It’s the holiday season, which means many of us are preparing to spend time celebrating with family and friends. While this season can bring joy for many people, it can also bring feelings of stress and anxiety. Advertising also causes many of us to feel pressure to find the “perfect” gift for everyone on our list. However, gift giving is not the only way to show your loved ones that you care about them. This holiday season, try focusing on presence rather than presents. Here are our best tips for de-stressing and focusing on family and friends this holiday season:

Take breaks.

The demands of the holidays can sometimes feel overwhelming. When you feel stressed, be sure to take time to regroup. This can be as quick as a 5-minute walk or taking a few deep breaths. Try setting yourself up for a peaceful day each morning by taking several deep breaths or meditating soon after you wake up.

Spend time together.

The holiday season presents a chance to build relationships with family and friends. Instead of gift giving, try organizing a family outing, volunteering together, or spending a night relaxing with friends.

Give back.

This season is filled with opportunities to give back to those in need. Try donating to your favorite charity or participating in a local toy drive. Giving back to others can help reduce the effects of stress and anxiety. It also increases self-confidence and sense of purpose.

Get moving.

Exercise is one of the best way to overcome stress during any season. Research shows that physical activity helps boost energy levels and elevate your mood.

Sources: Psychology Today, Mayo Clinic. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only.  For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.