Your free time is precious. Whether you are a university student who have just finished ten weeks of living on Roman Noodles and intense stress or coming home for a quick week off from your job, those precious moments of freedom is your time, not your families. Use your holiday break to rejoice, take a breather and care for yourself. It is easy to forget about your mental health and that fact that you are a human and have needs as you rush from one task to another. However, it is vital for you to take this time that you have off and take care of yourself. And, if going home to your family does not provide that feeling of security, then don't go home. You are not a bad person for opposing the invitation to go home for a holiday, you know what is best for your health and you should act on that fact, and not what will make someone else happy.

Going home for the holiday season can bring a lot of stress in our lives. This stress can generate from travel plans to seeing unwanted family members or the feeling of failure due to recent life events. If you choose to face your demons and go home for the holidays, remember that your health is always number one priority. You don't need to make other people happy. It is a team you, before team auntie, uncle and an annoying cousin that won't stop bragging about how cute their dog is. Remember your family holiday situation may be, take three breaths and follow our tips to making it through the holiday season alive into the new year.

1. Allow yourself to step away from the situation

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You are not obligated to stay there. You can walk away at any moment. If things started getting heated with one of your parents feel free to walk away and take your dog for a walk or take a stroll around town. Getting that fresh air will allow you to have more time to think to yourself and take that breather when things become too intense. You deserve the right to stop and take care of yourself at any given time.

2. Meeting up with old friends

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You know who is also feeling the pressure of their family during this time of year? Your old high school friends. If you are still in contact and in good standings with them, shoot them a message and meet up with them for some coffee. Not only does it take you away from the toxic environment, but it allows you the chance to express your feelings to someone who is an outside party.

3. It is okay to say "No"

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We all want to be good people and help each other out. And when someone is hosting you over, you may feel obligated to help out. However, when those tasks start piling up, it is okay to just say, "Sorry, I can't do that." Help out with what you can, but understand that you have limits too as a person. And if you are hosting a large group of people, ask for help and know what your limits are as a host. You have the right to enjoy your vacation to and not just be Santa Clause to everyone.

4. Don't let yesterday haunt you, live in the moment

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It is easy to hold grudges against people. You don't need to forget if someone has hurt you, however, don't let the pain of yesterday influence the happiness you experience today. If you need to, talk to the other person about your demons in the past to help get closure. You don't want to be sitting in an awkward situation all holiday season when you could have cleared it up in the beginning.

5. Follow a routine 

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Keep a regular routine while you are on vacation. This will help you keep your stress at a manageable level because you are doing something that is familiar. If you exercise every morning, make sure to keep doing this. Chances are when you do this at home it puts you in your "happy" spot. Continue to do so while on the break will help you go back to that "happy" spot no matter where you are.

6. Know your accomplishments and be proud of them

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We aren't all going to succeed at the same moment. But hey, no matter where you are in your life right now you are killing it. Next time some ask you about the job promotion you didn't get think of the things you decide achieve that year, but everything you gained.

7. When all else fails just drink...

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That is tea I mean. What else did you think I was referring too? Take a moment to yourself a relax. Sip and on some tea and just distance yourself at the moment. Drinking tea can help lower your stress and anxiety.