It's not the cooking or the shopping. For many, the most stressful part of the holidays is dealing with family drama.
It can be separated couples coming back together. A clash of personalities. Or a difference in cultures when several families are involved.
"The families have their own traditions, and they have their own values, they have their own expectations. And hardly anybody talks about that when they first get together," psychologist Joseph Rock of the Cleveland Clinic said.
Rock says when people have explicit expectations and are used to one way of doing things, it can create tension when other traditions are added.
Conflict can also arise over boundary issues: a mother-in-law taking over the kitchen or grandparents offering unsolicited parenting advice.
Rock says try not to allow yourself to be surprised.
"You need to accept what's coming, anticipate what's coming and create a plan for how you'll handle differences. That way, things won't bother you as much," Rock said.
But he also says there is a fine line when it comes to planning ahead because you don't want to overthink it.
The goal is to celebrate the season and not stress yourself out.
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For many, family is most stressful part of holidays
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