Does your holiday prep list look this?

  1. Bring down the decorations from storage
  2. Hang the lights in the window
  3. Bake cookies
  4. Go shopping
  5. Go shopping for Christmas tree
  6. Start online shopping for all the things you couldn’t get at the mall
  7. Decorate the tree
  8. Bake more cookies because first batch was devoured in stress eating

And that is just for Saturday. Is it any wonder you feel a holiday stress meltdown coming on? As the holidays get closer, lots of folks feel the angst levels rising. There is even a name for it: Seasonal affective disorder or SAD. No kidding. When you get sad over the holidays, they call it SAD. Here’s how you can keep from going all SAD this year:

Walk It Off

One of the reasons we can go into a mood swing dive is we’re stuck indoors. Without our daily dose of sunlight, our serotonin levels bottom out. That’s why you should bundle up and go for a walk. Even spending time looking out the window can count as long as it’s a sunny day!

Don’t Spend a Fortune

A huge stress factor over the holidays is spending money. Yes, you can save if you’re a smart cyber shopper but sometimes those savings can work against you. If you’re lulled into a false sense of budget balance, then you might end up spending more because you saved more. We’ve all been there. That’s why you should set a budget at the beginning of the shopping season and stick to that budget. No one is going to be upset if you didn’t get them a Lexus.

Fill the House With Aromas

A nice stress reducer can be found through aromatherapy. There are many scented candles with a holiday flair that can do the trick. Of course, baking those aforementioned cookies wouldn’t hurt. For a quick flash of aromatherapy, cut open a piece of citrus fruit. The scent of oranges and lemons can have a soothing effect. It wouldn’t hurt to try.

Play Some Reindeer Games

Okay, maybe not reindeer games specifically. However, playing some good old fashion games with the family and friends can keep things light and merry. When was the last time you hosted a game night? This means you have permission to open an early present if it is a board game!

Act Like A Kid

Christmas is for the kid in all of us. This is the perfect time of year to get back in touch with that kid in you. Have your picture taken with Santa. He won’t mind. Head over to eBay and see if you can pick up one of your favorite childhood toys. Start a snowball fight. You get the picture.

You’re supposed to have fun during this time of year so get out there and make it happen. No pressure.