If Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, then that doesn’t say much about the other eleven and a half months. Children can get significantly overstimulated during the holidays. The festivities inevitably lead to disappointment once the gift-giving stops and the endless treats are swapped back to everyday food.
It’s totally normal to have a tough time adjusting to “normal” life after the holidays. However, you can make the transition a little easier.
Look Forward to Something New
One of the reasons the post-holiday season is so hard to deal with is that suddenly there’s nothing to look forward to. The anticipation leading up to the holidays is so huge… and then it’s over. You can take the edge of this disappointment by adding smaller–but still fun–celebrations and traditions to your family’s calendar.
Even if it’s something as simple as having breakfast for dinner on New Year’s Day or a movie night where the kids get to pick what you watch, having a little something to look forward to can help distract them from the holiday letdown.
Treat Yourselves Right
It’s a cliché, but eating nutritious foods and getting some exercise can really boost your mood! That’s true for kids as well as adults. Plan family walks and plenty of playtime to get those feel-good endorphins from exercise.
If you’ve got picky eaters in the house, experiment with ways to make healthy food more fun and appealing. Oh, and don’t keep large amounts of candy, baked goods, and other holiday treats in the house. It’ll be much easier to make the switch back to healthy eating if that stuff isn’t around.
Consider Creating a “Give Back” Day or Week
Now that the rush of getting presents is over, why not shift the focus to how your children can help others? Making an annual tradition of giving back to the community after the holidays is a beautiful way to end the season. How you do it could look different depending on where you live and which causes are important to you. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Collect canned goods and non-perishable foods for a local food bank
- Gather unwanted toys and clothes to donate to a charity shop
- Raise money for a local animal shelter or donate supplies
- Send handwritten letters to men and women serving abroad in the military
- Check in with elderly neighbors and offer to help with grocery shopping or other chores
This is a great way to teach your children about kindness and civic responsibility. After all, it’s better to give than receive!