Sometimes it feels that the holiday season is more work and stress then it is worth, but here is how you can deal with it.

The Mayo Clinic has some great advice on to deal with all the stress the holiday season has to offer...

  1. Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can't come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
  2. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.
  3. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every project or activity. If it's 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.Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
  4. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
  5. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

My very unprofessional advice on how to handle the stress of the holidays is this...

1. Call Your Best Friend. You bestie will allow to vent with out judgement and understands that you are just stressed and need someone to listen (plus that bottle of wine you split is yummy)!

2. Spoil yourself. During the holidays we seem to care for everyone but ourselves. How about heading over to Design 1 for a massage or Reflections Medical for a facial, treat yourself!!

3. Take a walk and enjoy your neighbors decorations. This may sound silly or a waste of time, but there is nothing nicer then enjoying all the hard work your neighbors put into sprucing up for the holidays. Plus, it just might renew your holiday spirit.

4. Make a donation to a charity. A few coins in a Red Kettle, will make your soul feel a tad sweeter!

5. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional