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Rhee Helliwell | Jul 24, 2017

Taking the stress out of the summer holidays

Categories: Summer, Children, Health, Tips

It’s no secret that the summer holidays can be a stressful time for parents and for kids. Often schedules are full to the brim with plans and activities, everyone has high expectations, not to mention regular routines and sleep patterns go a little haywire. We’ve put together some tips to help minimise stress and make the long break fun and more importantly memorable for all the right reasons.

Be realistic

It’s so easy for every day of the holidays to be jam-packed with activities, family visits and play-dates. However, this isn’t realistic and will only mean that by the time the new term comes around everyone will be exhausted. If the first few weeks have already been busy, remember, it’s okay to slow it down. Even though activities are lots of fun for everyone, downtime at home can be just as good. Days spent at home provide the opportunity for you and your kids to recharge and just relax!

Basic routines are key

Kids crave routine, so if it’s been lacking, then bringing a simple structure back will do the world of good. Start by encouraging your kids to do their regular chores, complete small learning tasks daily, eat meals at the same time and stick to a reasonable bedtime. Maintaining basic routines like this will also help when it comes to the back to school transition.

Lower expectations

Summer holidays are often associated with high expectations not only for kids but for parents too. Often these expectations can ruin plans, cause stress and tension or just put too much pressure on everyone. Lowering expectations or having none at all is guaranteed to ensure everyone has an even better break. Do this by going with the flow and enjoying every moment- big, small, good or bad. 

Be open to change

Being open to change is sure to take the stress out of the holidays. Plans are never set in stone, so having a plan ‘b’ (and ‘c’ if you like) is going to be handy and provide you with options if you need them. Remember, weather can change, cars can break down, kids can feel under the weather or be tired and grumpy. Having an alternative plan such as spending the day having a picnic at home and building dens with the kids, or spending an afternoon in the local library are great back up ideas that don’t require planning or resources! 

Give yourself a break

Even though the summer is a holiday for the kids, it’s also a break for you too. Don’t stretch yourself too thin as this will only make you feel tired and not to mention stressed!  Make sure you prioritise what ‘has’ to be done and say ‘no’ if you’re not feeling up to booking in another activity. Instead, schedule in some ‘me’ time, which is going to make a huge difference when it comes to you enjoying the holidays. Go out for a walk to the park, book in a coffee date with a friend or just spend some peaceful time reading whilst the kids are asleep.

Laugh as much as possible
Kids pick up on their parents’ stress and tension. So, if you’re stressed your child will probably be feeling this way too! Having a sense of humour and laughing as often as possible, no matter what happens, will be sure to leave a positive on any situation, making the summer break memorable and fun.