Stress less this holiday season

With the holidays right around the corner, here are some tips to reduce your holiday stress and focus on what’s really important—spending time with your family and friends. After all, this is supposed to be a season of peace, not pressure.

Carving out some downtime—whether it’s to recharge with a nap, take a walk or even play a game with your family—can make your holidays less stressful.

What else can you do to feel less tense this holiday season? Try these tips:

Prune your to-do list.
You don’t need to accept every invitation that comes your way or try to squeeze every holiday tradition into one or two days. Too many tasks or commitments can make the holidays seem like a marathon. Reserve time for what matters most. Lower your expectations a bit. A lot of us imagine picture-perfect holiday celebrations.
That’s a fantasy—and one that is almost certain to stress you out if you buy into it. It’s really OK if this year’s tree is a little lopsided. Focus on what truly gives the holidays their meaning: time spent with loved ones.

Don’t expect family tensions to magically disappear.
Be realistic about any strained relationship you might have with a family member. If the two of you haven’t gotten along for the rest of the year, chances are you won’t click now. One way to cope may be to limit the time you’re together.

Finally, resist overspending.
Make a budget, stick to it and think more about giving meaningful gifts rather than the price tag.

Sources: American Psychological Association; Mental Health Americ

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