LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: 6 ways to avoid holiday season parental burnout.

The holidays are amazing, but can be overwhelming as well. Many moms and dads feel drenched with events, activities, and the pressure of presents this time of year, especially on this final stretch — that can be damaging if you don’t recognize the burnout and do something about it. Experts say parental burnout can be broken down into three categories: exhaustion, detachment, and inefficacy. Researchers say common symptoms include:

*Extreme physical and mental exhaustion
*Feeling trapped in your situation
*Emotional detachment
*More irritability and frustration
*Feelings of inadequacy

So with less than two weeks before Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa take place, mental health experts say limiting burnout starts with a self-care plan, and here are 6 things you can think and do to help:

*Set realistic expectations for yourself and your family

*Gifts aren’t the be-all and end-all of the festivities

*Understand it’s OK to say NO

*Give yourself a break, both literally and physically

*Ask for, and accept help from friends and family

*Make sure your basic daily needs are met, like providing yourself with enough food, drink, and sleep

Mental health experts also say, don’t be fooled by social media either. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok play a big role in making it seem like other families are perfect when in reality, no family has it all together.