A University of Minnesota psychiatrist says people who have trouble coping with holiday stress tend to do better if they have a plan.
The high expectations and added pressures of the holiday season can make it more difficult for people suffering from anxiety, depression or drug and alcohol addictions.
Dr. Chuck Schulz, head of the University of Minnesota's Department of Psychiatry, recommends having a strategy.
Schulz says sometimes the key to having a relaxing holiday is telling yourself you're going to have a relaxing holiday.
"Make it a specific thought and goal that you have," he said. "And I think sometimes if that's actually, really on your mind, there's a greater chance you can do it."
Schulz says people need to take steps to protect their mental health, so it's also okay to excuse yourself from a stressful gathering or turn down an alcoholic beverage.
In his practice, Schulz says he typically sees a significant increase in his patient load right after the holidays.