6 Tips for Reducing Stress around the Holidays

There are several things that you can do to help keep holiday stress manageable.

What are some tips to reduce holiday overwhelm? originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

The holidays are upon us, and, with them, a lot of good things typically come, but also a lot of stress. There’s food to bake, presents to buy, people to see, parties to attend, and work to get done. There’s need to panic, though. There are several things that you can do to help keep it manageable.

Here are six of my favorite tips for reducing holiday overwhelm:

Make a list. Just like Santa, you need to keep track of all that you have to accomplish during the holiday season. The more detailed your list, the better your execution will be.

Get it done early. The sooner you start knocking to-do’s off of your list, the better. I know that I always feel more relaxed as I cross those items off, one at a time. It’s so gratifying!

Simplify. Try to keep the holidays simple in as many ways as possible. Divide and conquer according to what is really necessary and what is not. Maybe it’s better to only visit one set of relatives this year, and another the next. Can you cut down on the number of cookie and gift exchanges that you’re involved in? Might you get a gift certificate online instead of trying to guess at the perfect present for Aunt Suzy? Streamline everywhere and anywhere you can.

Find shortcuts and loopholes. If you are already starting to feel overwhelmed, why not outsource? You can hire someone to do just about everything (hang lights, shop for or wrap presents, cook, clean, decorate and more). When your plate is too heavy, start moving things off of it, and you’ll see your stress subside.

Knock it out. When all else fails, just start knocking things out as quickly as your schedule allows. I find that having things hanging over my head is often the most stressful part. Getting them done starts to alleviate that quickly.

Practice self-care. Be sure that you take some time for yourself. If you are feeling a little less than jolly, chances are that you haven’t gotten enough sleep, downtime, or healthy food. You must attend to your self-care even more so as things get busier around the holidays. Although it’s the time to give, you’ve got to give to yourself first.

This question originally appeared on Quora.

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