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A Parent’s Survival Guide for Winter Break: 7 Ways You Can Have a More Enjoyable Winter Break

Posted by on Dec 1, 2020 | Comments Off on A Parent’s Survival Guide for Winter Break: 7 Ways You Can Have a More Enjoyable Winter Break

A Parent’s Survival Guide for Winter Break: 7 Ways You Can Have a More Enjoyable Winter Break

In December, Ophelia’s Place is launching a take-home craft kit for girls to create Winter Break Survival Guides full of physical, emotional and social self-care projects and prompts to support them through their upcoming break. (Learn more about how your girl can participate.)

Parents, we know winter break can be filled with upcoming activities, expectations, and to-dos that are amplified by the challenges of 2020. So we have seven tips just for you to include in your own survival guide.

Assess your needs, including:

1. Your physical needs. Ask yourself the following questions: What has my body been telling me lately? Do I need to get more sleep? Do I want to find more time to exercise? Do I need to remember to drink more water? Listen to your body’s needs. While this time of year can be stressful, you aren’t supposed to feel run down. Practice a breathing exercise or mindfulness activity to help you de-stress. Pay attention to your body’s signals and practice safe social-distancing if you’re spending time outside your home.

2. Your emotional needs. Do you feel more pressure during the holiday season? We get pulled in many directions and so many to-dos pile up on our plates that they get too heavy to carry. Don’t be afraid to say no. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, look at what you can remove or delegate from your to-do list. Plan in advance for things you know you want to do and help others manage their expectations about your schedule and availability by communicating your needs early.

3. Your social needs. Maybe you are especially looking forward to spending time with family at the end of this very difficult year. Or maybe there are certain people who trigger your anxiety when you see them. Examine your social needs – which may look different this year – and commit to doing what’s best for you and your family. Again, don’t be afraid to say no. You may not have time or not feel comfortable attending that ugly sweater party this year, and that’s okay. Or maybe you need to push past your shyness and invite a friend to a virtual coffee break because you miss them. Make your winter break an enjoyable one and be intentional with every social gathering you attend.

Other ideas to help you this winter break:

4. Create a schedule for how your youth can spend their time during the break. Include things like screen time, chores and cleaning around your home, activities or events in the community, homework assignments, hobbies, and time with family and friends (under safe social distancing conditions).

5. Plan a family service project. This time of year generates a lot of giving in the community. Is there an organization or cause that you’d like your kids to get involved with? Could some of your lonely neighbors use some cheering up? Put together a small gift that your youth can drop off on their doorsteps. You can do a homemade gift or purchase gifts from local businesses.

6. Remember those technology contracts we talked about earlier this year? Pull those out and review them for any updates. These contracts can help establish expectations for how much screen time is acceptable

7. Practice self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone. Maybe for you it’s connecting with friends or family members. Maybe it’s going outside for a run. It could be writing in a journal or taking an extra-long shower in the evening before bed. Whatever it is, do it, even if you have to schedule it on your calendar. Check out a few ideas for practicing self-care, and enjoy your winter break.