Less stress, more holiday spirit

'Tis the season to be jolly.

However, that jolly feeling can quickly turn to stress and unhappiness if you're putting too much pressure on yourself to get things done around the holidays.

Dr. Ken Smith, a licensed professional counselor at Palmetto Counseling in Myrtle Beach, says to keep your expectations in check.

He also says to change the way you view the holiday tasks you still have to finish.

"Make this something you can enjoy. Not something that you've got to do, but something that you look forward to doing," Smith said.

However, stress can strike at anytime.

While you're in a mall shopping for that perfect present or while you're driving around doing errands.

If you're at a mall, Smith says to take advantage of the mall's benches and/or rest areas. He says taking a break from the hustle and bustle of shopping, and taking a few deep breaths, will help to calm your mind and allow you to re-group.

There are also ways you can fight stress if you're on the road.

"When you come to a stop light, all of us are sitting there waiting for it to turn green. Why not sit back in your seat, relax, take some deep breaths? And when the light changes, let yourself get into the flow," Smith said.

Aside from taking deep breaths, Smith also says you can listen to calming music, think about a favorite place, and fit in some physical activity.