How to have a stress-free holiday season

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PHOENIX -- Most people would agree, the three most common areas where stress pops up the most during the holiday season can be narrowed down to three words that begin with the letter "F."

  • Finances
  • Family Issues
  • Feelings

Relationship expert Mike Lindstrom has identified some specific problem areas and how to overcome them this holiday season.

He says you need to limit your expectations.  Be honest about what you really need and openly discuss your expectations especially when it comes to travel, gift giving and allocating time to family. 

So often this is the time of year the people we love most feel under appreciated but it doesn't have to create a blowout in your relationship.  Lindstrom says,

Go out of your way to say thank you and express your gratitude.  The simple act of writing a nice card or letter to your partner goes a long way. 

It’s also important for couples to have time to themselves over the holiday season so schedule a date night away from the family and children.

Fighting with your in-laws or other family members is never a good thing but talking about the potential problem areas in advance can help. Lindstrom stresses the importance of getting on the same page when it comes to potential areas of conflict .

He also says choosing, “safe subjects”  to chat about with family members who tend to be troublesome.  These are subjects that will avoid that person from delving into their issues and creating a possible fight. Examples might be sports, plans for the future, news topics. (Helpful hint: Avoid the subjects of politics and religion if at  all possible).

Another key strategy here is to be able to say “No” to those around you.  You can’t be all things to all people!  It’s quite all right if you are unable to see every single family member this holiday season.

For more information about Mike Lindstrom check out