3 Incredibly Easy Ways to Survive the Holidays

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The holiday season may be merry and bright, but it’s also downright stressful. Whether you’re going home for the holidays, or you’re meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time, the holidays can send anyone hyperventilating into a paper bag.

Stay a step ahead of the stress with our easy holiday survival guide:

1. Learn to Manage your Money

Money

The holidays have a sneaky way of wrecking havoc on your finances if you’re not careful. Think about it: gifts, traveling, foods, décor…it all adds up to a lot of money. Be smart about your finances. Create holiday budgets, and then, fully commit to your budgets. Don’t let the cheery ‘tis the season vibes fool you into buying just one more gift or spending just another $50 on a holiday décor item that would look fabulous on your dining table.

You don’t have to be frugal during the holidays. You do, however, have to be financially responsible. Create budgets, and monitor your spending. Come New Year, you’ll thank yourself because you still have money in the bank.

2. Be Creative about Gifts

When it comes to gifts, be creative, and think outside the retail box. Instead of purchasing the latest tech gadgets or cashmere sweaters, why not offer experiences or solutions instead? Are your parents notoriously difficult to shop for? Offer them a gift card to an upscale restaurant, and throw in a pair of movie tickets. You’re offering them date night rather another gadget that may or may not see actual usage. Is your best friend a workaholic? If so, then she doesn’t need another cashmere sweater or handbag. Book a spa weekend instead!

Another creative option is to think beyond money. Instead of purchasing gifts, why not create your own gifts instead? Consider doling out personal favors as gifts. Everyone could use a favor. Or, forgo the gift-giving tradition altogether. Eliminate the unnecessary pressure of gift-giving, and just focus on spending good 'o quality time with your loved ones instead.

3. Take Care of your Health

Don’t fret about gaining a pound or two during the holidays. When you’re celebrating the holidays with families and friends, the last thing you should worry about is calories. With that said, you also shouldn’t be gorging, either. Sure, have a slice of pie—just not the whole pie. Moderation is king. Be mindful of what you eat, and try to be active even if it’s just taking a walk after dinner. Physical health aside, you should take note of your mental health as well. The holidays can be stressful. If it starts to feel overwhelming, then excuse yourself, and take a few moments to yourself. Take deep breaths. Regain your composure. Remember: the holiday season, like all seasons, will pass.

Ultimately, the key to surviving the holiday season is to simply get through it on your own terms. If you’re unhappy about how you’re spending your holidays, then change it. Change an old tradition, or create a new tradition. Choose to be happy. You deserve to be happy especially during the holidays.

How do you cope with holiday stress? Share your holiday survival guide with us!