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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Each year the stress seems to arrive earlier. We asked why the holidays are so stressful.

Kristen K. Brown, author of the newly released book, "The Happy Hour Effect: 12 Secrets to Minimize Stress and Maximize Life" which was released on Monday, says it can be a stressful time for several reasons.

"Money spent on gifts, time spent to shop and plan events, lots of events and entertaining, weather challenges, travel, bombarded by ads and media and memories," are just a few things she named off.

So how can we shift from stress to peace during this crazy time of year?

Brown joined KARE 11 News @ 4 with 5 of her de-stressingtips.


1. Build in me-time:

Holidays are go, go, go but we need to take time to stop, remember what the holidays are all about and take the time to honor our own need for time and pampering. Sneak in a trip to the spa, go see a movie, orgo out for lunch at your favorite restaurant. All of these things are short orinexpensive but can be really powerful to re-balance the hectic-ness of the holiday.

2. Have a plan far in advance:

The more you procrastinate on planning your holiday events or buying gifts, the more stressful it will be. Make a list now with what you need to do and start getting it done now. Schedule it on your calendar to make it even more powerful and split the list with your spouse or even your kids to get it done faster.

3. Give experiential gifts (instead of material):

Research shows that people are much happier with gifts that engage them and get them involved like concert tickets, cooking classes or sporting event tickets. They will also associate those positive experiences with you the gift-giver.

4. Honor traditions:

Having routine and regularity to our holiday celebrations can be comforting and keep us feeling in control and connected - keys to less stress.

5. Don't be afraid to start new traditions:

Today's modern families mean lots of unique dynamics so don't be afraid to celebrate the holidays in a new way that fits your lifestyle needs. That might mean celebrating on a different day to include someone who isn't home on the actual holiday. It might mean changing the locale or even the meal to fit the needs of everyone in attendance. Find ways to create a harmonious holiday for all of your loved ones.

Kristen's new book, "The Happy Hour Effect: 12 Secrets to Minimize Stress and Maximize Life" comes out today, November 12th.

Go toThe Happy Hour Effect for a copy of her book or other de-stressing ideas.

Also, head to Barnes & Noble at Ridgehaven on Friday 11/16 from 3-6 forKristen's book signing.

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