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    Mayo Clinic Minute: 3 tips to reduce holiday stress

It's supposed to be a time spent enjoying family, but the holiday season often brings on high levels of stress. Dr. Beth Rush, a Mayo Clinic neuropsychologist, offers three tips to help deal with holiday stress so you can focus on what's most important this holiday season.

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It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the holiday season also can be the most stressful time of the year.

"It's hard to think about how not to be stressed at the holidays," Dr. Rush says.

But she has tips that could help.

"I think one of the most important things to do is to slow down," she says.

The fast pace of the holiday season can be exhausting, so slowing down and taking a breath can make things easier.

Another big source of stress is getting gifts for everyone. Not only can the hit on your wallet cause stress, but finding the right gift for everyone on your list can be stressful, too.

But Dr. Rush says it doesn't have to be that way.

"We tend to always think of having that wrapped item with ribbon and paper that somebody magically opens, but sometimes the more meaningful gifts are the things that we give from the heart that are actually behavioral, that are actions and that are activities we can do with someone that we care about," she says.

And in the middle of all the shopping, decorating, cooking and other stressors of the holiday season, don't forget to take time to recharge.

"You can go to the gym," Dr. Rush says. "You can take a walk. You can meditate. You can do some yoga. But sometimes it's as simple as sitting down with your dog or your cat, and just cuddling or accepting love or giving love."