I love the movie “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase. It is the epitome of what a stressful holiday looks like. Now, add COVID to the mix and “Christmas Vacation” would be at a whole other level.

With all the sheltering and isolation from friends and family lately, you may be feeling extra anxious or depressed this holiday. Keep in mind, your kids may be feeling that way, too. It’s important to give yourself some grace and latitude about what’s challenging you during this trying time and surrender to “what is.” Below are a few reminders to help you and your family keep level during the holidays.

Tips For A Calmish COVID Holiday:

  1. Keep as much of a routine as possible. It doesn’t matter who you are, routine and predictability help to maintain the peace during stressful times.
  2. Remember the HALT cues – never get too:
    • Hungry
    • Angry
    • Lonely
    • Tired
  3. If it’s helpful to your family, create a plan and schedule for the holiday so everyone knows when activities will happen. For kids that struggle, doing verbal reminders 30, 15, 10 and 5 minutes out can be helpful.
  4. Give reminders often about expectations. Some people may need more repetition than others.
  5. Use as much empathy as possible. If you have a challenging child, my guess is that they process information differently or are lacking in skills. They may just need extra time to do something or given direction in a different way.
  6. Maintain boundaries with love. We can often get angry if we don’t hold boundaries and give into pressures from kids or peers.

BONUS TIP: Pick a word or two that helps you get through the day or an event – maybe one that you find difficult to practice. Some examples might be – patience, grace, forgiveness, surrender, etc.