Common Causes of Holiday Stress for Families

Holidays bring a wealth of emotions for many people. Although it’s a great time to connect with family and friends, stress and other problems quickly strain what should be a special celebration. Talkspace, an online therapy service, asked readers what about the holidays causes them the most stress. Triggering holiday topics for families include the items on the list below.


It seems that we cannot get away from politics since the 2016 election. It’s a topic that’s caused friction between family and friends since this time. Everywhere we go, politics is always a topic of hot discussion. Nearly 7 out of 10 Americans report political stress at their holiday gatherings. In Talkspace reviews, people suggested a few ways to avoid political conflict this season. First, make it clear that politics is off-topic. If politics comes up, shift the conversation. And when all else fails, excuse yourself from the conversation and/or room.

Family Judgement

If the family shares different ideas and beliefs than our own, friction is bound to come. Choices in partners, sexual orientation, personal questions, and career choices are hot topics for family feuds. It causes unease when you feel that family is judging you. Even well-meaning questions can be triggering. Remember that yo live our life and know what’s best for you. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, just as you are entitled to ignore it.

Family Problems

Past family problems may well be a cause of emotion for yo even today. Common family problems that oftentimes cause stress during the holidays include divorced parents, absent parents, and other types of feuds. Self-care is extremely important, especially when surrounded by people who may trigger you. Limit time around these people, set boundaries, and make sure that you are rational with your expectations.


Some people feel the stress of the holidays because they’re lonely. Unlike the rest of the world, these people don’t have family, whether their loved ones have passed on or the relationships are broken. Loneliness is a strong emotion any time but when the holidays roll around and the togetherness is rampant, it is even worse. Loneliness may also come into play in close families if they don’t see each other often throughout the year.

Hometown Return

Talkspace reviews also state that going home is a strong cause of holiday stress. Going back home brings back memories and nostalgia. It can bring back painful memories as well, especially if loved ones are no longer here to celebrate with. Many people feel this very emotional when they return home for the holidays. Spend as much time as possible with the closest friends and family members and prepare for the potential sadness or emotions that you may experience.

 Stress happens during the holidays. Know your top stressors and how to avoid or minimize them to ensure smooth, happy holidays with the people you love the most. Self-care is extremely important during the holidays. Take care of yourself first and foremost. Join Talkspace and get a helping hand. Talk to friends. You can minimize holiday stress when you practice self-care.

Lee Morales

Lee Morales is a highly skilled and experienced technology and culture journalist, known for his insightful and thought-provoking writing. With over a decade of experience in the field, Lee has a deep understanding of the intersection between technology, culture, and society. Lee is passionate about using his writing to help people understand the complex and often confusing world of technology, and to promote thoughtful discourse about its role in our lives.