EDMONTON -- Whether it's family tension or financial worry, the holiday season can quickly become overwhelming.

Registered psychologist Dr. Ganz Ferrance says the best way to handle it is to prepare yourself. Anticipate what you think will be stressful and what you will do to manage it.

"Do it well so you have a good time but also so the people that you care about and that you're connected with also have a good time with you," Ferrance said on CTV Morning Live Edmonton.

Financial pressures can be strong around the holidays, as it can be tempting to shower loved ones with gifts. But Ferrance says the 'stuff' isn't what people will remember.

"They really remember the energy around the season. They remember your time, your eye contact, the love you give them," he said.

If you are isolated from your family, Ferrance recommends finding other ways to connect with people. Make time for friends or volunteering to help combat loneliness.

And if your family time becomes overwhelming, allow yourself to take a break.

Finally, Ferrance recommends making sure you get enough rest and being consistent with your sleeping schedule.

And make time for regular exercise.

"Exercise is one of the basic, basic foundational things for managing stress, anxiety and depression. And so if you can get moving and have that on a regular basis, you're going to be way better off." he said.  

Ferrance emphasized that taking care of yourself first will make for a happier and healthier holiday season.