BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) The holiday season allows many people to reconnect with traditions from childhood and see relatives they have not seen in a long time.
However, many others feel pressure and anxiety because of financial or personal demands.

“The holidays can look however you want them to look. It’s okay to say no to anything that you do no want to do,” said licensed psychologist Dr. Luncinda DeGrange.

DeGrange suggests setting boundaries with your family, even when it comes to buying gifts and attending the family dinner.

“There’s no reason that you have to exchange gifts. This can be just a conversation within the family that this year, ‘We’re really only going to give gifts to the children,’ or ‘If we do want to exchange gifts, we can just have a secret Santa and set a price limit of $20,'” said DeGrange. “You can tell yourself it’s okay to have a quiet Christmas. It’s okay to spend Christmas on your own and doing something that’s enjoyable to you.”

The goal is to protect your mental health. DeGrange said, “It starts by having a conversation with your family or partner. That’s what really helps to quell the anxiety that a lot of people feel. Preparation helps you feel calmer, and then you have a game plan. Lots of folks would be surprised how people would go along with this and also be relieved.”