Christmas dinner: at best, it can be a coming together of family and friends, to share in the generous spirit of the season. At worst, however, it can be a stressful exercise in gritting your teeth through clashing personalities and mounting responsibility.

Don’t spend another Christmas at home tearing your hair out. This year, be proactive about your reaction, taking measures to stay calm and avoid unnecessary conflict. Follow this short guide if you want to make it through the season without any clenched fists or new grey hairs.

Avoid Conflict

First and foremost, if you want to remain calm while home for the holidays, it’s important to know your triggers. Do you really need to get into a political debate with your uncle? Do you really need to let your mom’s hang-ups about your job get under your skin? Do you really need to discuss financial matters at dinner?

The short answer is: no you don’t. When points of conflict arise, just take a few deep breaths and remove yourself from the conflict. It will be better for you, and probably better for everyone involved too.

Try CBD

CBD, the non-psychoactive component in cannabis, is a lifesaver in times of stress. Discover the benefits of cannabis-infused tea instead of that umpteenth coffee this Christmas, and manage your stress levels easily throughout your time at home.

CBD has been shown to have a mitigating effect on stress and anxiety, and now that it’s legal, you might as well make use of it. There are delicious, cannabis tea brands out there that look and smell just like a cup of regular herbal tea.

Practice Meditation

At its core, meditation is about breathing. It’s about focusing on the calming, elemental act of breathing, setting aside any desires, annoyances and pervasive thought patterns. Find yourself a quiet space (if such a thing exists at your home) and sit in silence for a while – 10 or 15 minutes a day is all you need.

Observing this small act of mindfulness each day will help you cope with stressors more easily, and help you walk away from conflicts instead of engaging.

Talk With a Friend, Mentor or Professional

The wise words of a friend, mentor or professional mental health expert can be a salve in times of stress. Make a phone call, or book an appointment and just open up about what you’re feeling. Chances are, the simple feeling of being heard and understood will make you feel a whole lot calmer.

Exercise

Exercising, releasing your body’s natural endorphins, has a potent calming effect. Your family will understand if you need to remove yourself for a couple hours to hit the gym or go for a run, and when you get back, you’ll be too happy, too sweaty and satisfied to care about what initially had you stressed.

You can even lock yourself away in a vacant room and do some quick exercises. Any physical activity will help. Plus, it will help offset all those holiday-size meals you’ll be enjoying.

Christmas should be a time of relaxation – don’t succumb to unnecessary stress. Pour yourself a CBD tea, practice some mindful breathing, talk with like minded people and go for a calming run around the neighborhood. You’ll feel much better if you do!