18 Nov Helping your teen navigate their Christmas stress
Your child is on Christmas school holidays. That means no more homework, no more soggy school lunch sandwiches and no more early alarms for eight glorious, long weeks.
They should be rejoicing, but you notice they are more anxious, irritable and dispirited than usual.
Christmas season holiday stress is normal
It can be worrying to see your child or teen feeling this way, but know that mental health during Christmas holidays is a relatively common issue, often stemming from a change in routine.
Change of routine is an adjustment, and while being on school holidays might sound like an easy one, this is not the case for many kids.
School projects, study and extracurricular activities kept your child busy all year round. Without these commitments to fill in their time, they can be left floundering, feeling bored and unfulfilled.
Add on to this the fact that they might not be able to see their friends every day and you can begin to understand why your child is feeling down.
How to stay mentally healthy during the holidays
Here are three simple tips to help you guide your child or teen through this transition and overcome their school holiday blues:
Establish a new routine
Developing a new holiday routine can involve setting out specific times each day to do activities they enjoy. And although everybody deserves a sleep-in every so often, it is important that your child does not sleep in until midday every day.
Encourage them to reach out to friends
Kids can sometimes feel weird about reaching out to their friends, especially if they have not spent much time with them outside of school. For this reason, you might need to give your child a little push to take that first step in connecting with their friends.
Make a holiday bucket list
It is easy for your child to spend their entire holidays playing video games, scrolling through Instagram and watching YouTube, but this will not bring them any satisfaction. And it’s certainly not how they envisioned their summer holidays to be either. Deciding on fun activities to do can help break up the weeks and improve mental health during the holidays.
Consider a holiday youth program
If your child or teen is still stuck on what to during their long break, or if you feel they need a helping hand in overcoming their Christmas season holiday stress, you might want to consider the Junior Leader Program with the Veteran Mentors.
A nurturing, supportive boot camp like this one is a great way to get your child out of their head and their comfort zone.
The programs are run in mid December on the Gold Coast and mid January in Sydney.