A clinical psychologist with OU Health said the holiday season often inspires feelings of joy, but this time can also bring with it a lot of stress, loneliness, and anxiety.
"Nothing is going to be perfect," said Dr. Maria Trapp, a clinical psychologist with OU Health. "Don't expect it to be."
Trapp said it's important to have realistic expectation when you're gathering with friends and family during the holiday season.
"If certain family members have a certain tendency to be a certain way," said Trapp. "The likelihood that they are going to change all of a sudden this year is probably low."
She said try to not to be too focused on one thing or person.
"Really try to look at the entirety," said Trapp. "The entirety of the event of the event is why you are there."
Trapp said another big stressor during this time of year is finances. She said the best way to avoid stress in that area is to simply make a budget.
"I know those are hard to stick to," said Trapp. "They are for me too; you'll think oh they'll just love that this one little thing. But is that one little really isn't going to make the difference or make or break that holiday season. But a couple of one or two little things might make or break your finances come January."
Another way to avoid anxiety and depression is to stick with your good health strategies, Trapp said.
"Get enough sleep," said Trapp. "It is a special time, but overindulgence is kind of your enemy in that. The best thing that you can do is to really stick to what keeps you healthy on a day in and out basis. You will be more resilient to things that do come up and be able to tolerate that stress, or sadness or even anxiety that comes from the holidays."