The most wonderful time of the year can also be one of the most stressful. With all of the prepping, cooking and gift wrapping, holiday cheer can quickly become holiday blues. This season, keep your spirits bright with these 10 no-stress tips for the holidays.

  1. Come up with a plan. Before you tackle your to-do list, make a budget and find the best time to shop and run errands—better yet, shop online. Just check the shipping dates.
  2. Request free gift wrapping. If you do decide to shop in-store, ask for free gift wrapping. Though not always advertised, some stores offer the free service during the holidays.
  3. Cut down on cooking time by taking advantage of pre-made dishes at your local grocery. (You might be able to get everything you need without even turning on your stove or oven!)
  4. Use the 30-minute rule when cleaning. If it’ll take more than half an hour to do, don’t worry about it. Make your goal “put together,” not “perfect.”
  5. Share the load. Ask your family members or friends to help with shopping or cooking. Consider hosting a potluck, with everyone bringing a dish to share.
  6. Get a tune-up. If you’re traveling by car this season, make sure your vehicle is in good running condition. Have a repair shop check your belts, hoses, air pressure, fluid levels and windshield wipers before your trip.
  7. Redefine the holidays. You don’t have to stick with traditions. If you don’t want to decorate and bake cookies, don’t. If you don’t want to listen to holiday carols, turn them off.
  8. Take care of yourself. Make time for the activities you enjoy. Try to fit in low-impact exercises to release endorphins. As you get busier, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  9. Focus on the gift of life. Take a moment to honor the people who are no longer there and give thanks for those who are.
  10. Relax. Close your eyes and slow down your breath. Mindfulness meditation practice can help you let go of expectations and stay in the present.

The holidays can be a difficult time for many reasons, but we hope these tips will help you defuse holiday stress and focus on your wellness during the holidays. Remember to be kind to yourself always. You’re doing your best and that is enough.