Guest blogger, Sharon James, Senior Parent Educator

Practicing mindfulness with your family during the holidays can be difficult but it is very important! So many parents report feelings of being stressed during this time of year. There are more holiday-related responsibilities and with shorter days, managing changes in your children’s school schedule stress are inevitable. To add to the stress, we are SUPPOSED to be joyful and happy so we push our more negative feelings aside. Here are some parenting tips for a calm and enjoyable Holiday Season:

1) Intentionally slow down to get more done. When we hurry, we become forgetful and resentful. Focus on one thing at a time and your to-do list will be more manageable and you will feel more accomplished.

2) Show empathy towards yourself and say ‘no’. It is o.k. to decline an invitation and replace it with alone time to read, go for a walk or take a lavender-infused bath. Self-care is a great value to model to your children.

3) Create traditions that fit your family. If baking cookies from scratch is not something you enjoy and have no time for, create another tradition that is better suited to your family. Perhaps it is watching a holiday movie and making homemade hot cocoa or chocolate-covered popcorn.

4) Delegate chores according to everyone’s strengths. Does your son love to help with cooking? Let him plan and prepare a simple dinner. Is your daughter creative? Have her help with decorating or wrapping presents.

5) Make room for Mindfulness. Create space to do mindful moments with your family. Before a meal, before bedtime, a few moments of mindful breathing can be relaxing and calming.