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Five Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

The holidays are near and the pressure is slowly starting to build up. For most of us, the holiday season brings a lot of stress and it often keeps us from getting into the holiday spirit and enjoying all of the celebrations and festivities. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five simple things that will help you have a happy, stress-free holiday season:

1. Stop trying to please everyone around you
You need to learn how to say “no” to your family sometimes and stop with the idealism that they are all going to be perfectly content. It is never possible to make everyone around you happy, and this is especially true during the holiday season. Most likely, you won’t have the time to make it to every dinner party you are invited to or you won’t be able to please everyone’s wishes and demands, but you need to realize that it’s okay. People may seem hurt and disappointed at first, but when you set your boundaries, they will respect you for it. Stop trying to please everyone this holiday season and only try to do things that make you feel comfortable and content.

2. Don’t fixate on extravagant presents
You may feel the need to buy a lot of big, fancy gifts for everyone, but there is no need to be showy with your presents – be genuine instead. On top of that, don’t expect flashy gifts either, because your high expectations can often lead to great disappointment and the additional stress of feeling the obligation to reciprocate the gift adequately. Instead, expect nothing and you will relieve yourself from a lot of worries this season. If you receive a present, be grateful for what you’ve got and always respond with a genuine, heartfelt “thank you”, whether in person or with a handwritten thank you note.

3. Allow yourself to relax with your favorite drink
Both your mind and your body deserve a break from time to time, especially during a hectic season such as this one. That is why you should always take some time out of your day to unwind, and what better way to do that than by pouring a glass of your favorite drink? While alcohol may be the choice of many, it is advised to be careful about your alcohol intake, particularly during the festive season. A great alternative would be to brew a cup of the strongest coffee you can find and finally relax after a long and busy day of holiday preparations.

4. Choose humor whenever you can
Laughter is the best way to relax and lighten the mood in a tense situation, so find some inside jokes to share with your family this holiday season. A great holiday tradition to start practicing is to find a festive movie you all enjoy watching every year and know all the jokes from. By watching these movies over and over again every year, you will have something to bond over with your family and create wonderful memories. An added bonus is that you have the ability to talk to each other and laugh throughout the whole movie, without having to worry about missing any of the scenes or the dialogue. So, rather than stress and worries, choose humor during this festive season.

5. Enjoy the time you spend with your loved ones
Creating experiences with your family is one of the best ways to cultivate shared meaning. What’s more, studies find that interacting with someone you’re emotionally connected to increases your progesterone levels, thus making you much less anxious and stressed. So, use this holiday season to spend quality time with your loved ones and create warm memories that will last a lifetime.
The holidays don’t necessarily have to get the best of you. Instead, make the most out of these experiences and try to enjoy them as much as you can by learning these simple habits and putting them into practice.

Article by Peter, a lifestyle and travel writer at Men-Ual and Ivania's Mode magazine, living between the UK and Australia.