12 Tips for Winter Break: Relax - and Have Fun!

We’re continuing our 12 Tips for Winter Break! This week: How to actually enjoy everything.

Tip 4: Be Chill

Relaxing is kind of hard to do as a parent - you need to be on top of everything. But over winter break, there are so many great opportunities to just take it down a notch and chill out. And when you take the time to relax (and take care of yourself), you’ll feel so much more ready to be calm for your kids.

As a parent you have a million things on your to do list already, so I hate to add one more… But maybe it helps to view this more as an opportunity instead of a demand! When we’re calm, our kids are easier to calm. Which is why tip four leads directly to:

Tip 5: Relaxation Plan

Make a list of all the ways you and your kids know how to relax. As a therapist, I like to separate these out into three big categories: breathing activities, muscle activities, and mindfulness activities. Relaxation helps to deepen down your breathing, loosen your muscles, and slow down racing thoughts, which is why it’s important to clue into those three areas.

Check out my many, many relaxation walkthroughs (and my guided meditation series!) for a few starting points!

Tip 6: Games!

Play games! Build skills! Improve relationships!

Playing games as a family creates this really unique opportunity. Not only do you grow closer together as a family by doing something fun, you’re helping your child to build really crucial skills. Playing games together helps with your child’s frustration tolerance, sportsmanship, and turn taking. Everyone gets an opportunity to be patient and deal with situations that may not be to their liking. You get to model healthy, appropriate disappointment or excitement, and you get to coach your kid on the same thing. And if that game ends in tears, remember you have your relaxation plan to use to help your child calm in the moment, and later process what to do next time.

Curious to hear more? Kelsey Torgerson, MSW, LCSW specializes and child anger management and anxiety therapy for teens. She helps kids, teens and college students from age 4 on up in St. Louis, MO. Her office is located in Clayton. Reach out via kelsey@compassionatecounselingstl.com or give her a call at 314-339-7640 to hear more!