Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Ten top tips for stress free summer holidays

We all love our kids and families but if we don't think ahead about how to make the most of it, filling the time over the summer can be stressful. So this month I'm going to give tips about keeping calm and relaxed so you make the most of the summer holidays.
  1. Limit the time spent in bedrooms and on TV and computers. Apply this to yourself as well as your kids, get out there and do something more interesting together.
     
  2. The simplest activities keep younger ones occupied. I remember my daughter, aged about 4, spending a happy afternoon "painting" my garden fence with a large pasting brush and a bucket of water. Other Mums who tried this found their kids loved it too. Leave your best tip for a quiet afternoon in the comments below.
     
  3. If time, cash or transport are a problem, plan a picnic in the garden. Or if it rains have it in the house - sit on the floor and eat with your fingers!
     
  4. Buy some really cheap clothes from charity shops - let the kids cut them up and remake them for a fashion show or fancy dress.
     
  5. Research from Peugot a couple of years ago showed that many parents were stressed or anxious when making long journeys with their children. Plan games to keep them amused. We gave points for the first person to see a certain kind of vehicle, such as a blue car, or a red lorry. Looking for a pink tractor kept my nephews quiet on the motorway for ages! What's your favourite journey game?
     
  6. Set a challenge such as 'family come dine with me'. With older kids ask each member of the family to prepare the evening meal in turn and vote for the best. If you have younger ones, arrange teams of one child and one adult to do the same.
     
  7. Compromise is the key - on our family holidays we let each person choose one activity and we all agreed to do them with enthusiasm. You might not have thought that going to the skunk show was your thing (yes, we really went) but you might just enjoy it when you get there (actually, we did).
     
  8. Focus on living in the present. Give yourself permission to laugh and have fun. Laughter is a great stress reliever and this is an important skill whether you’re on holiday or not.
     
  9. Don’t ignore the chores, take a leaf from Mary Poppins and make them fun. Set challenges like who can tidy their bedroom quickest, or trade some help with the washing up for some extra computer time.
     
  10. Be realistic and accept that things don’t have to be perfect. Try to see the lighter side of minor disruptions and inconveniences, work together on the larger stuff. Overcoming challenges together can help a family to bond.
 
 
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Author: is a professional stress management coach, specialising in working with individuals and smaller employers to minimise stress and maximise feeling in control.Debbie is has also written about helping people with IBS in the Hypnotherapy Handbook which is available from Amazon.co.uk.
Find out more about Debbie's services on www.yorkshirestressmanagement.com  or phone 01977 678593

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