Reduce Family Stress during the Holidays

Although the pictures you see are of Christmas trees, presents and smiling faces, there’s a lot of chatter about the pressures on families during the holidays. How do you make this season as stress free as possible?

Try to understand what about the holidays is most significant to you and your family. And then decide to focus on what you want to do, not what you think you have to do. Begin to lay the groundwork for change in your family rituals.

Find emotional support. With the challenges of college kids coming home, integrating in-laws into the family and caring for aging parents, take a breather and call a friend. Share your feelings about what’s going on in your family – get it off your chest and get some positive feedback.

Gratitude is a powerful emotion. Use it to your advantage. Point out your family’s positive qualities rather than focusing on the negatives. Tell your loved ones what they mean to you. See their reaction and notice how it makes you feel.

Perhaps you don’t have role models for repairing the family and have to make it up as you go along. Trust yourself in this process. Often the messiness of emotions leads to better understanding. Conflict can serve as an invitation to grow when you honor the importance of relationships. With family, there are no returns or exchanges even with a gift receipt. So embrace the holiday season and rejoice in the love and support of family.

Why not buy yourself a gift that costs less than a cup of coffee? At, you’ll find an ebook Taking Control of Stress in a Financial Storm: Practical Strategies and Resources for Success that’s full of simple strategies that help reduce stress.

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