It’s the time of year that is not only special but often stressful for many of us. Everyone is rushing around with lots to do – shopping for gifts, cooking, cleaning, working, and so much more. Maybe you have company coming to stay in your home. Perhaps you have to work overtime to get ahead so you can take time off. Maybe you can’t find a gift for that special someone. Or maybe, you have all of that and more going on. There are ways you can help yourself get through this season a little easier. After all, we all want to enjoy the holidays.

Spending Money = Stress

Money is always something that can cause stress, and it’s easy to go overboard and regret it this time of year. A good rule of thumb is that no one should go into debt buying others gifts. A great way to keep money from causing stress is to sit down and actually figure out what you can afford to spend. Determine who you want to buy for and write down your maximum budget for each person. Keep this budget with you in your purse or wallet for reference when out shopping. But most importantly, stick to your plan. And extra $10 here and $20 there adds up quickly – so just don’t do it.

Make a Cooking/Baking Plan

Follow these simple steps to de-stress this holiday season.

Are you in charge of planning a big holiday meal at your home? Do you like to give baked goods as gifts? No matter how much you need to cook or bake this season, planning will help reduce your stress level. Take some time to look at the whole month to determine all you need to prepare. Create a list, trying to incorporate some easier items here and there. Then write down your needed ingredients on a weekly grocery list, so you have everything you need when you need it. When you can, cook items in advance that can be frozen. And finally, get others to help. So many wonderful memories can be made in the kitchen.

Take Care of You

Don’t forget to take care of your health this holiday season. Getting run down or sick will only add to your stress. So no matter how busy you are, make sure to prioritize sleep, exercise, eating healthy, and hydrating. Get outside for some fresh air, or maybe take a break from social media. You have to take care of you to be able to take care of others, and all you need to get done.

Count Your Blessings

Experts agree that gratitude is good for your health. Taking the time to sit back and recognize all the things in our lives that are going well can help us feel better. Sometimes it’s as simple as mentioning one thing good that happened each day. Some families do this exercise at dinner each evening. Expressing gratitude can help us see the everyday things that are blessings instead of focusing on the bad or stressful things. So this holiday season take some time to count your blessings. Say them out loud or write them in a journal. Go back and read them. You’ll be amazed by how they make you feel. These small tips can help you slow down and enjoy the holidays while still making them special. Do what works best for you, and take the time to enjoy this time yourself. You deserve it.