitting in front of the telly, playing on computer games etc.
Consider planning a treat for the end of the holidays so that everyone, including you, has something to look forward to. This can also be used to encourage and reward good behaviour and marks the holidays coming to end.
2. Don’t go it alone
Other parents will want to entertain their kids too so find ways to do things together. This will provide entertainment for the kids and adult conversation for you. Consider a child share with other parents to give you time to manage other commitments or have a mini break and then you reciprocate.
If you have family locally, they can be a great support and the holidays may provide an opportunity for your kids to connect and spend time with other family members.
Have your go to people who you can call and catch up with when you need some support and inspiration or just a chat.
Set aside a few minutes at the end of the day to plan the next day. Top of the list should be the things you have to get done (work or personal) and look for ways to group activities to knock a few things off the list at once.
Cancel out of events that you don’t want to go to or tasks that you can delegate or deprioritise during the holidays.
4. Say No
Whilst it’s great to be more active during the holidays, it can be easy to take on too much.
Have a list of excuses to hand so that you don’t get caught off guard and end up saying yes to something that you don’t have the time or energy to do.
Perhaps share some of your plan with your kids so that you don’t have to say no 100 times a day.
5. Look after yourself
Whilst you may have some really good healthy habits, it can be hard to maintain these during busy periods. If this is you then here are 5 suggestions to looking after yourself during the holidays:
Exercise - If you can get to a class then great but if not aim for activities you can do as a family. For instance walking, swimming, bike rides, outside games, going to the park, sports etc
Mood Lifters - Have a few up your sleeve for if you feel like you are about to have a sense of humour failure. Comedy shows, movies, books or why not put together a fun and uplifting play list that you can turn to if you need a mood lift.
Breathe - Breathing is a great way to help calm the nervous system down. A simple but effective way to do this is to inhale and exhale fully and slowly into your belly. Don’t force the breath rather allow it to expand slowly with each breath cycle. Do this 5 – 10 times. And relax!
Aim for a good night’s sleep - If we are sleep deprived we are less likely to be able to manage the demands of the day and maintain a positive disposition, so aim to get 7 – 8 hours of quality sleep.
Fuel - Try and keep the fun foods to a sensible amount to limit the post-holiday damage control. Stock up the freezer and cupboards with some healthier options to help in making better choices for meals and snacks. Also keep up the hydration to support your body in dealing with the extra load and the heat of summer.
And finally remember not to beat yourself up on the days that don’t go to plan!
Prepared by Practically Balanced