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Post-Christmas Game Plan: Tips to Get Your Family Back on Track

No routine, missed naps and too much sugar? Having a good post-holiday game plan is as important as the holiday plan itself. Our experts have three tips to get your family back on track!

Attend and Ease
Nothing says "stay in pajamas and avoid real life", like wrapping paper, toys and left-over food, strewn all over the house. ATTEND TO THE AFTERMATH as quickly as possible. Put toys away, not just back in a pile under the tree, hang up clothes where they belong, in closets and drawers and get all the left over wrapping paper and boxes all the way out of the house to the trash. Getting the house back in organized working order will naturally motivate us to move back into our routines. Things will feel fresh!

Then...EASE back into the hustle. Don't think it has to be that one day we are celebrating Christmas, and the next, we are in full blown work mode. Start adding an activity or two a day, for your kids and family to be engaged in. Spend 30 minutes answering work emails, instead of working for 8 hours, and let the kids play with the neighbor kids for an hour or so to ease back into interactions and get them excited to be at school with friends again. Take the shock out of the routine that starts back up after the holidays by EASING back into it, a little more each day. By the time work and school start again, the house will be in order and it won't be nearly as shocking.

-Heather Johnson
Studio 5 Parenting Contributor

Put the Sugar in its Place
My best tip for getting back into a healthier routine post-Christmas? Put the "splurgy stuff" into a "splurgy place." Place the goodies, chocolates, and treats out of sight in an inconvenient place (like the cupboard above the fridge). This helps the family get back to eating real food at meal times and using treats...as treats. Treats are always better when consumed with a plan and in a controlled setting, as opposed to mindlessly eating bite after bite all through the day.

Once the treat situation gets under control, schedule a family activity that has nothing to do with food! Go sledding, ice skating, indoor swimming, or hit the gym and play a family game of basketball or racquetball. This "one-time family outing" (wink, wink!) is a great trick to help your entire family try new things and identify activities that "click" with your family so they are more likely to stay active and create a healthy, regular routine.

-Melanie Douglass
Studio 5 Health & Fitness Contributor

Early to Bed
Typically children are low on sleep after the holidays. I recommend increasing daytime sleep to only slihghlty more than normal, and then putting your little ones down for naps and bedtime earlier than normal. Our goal is to get them in bed and asleep before they hit their second wind and begin resisting sleep. Babies and toddlers tend to resist naps and bedtimes when they are overtired so those early sleep times will be essential to catching up on needed sleep!

-Marietta Paxton, M.S, AMFT
Professional Sleep Consultant, "Little Dreamers"

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