12/08/2014 10:27 am ET Updated Nov 25, 2015

How To Keep Relationships Stress-Free This Holiday Season

As amazing as it can be to have the entire family gathered together under one roof for the holidays, the constantly crowded space and additional expectations can leave us feeling far more stressed than anticipated. That's why therapist Kristen Brunner joined HuffPost Live host Caroline Moddarressy-Tehrani today: to share her best tips for managing the overstimulation extra quality time with family often instigates.

"There is a lot of stress, there is a lot of pressure on the holiday, there is a lot of togetherness, much more than we usually spend during the week," said Brunner. "We think, 'Oh, this is going to be so much fun,' but often people tend to be testy and old conflicts arise and a lot of times you're with extended family for long periods of time that usually you aren't."

It ultimately comes down to walking into the situation with reasonable expectations and acknowledging that everyone has work together to help keep the holiday as stress free as possible, according to Brunner.

"Go into it knowing that you need to be easy on each other, pull each other aside if there's any issues that arise, and give each other little timeouts and breathers," she said. "I also think sort of having your day a little bit scheduled out helps so that your partner and your family knows what to expect."

To hear more of Brunner's advice for mitigating relationship stress during the holidays, watch the full HuffPost clip in the video above.



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