GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Every year, people all over get stressed out about the holidays. They don't know how to make the turkey like Mom did, they don't know what to get Michael as a gift, they didn't get the backroom vacuumed before guests arrived for the party — the list goes on and on. 

Time, family, and money are just a few of the big stressors this time of year tends to bring out. Amy Ritsema from OnSite Wellness shared her top three tips on reducing stress so you can actually enjoy the holidays this year. 

You don’t have to be perfect!
It's easy to get overwhelmed making the holidays perfect. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, magazines, even stores can paint a pretty unrealistic picture of what the holidays should look like. It's important to remember, your version doesn't have to be the exact same as someone else's. Perfect is an illusion. That pressure to be perfect doesn't help us actually get where we want to go when it comes to the holidays. Lower your expectations and remember that no one and nothing is perfect. No one really cares if your appetizers are on china or on paper plates. The reason for gathering isn't to talk about your cute wine bottle cover or your table centerpiece, but to spend time together.

You can say no
There is always more to do during the holidays, and it is OK to say no to all of those extra things that creep up. You aren't the worst person in the world if you can't make it to every single Christmas party, or a friends Thanksgiving. Choose which events are the most important to you and make those your priority. Everything else can be sprinkles on the holiday sundae. Sometimes you get more, and sometimes the extra sugar makes you sick. Just pay attention to how you and your family are feeling and use that to guide your decisions for last moment changes. Say no if you don't have the time or energy. Make it doable and fun with the events and activities you want to attend, not that you feel required to.

You are not required to buy a gift for anyone. Yes, we said it. If you don't feel like you are financially capable of doing so, don't feel obligated. Be honest with yourself and those around you about what you are comfortable with and then follow through. 

Remember the reason for the season. 
For many people, the point of the holidays is to celebrate together and remember how much you love one another. Focus on the things that really matter, not the fact that you didn't buy that leather coat your cousin wanted. Spending time with friends and family is one of the best gifts we can receive, so make the most of it.

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