Keeping Holidays Happy: Five tips for preventing teen holiday stress

6479103171 032ae59272 z 300x200The holidays, although fun and full of cheer, can also be extremely stressful for the entire family. For some families, the holidays bring with them a crowded house. Family might be coming in from out of town, and everyone is cooped up inside because of the foul weather. What’s a person to do in that situation? Usually they become stressed and irritable, leading to arguments and unneeded negativity. For teens who are already prone to being moody, the holidays are a breeding ground for stress and angry outbursts. Preventing this teen holiday stress is important for your teen’s overall well being.

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Preventing teen holiday stress

Helping your teen work through stress is important because stress can lead to further harmful issues such as depression, panic attacks, and even eating disorders. Here are some handy tips to use to prevent the inevitable teen holiday stress:

  • Notice the signs of stress: If your teen is complaining of headaches, is having trouble sleeping, is being unusually moody, or is having angry outbursts, they may be experiencing stress.
  • Be honest with your teen: If you’re having financial difficulties, or if there’s a divorce impending, you need to tell your teen the truth. Holiday teen stress often comes from feelings of isolation from the rest of the family. Including them in certain family news is important to reduce this stress. However, don’t overshare or depend on them for emotional support. They’re still your kids, after all!
  • Keep them active: For most of the holidays, your teen is at home with the rest of your family cooped up inside. Get your teen outside and active with family outdoor adventures. Go on walks outside in the cold weather (bundled up, of course!), or play Sardines inside with the entire family. Exercise helps alleviate teen holiday stress.
  • Manage your own stress: Stress is contagious. If you’re stressed, chances are your teen will be too. Take 30 minutes for yourself every day. Read an enjoyable book or watch an episode of your favorite show. Destressing is important for adults too!
  • Spread the love: Instead of focusing on the materialistic aspects of the holidays, give back to the community. Doing good for others will make your teen feel so much better about themselves, reducing teen holiday stress.

Trails Carolina can help

If teen holiday stress has escalated into a serious anxiety or mood issue, your teen may be in need of professional help. Trails Carolina helps teens ages 10-17 struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties. For more information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303.

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Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

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Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

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