Whether it鈥檚 a family showdown or an office party from hell, everyone has a few holiday gatherings on their itinerary that they wouldn鈥檛 mind skipping. With the calendar filling up and the days until D-Day (or should we say C-Day) dwindling, there isn鈥檛 enough time to fit in every party, no matter how hard we try.

Well, it turns out squeezing in another holiday party could actually be detrimental to our health. According to the Society for Research in Child Development鈥檚 Social Policy Report, over-scheduling can lead to a slew of stress-related health problems, including headaches, heart issues and insomnia. Womp. We鈥檙e not saying to ditch every holiday shindig, but if going to a party is causing you undue stress, it鈥檚 entirely acceptable to opt out. Need a good reason to ditch a holiday bash? These five classic excuses can get you out of almost any holiday gathering (and help you reclaim that holiday cheer!).


1. I am attending another event. While it鈥檚 technically a little white lie, a growing body of research says that a small fib here and there isn鈥檛 actually that bad for you 鈥 especially when you鈥檙e doing it to stay healthy. Keep the details sparse, but clear, and you鈥檒l be well on your way to a luxurious Netflix night in.


2. I have a family dinner that night. No one will question a family gathering (blood is thicker than water, baby!). Just make sure to call your mom and confirm she isn鈥檛 planning on attending the party herself.


3. I鈥檓 working. Unless it鈥檚 an office party, this one is a sure winner. Make sure to use this excuse sparingly, so people won鈥檛 start to get suspicious.


4. I need to look after my dog/cat/iguana/kid. The point of having a pet or a child is to get out of awkward events, right? Okay, maybe not, but it鈥檚 a perk nonetheless. Plunk yourself down in front of the tube and babysit to your heart鈥檚 content.


5. Be honest. Even though telling a little white lie isn鈥檛 the worst thing in the world, it鈥檚 always best to be honest. If your friends and family really care about you, they will totally understand that you need a little break.

How are you dealing with over-scheduling this holiday? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo!