This is a sponsored post written as part of my involvement with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
Last year I patted myself on the back for taking a holiday photo while we were in Hawaii for Thanksgiving and ordering cards on vacation that were waiting for us when we arrived home. This year? I just ordered my cards and struggle to find a chunk of time on an upcoming weekend where we can go out and get a Christmas tree! I’d like to say this isn’t my year but honestly, there’s always a lot to do during the holidays.
Rather than sharing the items on my to-do list that causes a slight anxiety attack, I can feel better about the fact that I’m not alone. A recent survey by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR) found that 51% of parents with kids ages 18 and younger report stress due to holidays. It’s probably not surprising that adults with no kids or parents of kids ages 18 and older feel a considerably less stress than the rest of us.
What causes stress? Oh let me count the ways!
- 58% of parents reported not having enough time
- 56% reported finances and money as being a source of stress
- 48% reported family (ah, nothing says the holidays like tense family get togethers!)
- 25% reported holiday activities and parties
- 10% indicated everything about the holidays is stressful!
Whether or not you feel like the holidays are hell, how do you manage your stress so you’re able to enjoy the beauty of the season?
These days I’ve embraced saying no and reveled in doing less. True friends understand that it’s a busy time of year and don’t take offense to us sending regrets to yet another cookie swap, neighborhood open house, or even New Year’s Eve party. (Yes, some friends are THAT organized!) The scrambling around to make everyone happy with an appearance at their event honestly stresses me out. I’ve learned to embrace my inner introvert and say no in favor of a quiet night at home with my family as we watch a favorite movie in our PJs on the couch that preserves my holiday sanity.
Prioritizing happens to be the way that parents manage stress best. 50% of moms reported coping with holiday stress by focusing on what’s important. Other ways that parents handle holiday stress include listening to music, taking time for themselves, exercising, and eating. 22% of respondents also stated that they cope with holiday stress by drinking.
It’s ok to drink. We know that alcohol can be part of many holiday gatherings but knowing how to be responsible is so important as our kids look to us as role models whose behaviors and words influence their future behavior. There’s no better time than the present to think about how we handle our stress and the kinds of messages our behaviors are sending to our kids. And there’s no better way to start the conversation about why alcohol isn’t good for growing bodies if you haven’t already or to think about what you’ll do or say when they ask for a sip of what you’re drinking.
This year I hope you have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season that focuses on making healthy choices that provide positive messages about good lifestyle choices.
As a #TalkEarly ambassador, I am compensated for my involvement but all opinions are my own.