Yes, the holidays are the “most wonderful time of the year” … but they can also be quite stressful. You may be traveling in crowded airports with flight delays, trying to put together a party, dealing with family issues. And there’s also the financial stress and pressure to get everyone a perfect gift. Yikes.

If you feel irritable, rushed, lonely or overwhelmed at the holidays, keep these strategies in mind.

1. Learn from the past. Anticipate challenges and have a plan to deal with them.
2. Learn to say no. Just because someone wants or expects something of you, doesn’t mean you have to do it. Life’s short; don’t live it according to someone else’s terms or schedule.
3. Make time to break away from the herd. Give yourself an occasional break from the packed malls and living rooms filled with family and friends. Set aside some alone time so you don’t “lose yourself” in the crowd.
4. Shop early. Nothing is more stressful than trying to find the “perfect” present at the last minute, when store shelves are bare and the lines are long.
5. Stay in control of eating. When the going gets tough, you may be tempted to comfort yourself with a food. But the regret and guilt you’ll feel afterward will just add to your stress level.
6. Get some exercise. You’re being pulled in so many directions at this time of year, and it’s difficult to find time for exercise, but take out word for it — even just 10 to 15 minutes of cardio or resistance training will recharge your engine far better than vegging out in front of the TV.
7. Meditation & music soothe the savage beast. Calm the chaos by putting on a pair of headphones, getting comfortable, and listening to your favorite playlist.
8. Reach out and talk to someone. No one wants to be a complainer, but sometimes you just need to call a friend and vent.
9. When all else fails, learn to let go. There are some thing you can’t control, so don’t drive yourself crazy trying to fix everything. slenderizing fashion strategies to help you “fake it till you make it.”