Turn Holiday Stress Off

by | Dec 2, 2011 | Anxiety, Pessimism, World Worries, Stress

by Lori Lite, Founder of Stress Free Kids

Just say the word “holidays” and most of us go straight into stress mode. The economy is adding extra restrictions on gift giving and children still have high magical expectations. With a shift of focus, you can turn the stress off and turn on good health, deeper connections with your children, and relaxation. Use this holiday season to incorporate relaxation and stress management into your family’s lives and keep the magic alive.


6 Tips to Help Turndown the Holiday Stress

1. Give your family a better understanding of the economic climate and why their holiday gifting expectations may need to be adjusted.

Rent Kit Kittredge: An American Girl for a family movie night. Everyone will be reminded to appreciate family.

2. Be aware of your language.

It is easy to become negative during the holidays. Use positive statements and affirmations like, “I am happy, I am calm, I am thankful, I am healthy.” Encourage children to write their own affirmation and stick it on their pillow or mirror.

3. Don’t rush.

I don’t know anyone that can rush and feel stress free at the same time. Children are especially prone to meltdowns when asked to rush. Leave extra time for the purpose of moving slowly and focusing on your breathing. Enjoy the moment.

4. Bring creativity and music into your home.

Place musical instruments like jingle bells, maracas, and tambourines on the coffee table. A box of fun hats and reindeer antlers on the floor and let the creativity and stress management begin. Join in the fun and lead a parade around your apartment or house. Laugh and you will enjoy less stress and more joy. Film it and share with relatives during the holidays. Children want your time more than presents.

5. Cold weather brings lots of opportunities to get outside.

Take the kids on a walk to look for elf tracks in the snow. Leave a container of water outside to invite Jack Frost to visit. Use the cold air as an aid to teach children how to use relaxation or diaphragmatic breathing.

6. Breathing is one of the most effective stress management available to all ages.

The following excerpt from my story Sea Otter Cove can be used with your family. Sit outside and pretend you are sea otters…watch your breath hit the cold air and get ready to feel good!

The following excerpt is from Sea Otter Cove: A Relaxation Story. This story is also available on the Indigo Ocean Dreams CD and in Spanish.  To see your breath hit the cold air, breathe out through your mouth and say ahhhh….

The sea child told the sea otter to breathe in through his nose and out through his nose.  He focused all of his attention on the tip of his nose.

They both did this breathing together.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose.

In 2, 3, 4… out 2, 3, 4. In 2, 3, 4… out 2, 3, 4.

The sea child told the sea otter that he could breathe this way whenever he felt angry or scared or nervous. He could focus on the air moving in and out of the tip of his nose, and he could feel calm. The sea otter placed his hands on his belly, and felt it lift up and down as the air moved in and out. For a few moments they both did this breathing together.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

In 2, 3, 4… ahhhh 2, 3, 4. In 2, 3, 4… ahhh 2, 3, 4.

The sea child’s mind began to wander. She imagined that her thoughts were a feather as she blew them away with her next breath out.  She focused her attention on her breath again as she drew in a breath of warm fragrant sea air.

She liked the way it felt to quiet her mind.

She focused on the way the air felt moving in and out of her nose. She felt her belly lift up and down as the sea child and the sea otter continued to breathe together.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

In 2, 3, 4…ahhh  2, 3, 4. In 2, 3, 4… ahhh 2, 3, 4.

In 2,3, 4…out 2,3,4.


Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. For more information visit  Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook.