12 tips to reduce holiday stress

7. Learn to say no. Believe it or not, people do understand if you can’t take on certain projects or activities. If you say yes only to what you really want to do, you’ll avoid feeling resentful and overwhelmed. If it’s really not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.

8. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a culinary free-for-all. Some indulgence is OK, but overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Try to get plenty of sleep and schedule time for physical activity.

9. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, can be enough to refresh you. Restore inner calm by taking an evening walk under the stars or by listening to soothing music.

10. Rethink resolutions. New Year’s resolutions can set you up for failure if they’re unrealistic. Don’t resolve to change your whole life, but set smaller, more specific goals with a reasonable time frame.

11. Forget about perfection. Your life is not a holiday TV special. Schedules go awry, the roast may be over-cooked, old arguments dredged up. Accept imperfections in yourself and in others.

12. Seek professional help if you need it. If feelings of sadness, anxiety and/or hopelessness combined with an inability to sleep or face routine activities persist for several weeks, talk to your doctor. You may have depression.

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