" The kids are home from school, quietly wrapping the presents they bought at the school store for family members. A fire is crackling in the fireplace and the smell of freshly baked cookies wafts through the holiday decorated house. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? Nothing at all if you're in a Hallmark Card. The reality is more likely to be overstimulated and tired kids, unbaked holiday treats, presents yet to be purchased, the decorations still unpacked in the basement and a totally frazzled you!!" (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia)
This year, try having holidays without hassles. Plan a different approach including relaxation and enjoyment.
1. Try NOT to do everything yourself. Make a list of what others (especially the children) can do to help and encourage them to do it. Remember it is ok if every cookie you make is not identically shaped.
2. Eat for Health. Have an apple, small yogurt or other snack before going to a holiday party so you won't be starving and desire the goodies immediately upon arrival. Many holiday recipes can be "lightened up" by making substitutions such as yogurt for sour cream, by using reduced fat dairy products or by using applesauce instead of oil when making brownies.
3. Keep Moving. Maintain your usual exercise routine. The added stress and caloriesmean you need physical exercise even more. Try (as if you had a choice) to park your cara distance away from the shopping mall entrance.
4. Plan fun activities with the kids. Plan activities not on the "to do" list, like going to a show, to a museum, or going ice skating.
5. Emphasize what's important and the true meaning your family has for the holidays.
6. Get plenty of rest. Balance activities with rest periods. Encourage all family members to get a good night's sleep every night so they are refreshed to enjoy all of the holiday festivities.
Happy healthy Holidays to everyone.....Mrs. Kaplan