Most of us simply can't wait for the summer to arrive. Children love the long holiday and so do their parents. However, looking after the family 24/7 for such a long period can have its challenges and may not always be without a bit of added stress.
It obviously varies greatly according to your children's age, but we're going to look at some suggestions that may help you to cope.
Things that can cause stress during school holidays
Being disorganised can cause stress right from the first day of the holidays. So, one of the key things to aim for is planning. A weekly plan of proposed activities and meals can help.
Sharing it with your family, will let them know what to expect and could help you organise yours and their holiday time more easily, for greater enjoyment.
1. Supervising younger children
During the summer holiday, this alone may be your biggest challenge! You and your children are out of the "school routine" but freedom from a routine for too long may not always be as good as it sounds.
Here are a few tips that can help you avoid some stress:
If it's necessary, set up any child-minding with family, friends or neighbours well before the start of the holiday. You may still need to go to work and you don't need to stress out over this extremely important matter.
Inviting their friends to come over and play with your children can be an excellent idea, as when children play together they may need less attention.
Obviously, it depends on the age of the children but should you have older children too, they may also help supervise - perhaps with the promise of a reward at the end of the holiday if they help you out regularly.
2. Avoiding rushed and late meals
Without the school routine to stick to, you may find you can now be a little more flexible over meal times.
So, give yourself and your family a window in which meals will be served, in order that their play can be less restricted and you have less of a deadline to meet. Barbeques are always fun and can get you out of the kitchen a little more to enjoy the warmer summer weather.
Food doesn't always need to be of the cooked variety if you choose a picnic style meal - even if it's just in your garden or the local park.
3. Keeping up with work and chores
Organise a fun routine for them in the mornings so you can get those vital household tasks over and done with early on.
For older children, this may be the time to teach them to make tea, toast or prepare breakfast in the mornings to help you with this job. Children may actually delight at being trusted with new "grown up" tasks.
4. Preparing for going away on a family holiday
Preparing for a holiday abroad or away from home can be more stressful than it may seem.
However, planning and organising ahead by using lists can help. Why not play a game with your children where they have to help compile a list of all that needs to be done and taken with you?
It will also help them understand what goes into a holiday and may make them appreciate it a little more.
If you're going away on holiday by plane, have a look at our Guide to Flying to get some useful hints before you go. [link to Nurofen article]
5. How to keep children busy and happy
Planned days out, if the weather permits, can be stimulating for everyone - especially if they involve things like spotting birds, trees and wildlife while out walking. Perhaps you could try rock-pooling if you live near a suitable beach?
There are plenty of "what to do when you're out and about" type games available online, so you should easily get some stimulating ideas.
In poor weather games and craft making ideas can be fun. They can be simple and cheap, a kite can be made from sticks and a bin-liner and then flown when the weather is better.
Start a big family-sized jigsaw at the beginning of the holiday and challenge your children to finish by the end of the first week. If this goes well, repeat. Jigsaws can be bought very cheaply at charity shops, so it needn't be a costly exercise.
6. How to get some time for yourself
Try to arrange days when others will look after your children and then reverse the arrangement. It's your summer too, so you deserve some "me time."
While your children's bedtimes might be a bit later in the school holidays, at least it's summer and the longer days could give you the chance to relax later in the evening.
Take it in turns with your partner to look after the children, if it's possible. Sharing responsibilities allows you to have some time off, to read, relax and sunbathe or simply get out on your own or with friends for a while.
Perhaps this is the time to get your children interested in the summertime events you love? Think about Wimbledon or any of the various music festivals that take place during this season and encourage them to enjoy what you enjoy and everyone wins!
Managing heartburn and indigestion that may result from the summer holiday lifestyle
Managing your family during the school holidays, however, is no push-over. There may be those times when you can get stressed.
Stress doesn't just put you in a mood and cause tension. It can cause tiredness and may also be associated with heartburn and indigestion, so if you find yourself suffering from either or both of these common conditions, check your lifestyle and your diet:
- Are you rushing around too much to keep your family happy while putting extra stress on yourself?
- Eating quickly or on-the-go can cause heartburn and indigestion
- Have you been eating too many burgers, chips and ice creams because the kids love them and you simply go along with their choices?
- Fatty foods and big meals can bring on both conditions
- Are you enjoying the barbeques and beers a little too much or too often?
- Charred peppers, onions, tomatoes and alcohol are all associated with heartburn and indigestion
If any of these apply to you, try to cut back a little, and try eating more summer salads and fruit.
Also, think about eating smaller amounts more often, rather than big meals. Make that lovely barbeque food last throughout the afternoon or evening, rather than eating a big portion all at once.
Importantly, try to de-stress. Take the time to sit down to rest and enjoy the season. It’s not with us very long - you deserve to make the most of it too.
Treatment with Gaviscon Double Action
It's tempting to indulge a bit more than usual during the summer holidays which can lead to heartburn and indigestion. Remember, if you do suffer from either then Gaviscon Double Action can help. These conditions don’t have to spoil your day. So how does it work?
Gaviscon Double Action is effective for both heartburn and indigestion. It gets to work instantly to create a physical barrier in the form of a raft (or layer) on top of your stomach contents.
This helps to stop acid refluxing into your food pipe. It also neutralises acid to help reduce heartburn and indigestion. Gaviscon Double Action offers long lasting relief - up to two times longer than antacids.
Should you find your heartburn or indigestion symptoms are getting worse or a lot more frequent you should make an appointment to see your doctor. Children under the age of 12 should only take Gaviscon Double Action under medical advice.
All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. Gaviscon Double Action for Heartburn & Indigestion. Always read the label. If symptoms are severe or prolonged you should consult a doctor or pharmacist.