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Here Are Ways To Survive The Hectic Holiday Homestretch


Forget wonderful: For a lot of people, it’s the most stressful time of the year. With shopping lists, travel headaches, endless sweets and family get-togethers, the holiday season can be tough.

Hal Barkley, chair and professor of counseling and dispute resolution at SMU's Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development says there are ways to survive the final stretch of this year’s holiday sprint.

Interview Highlights: Hal Barkley ...

... On dealing with family, especially when you don’t see eye-to-eye politically:

“Learn to listen respectfully ... and as long as you respectfully state your own opinions and don’t go into attack-mode, then that usually helps you get through the holidays.”

… When the house gets crowded and hectic:

“In my family, the way we deal with that is just to go for a walk. Maybe get Uncle Joe or Aunt Susie and say ‘Oh, let’s go walk around the block or walk up to the park.’”

… On managing the endless array of sweets:

“We still have to modify what we eat, but at the same time this is a special time of the year, so enjoy that.”