Tips for parents dealing with holiday stress

As we head into the holiday season, celebration can be marred by stress, especially for parents. Holiday stress can be triggered by increased spending, reminder of lost loved ones and increase in depression due to the seasonal affect.


Parenting Journey is a Somerville-based nonprofit that partners with parents and caregivers to create safe communities and more resilient families through evidence-based programs.Parenting Journey’s Managing Director of Programs & Clinical Director Ellie Zambrano has some tips to decrease anxiety and cope with holiday stressors.


  • Maintain strong and healthy social connections.  Interact with others who offer healthy and supportive interactions with you and your family.  Try to avoid relationships that are problematic and induce stress levels.  Set healthy limits with family.


  • Take care of yourself.  Caretaker fatigue is overwhelming during the holiday season.  Make sure that you are planning ways to plan gifts for yourself that include relaxation, healthy living activities and mindfulness.


  • Set reasonable expectations for yourself.  Don’t overdo anything.  Spending, planning and over committing to activities are the easiest ways to burn yourself out during the holidays.  If you are going away to visit family, make sure that your plan does not include overextending yourself.  This will give you more quality time with your loved one.


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