It is no great secret that the holidays are stressful. So much pressure is put on us to make the holidays a joyous time, that sometimes it gets the best of us.

Here's the's perfectly OK to get depressed during this time of year. It's normal to get stressed. There are some ways, however, that we can lessen our own stress, and maybe even help out those around us.

The Mayo Clinic recently published an article on their website with 10 tips to help out with holiday depression. The article states:

When stress is at its peak, it's hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.

1. Acknowledge your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy, so don't try. It's OK to be sad.

2. Reach out. It takes strength to ask for help. If you need it, ask for it. There will always be someone in your circle that cares enough to listen.

3. Be realistic. Nothing has to be perfect. It's not going to be. Just do the best you can, and that will be great.

4. Set aside differences. No advice is better than this in today's world. This isn't an easy pill to swallow sometimes, but it's a lot better than arguing over the holiday meal.

5. Stick to a budget. The holidays may seem like a competition, but it's not. Give what you can, and people will know that you thought about them. Isn't it the thought that counts, after all?

6. Plan ahead. It's much easier to slide through the holidays if there is a plan in place. And it doesn't have to be an elaborate, down to the second itinerary. A simple outline of activities can suffice. Set small attainable goals, and the weeks will go by much easier.

7. Learn to say no. You can't be everywhere. You can't do everything. You can't please everyone. So don't try.

8. Don't abandon healthy habits. Giving up on your own well-being is a bad idea. Yeah, we might splurge a little on the holiday feasting, but don't neglect your body. Recovery from the holidays will be that much harder if you do.

9. Take a breather. Take a break every once in a while. Did you just do some last minute shopping inside a store that seemed like an insane asylum just opened up all the doors? When you get home, don't immediately start wrapping presents. Take 15 minutes to look at cat videos, or read some juicy romance novel, or play with your toes...anything other than holiday stuff. Those gifts will be there when you're done.

10. Seek professional help if you need it. If you have tried everything you can, and you're still feeling down, you might need to call a pro. As I stated above, there is absolutely nothing wrong about asking for help.

I hope this helps someone out there that might need that boost to get through the holidays. There's a lot of people out there who feel just like you do,and it's OK. We can get through these trying times together. Just remember...the holidays are only one part of the year, and you can do it!

For a more in depth look at each one of these tips, check out The Mayo Clinic's website.

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