The holidays are rapidly approaching, and regardless of which ones you celebrate, it can be a busy, stressful time. Suddenly you have additional activities on top of your normal busy schedule, such as traveling, cooking, shopping, decorating, cleaning, and school or religious activities. Throw in the budget disruption and family dynamics, and no wonder so many people need to relax.

1- Plan Ahead

What can you do ahead of time to avoid last-minute stress? Can you clean the guest bedroom early? Should you buy non-perishable foods to make the final shopping trip quick and easy? What presents can you buy (and wrap) now before the rush? Anything you can do early means less work later and helps avoid the crowds.

2- Schedule Regular Exercise

It’s easy to skip exercise when you have so much to do, but that makes you feel more drained. Whether it’s a relaxing yoga session or a vigorous outdoor run, keep up with your favorite exercise routines or start a new one! Each exercise has its own benefits emotionally as well as physically. For example, you’ll get social time at a group fitness class or solitude on a snowy hike. Yoga calms your mind, while spin class boosts your endorphins.

3- Ask for Help

Whether it’s hosting a family meal, shopping for presents, decorating, or cleaning, there are tasks that you can delegate. Ask your guests to bring a dish to dinner. Have the kids help decorate or clean. Have your spouse help with shopping. If someone offers help, accept it! If no one offers, start drafting “volunteers.” If you’re overwhelmed and tired, you can’t enjoy the holidays.

4- Say No

Don’t take on activities or tasks that don’t bring you joy. You don’t have to accept every invitation, and you don’t have to bake 12 dozen cookies for the school bake sale. It’s okay to just smile and say no. No need for excuses, just say you won’t be able to do X this year.

5- Watch Your Food and Drink

Holidays have so much good food and festive drinks that almost feel like a mandatory part of the celebration. Wine, cocktails, cookies, candy, egg nog, heavy entrees… it’s easy to over-indulge and then you feel bad the next day. Set your limits ahead of time and make substitutions. Maybe you have two cookies and one glass of wine, then switch to sparkling water and crudités the rest of the evening.

6- Don’t Forget Self Care

It’s easy to put everyone else’s needs first, but don’t forget about yourself. Whether you want a quiet hour to read, a bubble bath, or a massage, take some time for self-care.

7- Enjoy a Vape

You can also enjoy a vape to relax. Fast and discreet, you can take a quick break from the family for a calming vape. There are many varieties designed to help you relax during this stressful season.

During the holiday season, it’s important to limit your activities and take time for yourself so you can enjoy the season without being too stressed out.