Various studies have revealed that the festive season and all it involves financially and emotionally is a primary cause of stress, affecting more women than men.

Avoid it.
Contrary to the festive mayhem you're used to, creating a stress-free environment this holiday season IS achievable.

Try these tips to lower your stress levels:

•  Don't start the festive season already tired and burnt-out. Take time out for yourself before the end-of-year madness begins and you'll feel better able to tackle everything.

•  Give yourself permission not to be perfect.

•  Reassess holiday traditions. Some traditions are meaningful, but others just cause unnecessary stress. Consider which ones, if any, need to be changed or dropped.

•  If family gatherings are stressful, avoid long visits.

•  Before you can even think of spending your bonus, work out all your expenses for January – and include food, transport costs and school uniforms. Plan to leave at least that amount in your account – or to be sure it isn't spent, draw out the money, put it in an envelope and hide it somewhere safe.

•  Serve foods that can be prepared ahead.

•  Keep your sense of humour!

For more tips on how to survive the festive season, read this.

How do you ensure that your holidays are stress free? Share your tips with other readers in the box below.