12/28/2014 01:10 pm ET Updated Feb 21, 2015

5 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress and Enjoy the Festivities

The holiday season can be a fun and exciting time of the year with festivities and great food. For many people, however, the holiday season causes increased stress. Missed loved ones, re-emerging family problems and the pressure to purchase the perfect gift make the holidays a difficult time for many.

Below are 5 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress and Enjoy the Festivities

1. Enjoy the Moment
Avoid obsessing over getting the holiday décor just right, wearing the perfect outfit, having the best hair and preparing the best food. Spend time enjoying the company of family and friends and avoid worrying. Most people will focus on whether they had a good time and not if the dinner rolls were a little crisp.

2. Be Realistic in Your Expectations
Reduce expectations of how the "holidays are supposed to be" and that everyone will uphold family traditions and be on their best behavior. Try to accept everyone with all their flaws and remember to stay away from "hot button" topics as they typically incite agitation and irritability versus joyous fun.

3. Take a Time Out
The holidays are full of lights, people, music, and noise. This continuous stimulation can be overwhelming for many and lead to exhaustion. Take a break from the festivities and have quiet time with yourself. It's okay to say "no." Remember you don't have to participate in every activity to have a great holiday season.

4. The Act of Giving is Most Important
With all of the holiday sales many of us feel pressured to give the perfect gift to show our loved ones that we care. Enjoy the act of wrapping, decorating and actually giving the gift. Remember, most loved ones are happy to know they were thought of enough to receive a gift and are unlikely to ponder over whether you should've spent more or purchased something different.

5. Acknowledge the Loss of Your Loved Ones
If your loved ones have passed away, accept the feelings of sadness and grief. Spend time acknowledging your loved one by lighting a candle, planting a tree or donating something in their name. Then reach out to your friends or family members to share the holidays with them. No one should spend the holidays alone.

When we implement these five tips, we are sure to reduce our stress levels and get the most enjoyment from our holiday season.