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188807_sxc.huWhether you’re trying to make all the usual holiday rounds or if you’re not sure your wallet can take the financial demands of the season, the holidays can cause undue stress. Try the following simple tips designed to decrease the stress in your life this holiday season.

It’s hard to find the time and energy needed to meet holiday demands. Taking some time out of each day for yourself can relax you and make tasks easier to accomplish. Even if your “you time” is spent exercising or cleaning, it’s still time that’s spent on your own, away from the demands of others. Do whatever you need to find some time to relax and relieve stress.

Give yourself permission to say no. It can be easier to say, “Sure, I’ll make a batch of cookies for tomorrow’s class party,” than to tell your child’s teacher that you don’t have time, but saying “no” is necessary at times. Prioritize and give yourself a break—nobody has the time, energy or money to do everything.

Don’t run yourself ragged. If you don’t get enough sleep, your energy levels and health suffer. If possible, try to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

If your holiday season involves gift-giving, be sensible. Try to avoid feeling obligated to give expensive gifts. If you’re worried that others will spend a lot on you, come up with creative solutions. Instead of gifting each of your close friends, ask if they’d like to draw names, each buying a gift for one individual. You could also give homemade gifts, or set price limits to save everybody money.

Focus on doing what is best for you this holiday season—not high demands that bring you down.

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