Tips To Bring Joy To The Holidays

It’s that time of year; the cold weather, the snow, the holidays, Christmas lights, and less daylight. This time of year can be cheery and bliss for some but for others it can become stressful, overwhelming, tense, and anxiety provoking with changes in routines. Here are some helpful tips to help get through this time of year.

Show Gratitude

  • Gratitude Jar – Use a clear jar or bottle (you can have one per family member or have one for the whole family). Each day, family members write 1-3 things (one per slip of paper) they are thankful for or appreciated during the day. Discuss each thing you wrote before placing it into the jar. For extra fun, decorate your family jar with different ribbons, stickers, or paint – or check out this cute “stained glass” gratitude jar idea we found
  • Gratitude Journal – Each day, in a notebook or journal, write about something you are thankful for or appreciate. You can write one sentence or a paragraph, the choice is yours.
  • Mindful Gratitude Exercise – Take a break from electronics and normal day-to-day things to spend 5-10 minutes thinking about things you are grateful for.

Maintain Routine

  • Let kids have some freedom with their break from school but also find ways to maintain some structure/routine.
  • Find new ways to add routine into the schedule and reduce family tension with game/craft nights during school breaks.
  • Help kids have a plan for free time – create a list of things they can do during the day to stay occupied.
  • If a child’s routine is changing and will not be the same every day, review with the child when, where, and with whom they will be staying each day to reduce anxiety and/or confusion.


  • Allow yourself to practice self-care, individually and/or as a family, on a regular basis – and make this part of your routine.
  • Do something that makes you happy/smile – something that is relaxing for you.
  • Take a break when you need one, step away, and take some deep breaths.
  • Reach out to a friend or family member you have been meaning to talk with/get together with.