Surviving Holiday StressThe holidays can be a very stressful time trying to get the decorations up, rushing around buying presents for everyone, baking holiday cookies for your kids, preparing for family to come into town, getting ready for Christmas dinner. Not to mention all of the added complications that the pandemic has brought. The list is endless when it comes to this time of year and it can sometimes feel like you just want to throw your hands up in the air and run away from it all.Finding ways to step back and de-stress might seem impossible but it’s not if you keep a few mental exercises in mind while preparing for the holidays.Try to keep perspective throughout this stressful time. Don’t let your preconceived notions of what the holiday season should look like get in the way of your execution. Traditions can be hard to change, but think about the ones that matter most to you and your family. Do away with the tasks and traditions that are only holding you back and draining your time and energy. This season “shouldn’t” look any certain way so allow yourself to let go of those expectations and do what truly makes you and your family happy and holds true meaning.Be sure to plan out your holiday season carefully. Keep in mind all that you will have to do yourself for the season and then take a hard look at the different holiday events you’ve been invited to. Choose the events that are worth your valuable time and energy.There are no rules this holiday season! Leave your decorations up as long as they bring you joy! Be sure to be mindful of live greenery drying out after an extended period of time.Make time for the hot chocolate and egg nog. Try to keep yourself from being so busy that you don’t make time for the simple pleasures.These are just a few ways to help you mentally prepare yourself for the holiday seasons. Don’t let your anxiety and stress drain the meaning and happiness that this time of year is supposed to offer. Allow yourself to enjoy this holiday season!