Parties. Presents. Shopping. They all help to define the holiday season, but they can cause an unexpected result, too: holiday stress.

It can be tough to relax throughout the season, and finding ways to fight the holiday stress is an absolute must. Fortunately, these tips can help.

  • Take a Look at Your Feelings

It’s okay to be a bit introspective during the holiday season. It gives you a chance to acknowledge how you feel. If you spend the entire season trying to deny what you’re actually feeling, stress will only build inside of you.

  • Let Others Know How you Feel

Sometimes just talking to other people can help you deal with the stress. Whether you’re chatting with a friend over a quick cup of coffee or you just unwind with your significant other in the evening, it’s essential to let someone know you’re feeling overwhelmed and that you need to talk.

  • Exercise

Even regular workout devotees often have trouble making time for a workout during the holiday season, but it’s an absolute must. Workouts are a great way to burn off some of that stress you’re feeling, and there’s a bonus involved. You’ll see a change in your mood as well as your energy level. Even if you feel like you simply don’t have time to hit the gym, plan for a simple workout at home. Pop in a workout video or download one online. Fifteen minutes is all it takes to get rid of some of the holiday stress.

  • Get Some Sleep

Sure, it can be tempting to stay up well past your bedtime as you try to make your online orders, get those gifts wrapped, hang the decorations, and hand make treats for your child’s stress, but sleep is a must if you want to keep your stress levels in check. Make certain you have a bedtime ritual that you follow, and try to sneak in at least 6 hours of sleep every night. If you’re not getting it during the night, make certain you fit in a quick nap at some point during the day.

  • Eat Well

Between the cocktail parties and the dinner you grabbed near the mall the other day, it can be difficult to eat well during this time of year. What’s more, though, is that all of that extra stress will only make you want to eat out a little more. It’s only natural to want to fall into a restaurant booth and let someone else handle your eating arrangements for you. The reality, though, is that you’re going to add up some serious extra calories with all of that food, and that’s only going to lead you to additional stress. Focus on your nutrition during this tough time, and you’ll feel better for it.

  • Have a Drink (of Water)

It’s tough to stay well-hydrated even when you’re not running here, there, and everywhere, but during the holiday season when you’re trying to fit so much in, it can be one more added difficulty. Consider adding an app to your phone to track how much water you’re drinking, and if you’re headed to a holiday party where you’ll be consuming alcohol, be sure to have a glass of water in between each drink to keep yourself hydrated.

  • Just Say No

Let’s face it – almost everyone tries to take on too much during the holiday season, but you don’t have to. Decide how many tasks you can realistically tackle, then start telling other people no.

  • Give Yourself a Treat

While you may not have time right now, you have to start thinking about rewarding yourself when the holidays are over. That kind of motivation may help take some of the stress off instantly. Whether you schedule a day at the spa or you just find a babysitter so you can have the house to yourself for some time, scheduling something in advance will give you a chance to focus on some you-time.

  • Stay within your Budget

There’s nothing more stressful than thinking constantly about finances, and this is the time of year to do it. Set your budget well before shopping season opens, then stay with it. Even if your child or your husband adds one last minute gift to that list, make sure you don’t spend more than you can afford to.

  • Do Some Planning

Sit down in November with your calendar, then schedule out your shopping, baking, and visiting days. It will help you to know how everything will fit within the season.

Stress may have always been part of your holiday seasons in the past, but with tips like these, it certainly doesn’t have to be this year.

Jan Kremer is an event consultant with over 10 years experience.  As a Squidoo lensmaster and blog contributor at Holiday Gifts and, she shares her holiday party planning tips, Christmas gift ideas, and seasonal advice with readers.