Which means 3 things: stress, stress and more stress. So, here are some tips to keep you calm, even when chaos is swirling all around you. These come from the American Institute of Stress in Yonkers, New York:

  • First, do things differently. If you want to be stress-free, do all your shopping online instead of at the crowded mall, or have a potluck party instead of baking and cooking for 3 days.
  • Then, be confident. In other words, if you expect your turkey stuffing to be bad, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And your brain just might decide to make a "subconscious" mistake to make sure you're right!
  • Another way to de-stress during the holidays is to plan ahead. So, schedule in some time for relaxation, recreation and sleep. And don't over-commit. In other words, don't agree to host your book club the day before you fly to your mom's.
  • It's also important to create a support system. In other words, make a list of "go-to" friends who'll help you keep your cool when things get hectic. Like, after you burn the turkey.
  • And a final tip to help de-stress your holidays is: Help others. So, visit someone who can't get out for the holidays. Or drop by a children's hospital. If you can focus on making someone else's day, most of your holiday stress will simply melt away.