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How to handle holiday stress

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Between the family dinners, the house full of people and added time around relatives you may not care for, it can be overwhelming. Between the family dinners, the house full of people and added time around relatives you may not care for, it can be overwhelming.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The holidays are usually a happy time for some, but for others it can be the direct opposite. The season is meant to bring feelings of love and cheer, but it's also the precursor of holiday stress for many.

Crystal Sapio said her holiday stress level is at a five and she actually looks forward to this time of year.  

"It's a little chaotic, but chaos is good," she said.  "I think this is the best time of the year with Thanksgiving and Christmas." 

But not everyone feels that same way.  Between the family dinners, the house full of people and added time around relatives you may not care for, it can be overwhelming.

Jo Somers said she plans her seating chart carefully for her family dinners.   

"There are some people who you don't let sit close to each other. Let's keep the separation there," Somers said.

Therapist Stephanie Bolton said there are ways to break bread in peace.  

"Find common ground to talk about and just maintain those boundaries that you want to keep for yourself so that you're sane so that you can enjoy the holidays because really are all about everyone trying to enjoy a great time together," she said.

Bolton said if all else fails, get some air.

"Getting out in nature is always a good idea not just for working off the calories but for getting some fresh air and a clean perspective," she said.

Bolton also suggests using music to get through those tough family dinners.  She recommends having two play lists ready one that will relax you and one to keep you upbeat.

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