Beat the stress

No matter how much joy we derive from the holidays, they can be a source of stress that at times can be staggering. The Mayo Clinic offers 10 tips to cope with stress and depression at this time of year.

Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.

Reach out if you feel lonely or isolated. Seek out community, religious or social events. Volunteering can also help lift spirits.

Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect.

Stick to a budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with gifts.

Plan ahead for shopping, baking, and other activities.

Learn to say no when your schedule is full.

Don’t abandon healthy habits. Keep a lid on the sweets and drinks, get plenty of sleep and exercise.

Make some time for yourself.

Seek professional help if you need it whether it be for feeling persistently sad or anxious or being plagued by physical complaints.