The holiday season brings joy and excitement for children and their families! However, it is important to remember that the holidays can also be a difficult time, triggering feelings of loss, frustration and anxiety. Schedules become hectic and parents often feel pressured meeting the demands of the season. Illinois DocAssist can assist you in providing care and strategies to help children and their families navigate some of the difficult feelings associated with holidays.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has curated a reading list that may be helpful to provide information for parents as well as resources that are age appropriate for children. The books can assist children and families talk about and navigate feelings associated with anxiety, depression and other mental health symptoms. It may also be helpful to stock some of these books in your practice waiting area.
Mental Health apps may also assist in tackling holiday stress. While there are many available, it is important to help your patients find the right app that uses evidenced-based research to support the intervention. PsyberGuide, funded through the non-profit organization One Mind, developed a guide to assist in navigating the mental health marketplace. The Illinois DocAssist website also has app suggestions and DocAssist child and adolescent psychiatrists would be happy to discuss options with you during a consultation.
Finally, as a practitioner you are not immune to holiday stress. Finding outlets to relax the body and mind and practicing self-care are essential to creating a healthy work life balance during this hectic season.
- First, recognize and acknowledge your own stress when it presents
- Remember to sleep regularly and maintain good nutrition
- Schedule a minute or two of quiet time every few hours – deep breathe or do a body scan for physical tension
- Find ways to be grateful in your practice every day rather than focusing on the challenges
- A brief contact during the day with those who are most important to you can boost your mood and provide that extra support