It’s about that time of the years again. We are all sitting atop the roller coaster waiting for it to plunge terrifyingly into full-blown holiday decorations and non-stop holiday music. Lovers of Mariah Cary and her various holiday albums delight. However, for most other people, it can all start to wear down on the soul even before it all commences.

It’s always nice to take some much needed time off as the year starts to wind down. You imagine yourself sipping cocktails by the pool, throwing lazy family weekend barbecues, catching up with loved and old friends, and playing with the little ones and the pets. The holidays should be cathartic.

But they are anything but. Having Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s bundled up in such a short period is often anxiety-inducing. Most individuals are just forced to brave their way through; it’s no wonder some people hate the holidays.

Rather than be stressed out the entire time, the good news is that there are coping strategies that can help you get through it. To help you avoid the insane holiday burnout that is awaiting you on the other side, here are 5 cool tricks to stay calm during the holiday season:

Plan Ahead

We always know that when the holiday season is fast approaching, and yet we do so little to prepare for it. One of the best ways to stay calm during the holiday season is to prepare as much as you possibly can. This means that if you have any relatives coming over that are likely to stress you out with their never-ending questions about your personal life or job, then it might be a good idea to stock up on your favorite CBD oil or tincture.

Are you the one responsible for preparing the meal on Thanksgiving? Simply prepare some items ahead of time? Always doing last-minute shopping? Start early this year. Planning will ensure that you enjoy the holidays instead of worrying about everything that has to be done all at once. That’s no way to live through one of the happiest periods of the year.

Take care of yourself

When you are stressed out, everything in your body will be out of whack- that’s just science. Since the holiday season comes with a flurry of activities, taking care of yourself has never been more important. Surround yourself with people that make you feel good.

Also, don’t forget to exercise regularly. Setting a good stage to get some rest is also key. You want to make sure that you are sleeping for at least 8 hours every day. Otherwise, if you don’t you risk getting grumpier and moodier as the holidays roll on. If you struggle to get sufficient sleep, there are plenty of products such as CBD tinctures that can help you sleep through the night to avoid being the party pooper of the season.

Start shopping early

It may sound strange to start Christmas shopping in July but we promise you that it will take the heartache out of the shopping process. Purchasing gifts gradually as the year progresses will not only help you find the right gifts at your own pace, but it will also ensure that you have plenty of time to budget.

If you wait until the last minute, you’ll have to add gift shopping to the huge pile of duties and responsibilities that’s awaiting you. If you do decide to spread out your holiday shopping throughout the year, do not forget to note down everything that you purchase in a planner. This way, you’ll have a way of remembering what you purchased and exactly whom you purchased it for.

Just relax

We know that you want everything to be perfect but it can be so easy to over-schedule yourself during the holidays. When it starts to feel like it’s a bit much, try relaxing and doing nothing. Trying to juggle it all while dealing with various demanding social schedules will only end up in disaster; you’re not superhuman; no one is.

We often experience feelings of burnout during the holidays because of the unrealistic expectations and standards that we place on ourselves and others. Doing the most, even when you don’t need to, is what often leads to feelings of stress, dissatisfaction, and anxiety during the most wonderful time of the year.

Permit yourself to pause. Schedule quality downtime whether with your loved ones or solo so that you can restore a semblance of balance in your life. Taking a little time each day alone to unwind by watching a movie, reading, taking a nap, meditating, or just doing whatever will consequently help you keep the stress level low so that you can feel refreshed enough to keep going.

Unleash your inner kid

Don’t take the holidays too seriously. Sometimes all you need to do is stop, breathe in and out and have fun. If you have kids or little nieces, nephews, and cousins, playing with them is easily the best way to have a playful spirit during the holidays. Whether that means sitting down and watching cartoons with them or playing with mud, just be a kid again.

You could also come up with a bucket list of fun things that you can do with the whole family. It can also be a great idea to make treats together because a family that gains weight together during the holidays is a family that sticks together.

Final Thoughts

The holidays come with a lot of pluses- time away from a packed schedule, cheesy but great holiday movies, and getting to spend time with family and friends that you wouldn’t typically see any other time. But there is something about the holidays that becomes not-so-magical after some time.

Not to worry. These tips shared above will help you get through it without having to rip your hair out. It’s okay to be equal parts excited and anxious about the upcoming holiday season. This doesn’t make you a bad person- it just makes you human. Now, try not to go nuts okay?