Why Christmas Will Be Stress Free This Year

It’s that time of year again and I cannot believe how quickly the year has flown by.  I like to buy myself a week-to-view diary/journal and take time to write the important dates in it, transferring them carefully from my old diary.  It’s not hi-tech, not the most efficient use of time and there are certainly more reliable ways of doing it in this digital age.  But I like it because it allows me to gather my thoughts, revisit the old year and realize just how much I accomplished during that time… and how much I never got around to! 

Christmas is also a very poignant time for me because it was at Christmas time ten years ago that my mother suddenly died.  She had early onset Alzheimer’s and was only 71.  It was a shock and – to some extent – a relief when she passed on as the illness had long stolen away the person who was my mother.  I have still not got over losing her even though I did not see her very much (I live 300 miles away) and could not phone her at all in the latter stages because her illness meant she got confused easily and readily distracted.  I still miss her.

And I have a Christmas cold – again.  It comes from the stress of the season.  I get one most years, except for the first Christmas with the boys when the whole family fell ill with projectile vomiting.  Now that was a memorable Christmas!  Not.  Sadly we had the in-laws over from Spain so we went through with the whole festive thing and felt terrible.  I think it was only the in-laws who ate the meal.  Had we been on our own we would have postponed the celebrations until we felt well! 

We’re off to see Father Christmas tomorrow.  It’s probably going to be the last year we can before the magic is broken.  The boys will make toys with the elves and ice something unhealthy with Mrs Claus, visit the reindeer and then we’ll go ice skating.  It should be great!  Just hope it doesn’t snow for real – the UK being unable to handle anything but the most mediocre of weather, more than 20 flakes will probably shut the M25!

Not that I’d mind if it did this year, because I’m ready.  Decorations done, cards written, presents bought – and wrapped, itinerary planned, family invited… and other half doing the food.  Feels great!  Definitely the way to a stress free Christmas!

Don’t Stress Your Kids

Today’s world is a stressful place – and for kids as well as adults.  We all have a lot of pressure in our adult lives, what with workplace challenges and family problems.  It’s so easy to forget that kids get stressed too!

Whilst it’s true that parents have to deal with the stresses and strains of daily living – it’s also true that much of it spills over to the children.  This “fall out” transferred stress can be anything from the parents fighting and arguing about how to handle a certain situation to the parents snapping at their kids because of their own stress load. 

Children can’t always understand this, especially young kids.  But they always pick up on it and are affected by it.  School problems add to their stress, too.  Getting ready for an exam can be a huge problem to a young child.  Facing bullies or dealing with a teacher that may not be very sympathetic can put pressure on them as well.  And for twins schooled in different classes, separation from their twin can be stressful.

And who can blame the stressed out parents if they are so busy dealing with their own problems that they overlook their child’s needs to talk about their own problems?  Pre-teen and teen depression is a serious problem in the western world and is at an all-time high in the USA. 

Adults may shrug off the “lesser” problems of their son or daughter as a petty concern but to your child it appears differently.  Because stress comes chiefly from the perception on stress, we each view our problems from our own personal insight.  A child’s view of the world is not and cannot ever be the same as that of the parents.  But it doesn’t mean that they don’t have a valid stress.

Kids deal with stress in different ways.  Some run with a “bad crowd” and get into drugs or alcohol etc.  Others retreat into themselves and into brooding and depression. 

You can help a young child during stressful times by being a sympathetic listener.  Try not to offer too much advice unless asked.  Try to put yourself in their shoes.  Above all, be there for your growing child or young adult.  After all you know that de-stressing is essential to your long term good health.  The same is true for your child.