How to Prevent Holiday Stress and Anxiety in Children

Monthly Resources – December 2022
Published November 16, 2022

Tips for Coping with Stress During the Holidays

This infographic would be great for families going into a long vacation! (Photo Credit: Verywell / Madelyn Goodnight)

School personnel can adapt these strategies from How to Prevent Holiday Stress and Anxiety, published by verywellfamily, to the school environment, and can share them with parents. By employing stress management strategies themselves, adults can set a calm example and keep the home or school environment peaceful. By tending consistently to children’s needs for rest and food, we adults set up conditions for good behavior from children.

When adults remember the importance of routines and adhere to them as much as possible, children benefit. As holiday treats become widely available, it is important for adults to ensure that children are eating healthy food and to limit sugar consumption. If weather and appropriate clothing permit, fresh air can elevate mood. Even if children must be kept indoors, they need playful movement.

Holiday parties and special events can become overwhelming. Avoid overscheduling. Whether at home or at school, something may need to be eliminated temporarily to accommodate selectively chosen seasonal activities. Both parents and teachers can ask kids to help to keep them involved and busy.

As holiday seasons tend to be busier than other times, it is important to schedule quiet time deliberately. Reading to younger children and having older kids read silently, or quietly drawing, coloring or painting, can be very calming.

One final way, offered by verywellfamily, of preventing or reducing holiday stress, is to focus on helping others. Whether in a classroom discussion or family conversation, kids can help to identify needs. Maybe young parents in the neighborhood would appreciate having someone play with their children while they wrap gifts, or an elderly neighbor’s walkway needs to be cleared of snow.

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