Holiday Stress Busters for Parents, Teachers and Students

It may be cold outside but the whole family can share in the magic of spending time together outdoors!

The whole family can share in the magic of spending time together outdoors!

If you are a student, teacher or parent, you know that along with holiday cheer, December is also full of holiday stress!  It is a time of deadlines, exams, report cards, budget stretching and family expectations. Wondering how to beat the holiday stressors before they beat you?

Here are the best tips to get you through the holidays in top form.


  • Create some magic for your kids this holiday season by spending time together. Trust me – the magic will rub off on you too. Bundle up in your warmest gear and go tobogganing, and then come home to steamy mugs of hot chocolate. If the weather outside is frightful, head to the local pool instead. Staying active will release endorphins and endocannabinoids in the brain which alleviate stress and help prevent depression and anxiety.
  • Consider a family ‘experience’ gift like a season’s pass to a gallery or museum or a snowboarding trip. The memories you make will last forever!
  • If you are hosting holiday get-togethers, meal planning in advance will help things run smoothly. Consider using Pinterest for recipe inspiration, but remember that everything does not need to be perfect. It is the time together everyone will remember, and opening your home to those you love is a wonderful gift.
No stress here. Family fun in a winter wonderland!

No stress here. Family fun in a winter wonderland!


  • Don’t let family expectations compound your exam stress. What everyone really wants is for you to do well in school and be happy and healthy. Set a study schedule and stick to it, and you will do just fine!
  • Take study breaks with friends and head to the athletic centre, but don’t head to the pub just yet. Wait to celebrate once your projects and exams are done.
  • As for shopping, if your budget is tight and you are not sure what to get everyone on your list, use your phone to make them a personal photo collage, video or dubsmash. It won’t take long, plus it will bring a smile to your Grandma’s face. She will love knowing you are thinking of her!
Students, remember to take study breaks and ease up on the sweets and caffeine to help ace your mid-term exams!

Students, remember to take study breaks and ease up on the sweets and caffeine to help ace your mid-term exams!


  • You may have piles of marking to do, and report cards to write – break it up by completing ten, and then take a break to do something else. Try to get some done every day, and soon the pile will be finished.
  • Same rules apply to you as above i.e. sugar and caffeine. Instead, reward yourself with some self-care, like a restorative yoga class. These classes are gentle and soothing and give you all the benefits you would get from a massage, for a bargain price.
Take some time for yourself.

Take some time for yourself.

For everyone

Make this holiday season the best ever by focusing on the joy and taking time for those you love.

Enjoy the holiday with loved ones!

Enjoy the holiday with loved ones!

Dr. Pamela Fergusson, RD

Pamela Fergusson is a Registered Dietician with a PhD in nutrition with a private practice in Toronto. She brings a love of nutrition, wellness and fitness to her blogging. She loves to cook and bake with her four children, teach them about food and nutrition through shopping for and preparing colourful, healthy family meals together. Pamela is also a runner and speed walker and has completed six half and full marathons.

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