While this time of year is often filled with joy and excitement, it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. As you are preparing for finals and planning your holiday activities, whether it’s a trip home or staying put, learning how to deal with these stresses will help you have a more enjoyable holiday. Here are some tips to help reduce stress this holiday season: • Let your family know about your plans and preferences for the holiday before you arrive home. Listen to their preferences and plans as well. • Make certain your plans include your family in some way. Think of some things you have in common with them or things you enjoy doing with them and request to do those things. Include your parents in the planning and scheduling of these activities. • Discuss with your parents regarding changes, i.e. curfew. Negotiation may need to occur. • Be prepared for the endless questions from family. How was this semester for you? What’s your GPA? What’s your major again? What are you going to do with that? Have you met any new friends? What clubs have you joined? Why did you choose that one? There are literally infinite questions that your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and just about everybody else in your family can and will ask. Be completely prepared to feel like you’re being interviewed for a job based on how well this semester went. • Have a lot of tasks to complete? Make a to-do list in chronological order to minimize stress. • Gift exchanges! Enjoy the present and try not to worry about what may be lacking. • Stay active and continue to eat a balanced diet. • Make time for yourself and your needs, even when hosting guests in your house. • Keep tabs on your holiday spending. Make a budget and stick to it, no exceptions. • Learn to say no. It’s OK not to do everything. • Renew your lease! Reduce stress down the road and renew your lease before the holidays!