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How to stay sane over the holidays

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Halloween is over. It’s time to say goodbye to costumes, candy, and horror movies, and say hello to high calorie dinners, awkward family conversations, and more cheer than I can handle. That’s right, everyone, it’s the holiday season again, and while we’re heading into “the most wonderful time of year,” we’re also heading into the most stressful time of year. And because Michael Buble can’t really sell a song about it, I’m here to key you in on the easiest ways to keep your cool over the next few weeks.

1. Hold off on your Christmas spirit until Thanksgiving

We get it, Hallmark has started their Countdown to Christmas already, and Freeform’s Countown to the 25 Days of Christmas is rapidly approaching as well. To this I say: it’s okay to enjoy fall a little longer. You can afford to record those brand new Hallmark movies, and we all know that Freeform plays the same films over and over again. And though our local radio stations have already begun playing Christmas music (98.7 and 102.1, if you needed to know), I promise you can afford a little time to savor Thanksgiving.

2. Go Black Friday shopping… with careful consideration

I’ve been shopping on Black Friday, but I’ve never really been Black Friday shopping. If you think about it, you know the difference. I recommend waiting until 10:00 AM, still early, but not so late that what you want’ll be sold out. There will be less people, less chaos, and the lines won’t be as long as they would have been.

3. Go do themed activities

There are so many things you can do in the Dallas area that will get you feeling festive. You could go look at the pumpkin exhibit at the Arboretum, go ice skating at the Galleria, go to Holiday in the Park at Six Flags… and so much more if you really look. It may cost more than it would to stay at home and binge watch Hallmark romantic comedies, but the memories they give you can last a lifetime.

4. Host a Friendsgiving

Once Thanksgiving break rolls around, we get a week away from homework, tests, and lectures. That doesn’t have to mean that you get a week away from your friends too. Coordinate a day where you can all meet up, and everyone can bring a dish to share. Not only will you get to eat really good food, you’ll also get a day to hang out with your friends and make memories.

5. Do some fall themed cooking!

Okay, maybe this is just a me thing, but going into the kitchen and cooking something I’ve never tried before is so theraputic. Whether you’re trying your hand at this pumpkin alfredo, or this cornbread topped chili, I can promise that the actual process will distract you from your stress, and the end result will allow you to eat your stress away. Not a fan of savory foods? Try your hand at these two fall sweets.

6. Do community service

Nothing is more rewarding than helping those less fortunate than you, and what is more in the holiday spirit than giving? Whether you’re doing a shift at Helping Hands, volunteering at the local food shelter, or you’re buying presents for an underprivilaged child, it’ll be sure to lift your spirits.

7. Do some “hands-on” window shopping

We all know how great a walk around a store you love can be. Sure, you might walk out with a random mug you don’t need or a candle that was on clearance, but the idea of walking around a store and looking at all of the holiday decorations, or even just nice presents can be fun. Whether you want to do some window shopping at North Park or take a trip around your local Target, sometimes walking around a store without the intent to buy anything (even if you end up with an armful of goodies) can be theraputic.

8. Have a movie marathon

Like I said earlier, it’s probably best to wait until after Thanksgiving to immerse yourself into all of the great Holiday movies you know and love, as it is, in fact, possible to overplay the movie Elf. Once Thanksgiving is over, however, I’d say that it’s due time to embrace all of the great things the holiday season has to over. Invite a few friends over to drink cocoa, eat from the popcorn tins that they sell at Walmart, and watch a few of your favorite Christmas movies to get into the spirit again.

9. Embrace your time off of school

What is a list about how to destress without reminding you of the glorious occurances that are Thanksgiving and Christmas break? Enjoy your days to sleep in, your ability to waste the day away, and the opportunity to spend time with the people you care about.

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