It is the holiday season once again. It is the time when families celebrate much-loved traditions, which many look forward to. Although the holidays are much anticipated, preparing for the festivities can be stressful. Juggling work and family life can already be demanding, and with the holidays coming, it will entail more cleaning, baking, decorating, shopping and even partying. It can also take a toll on your budget if you overspend.

Many women already have their hands full working, and managing the household. With Christmas around the bend, it can be quite stressful for a mom who wants a picture perfect Christmas for the entire family. If the holidays before have taken an emotional toll on you, perhaps it is the time to have a better approach this year. Depression and other seasonal affective disorders are pretty common during the winter months. Here are some ways on how to manage stress during the holidays:

1. Plan activities ahead. It can be helpful if you try to make a timetable of the activities that you need to accomplish. Try to make realistic plans so that you will not have a difficult time achieving your goals. Create lists of the gifts that you need to purchase, as well as the grocery items that need to be bought. An untimely trip to the grocery store due to a forgotten ingredient, can eat up your time as well as add more stress. You can set dates for decorating, shopping, baking and even spending time with friends and family. Try not to overcrowd your schedule too much so that it can allow you to rest, and still enjoy the preparations you are doing.

2. Designate chores with other members of the family. All of us want a perfect celebration, but the fact remains that a perfect Christmas celebration is impossible. Try not to pressure yourself too much and let others help you out. Designate with other family members some chores that they can do, so that you can accomplish other things on your spare time.

3. Share your thoughts with your partner or a friend. Although the holidays can bring a lot of good cheer, it can be hard to lift your spirits if you are feeling down. If you just lost a loved one recently, or if you are away from your family, it is alright to feel low. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and allow your sadness to subside even if it is the holiday season. Whatever you are feeling, it can help a lot if you share it with another person.

4. Stick to your budget. Never allow spending to go out of hand, otherwise you can be stressed for the months after, trying to pay for all the stuff that you bought. While gift giving is good, try to be practical and buy only the ones that you can afford. You may also want to create personalized gifts, which may not cost too much, but can mean a lot because you invested some time in making them.

5. Try to eat healthy and exercise when you can. The holidays can be a time for temptation as well. If you allow yourself to overindulge, it can also add to your stress and guilt. You want to survive the holidays without gaining a lot of weight, try to maintain your healthy habits. Prepare a family recipe the healthy way, by substituting some ingredients to make it a low fat, and low calorie holiday fare. It is also important to make time for exercise. It will not only allow you to burn off calories, but it can also give you an energy boost, so that you can cope with all the stress that this season might bring.

6. Allow yourself some time to rest. Sometimes it helps a lot if you just spend some time alone, or a time away from all the things that you need to do. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time, what is important is that you clear your mind from all the stress that you are handling. A proper mindset is crucial, in order to avoid being stressed out.

7. Try to let go of things that you cannot control. If you feel that the turkey did not turn out the way you want it, or if you forgot to add some ingredients to some recipes, it’s perfectly fine. Christmas will always be special and complete with all its imperfections. Try not to worry too much and let go of your stress. Simply enjoy the togetherness of family and the love that this season brings.

The holidays can indeed bring about more stress, but a good approach is to have the proper mindset on how to deal with it. Take the time to cherish memories, and forget about missed details. Besides, what matters the most is the time spent with loved ones during this treasured time of the year.