Recommendations on how to take care of yourselves as parents this holiday season

  1. Take 30 minutes 2-3x a week to “refill your energy cup.” With all the small stressors in life, especially during the holiday season, our “cups” can become depleted. Here are some activities that can help replenish your mental health energy resources (self-care strategies that combine behaviorally activating/getting up and moving):
    1. Going for a walk (and listening to music)
    2. Going to an enjoyable volunteer event
    3. Going shopping (but only if it’s enjoyable)
    4. Taking a pleasurable exercise class
    5. Cooking
    6. Playing a family game
    7. Fill in the blank—just make sure it combines you becoming physically activated with an enjoyable activity
  2. Quiet your mind
    1. Plan out mindfulness activities, including mindful eating, or scanning your body for stress and employing strategies such as progressive muscle relaxation or diaphragmatic breathing can be very helpful
  3. Saying “No”
    1. The holidays are a time where we can say “yes” to everything. It is important to know your limits. Don’t overextend!
  4. Knowing when to ask for Help
    1. Don’t be afraid to ask your kids for help, in addition to friends and family. Kids are more than capable of holding their own, we just have to give them that opportunity.

To all my parents reading this blog. You are amazing!!! Remember you are just as important to prioritize! Happy holidays!



I am a clinical psychologist with approximately 15 years of experience assessing and treating anxiety and depressive disorders in young children, adolescents, young adults, adults and geriatric populations. I completed a 6-year predoctoral training award at the National Institute of Mental Health, and postdoctoral training at the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital. From my clinical and research experiences, I have come to see the struggles of many families deciding when to pursue professional help and feeling very lost in the process. I will address several mental health issues that will help educate and empower my readers to make better mental health decisions for themselves. Welcome to my blog! Johanna Kaplan, Ph.D. Disclaimer-This blog is not and cannot be used in replace of formal therapy. This blog is used to inform and educate and is not a form of informal or formal advice.

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