The Family and Managing Holiday Stress – Sharon Spano Solo Cast

Dec 6, 2023

The holiday season is upon us! But what should be a time of rest and celebration is often the season in which we are most stressed and filled with dread. So, how can you manage your stress levels during the holidays to ensure that your end-of-year celebrations are as restorative as they should be?

For this special episode of The Other Side of Potential, our host, Sharon Spano, Ph.D., sits down with listeners for a heart-to-heart in preparation for the festive season. Sharon has experienced her own holiday-season traumas, particularly around the passing of her son, Michael, and she explains just how common and universally relatable holiday stress is.

In our conversation, Sharon explains the family system and the common characteristics of modern family dynamics before detailing the festive season disruptors: family members who impose their will onto others, having fantasy-like expectations, the tensions of a diverse family, and the factors of time and money (to name a few). The standout solution that Sharon provides for easing holiday stress is to remember what the holidays are actually about, and you’d do well to forge new festive traditions if your current ones are only causing you trouble.


What you’ll learn about in this episode: 

  • Today, we will be discussing how to ease holiday stress within your family.
  • Understanding the energy of systems and specifically, the family unit.
  • The characteristics of a family system and the complexities of the modern family dynamic.
  • Exploring the disruptions that occur within families during the holiday season.
  • The chaos of disruptive (extended) family members and having fantasy-like expectations.
  • Understanding that every individual comes with their own energy and baggage.
  • How diverse cultural, religious, and political beliefs within the same family can breed tension.
  • Why it helps to remember what the festive season is all about; leaning into faith traditions.
  • Taking only what belongs to you and leaving everything else behind (knowing your place).
  • The power of saying “no”, and the magic of creating new festive traditions.
  • How to build better lines of communication, and why this matters.
  • Overcoming the two biggest disruptions: Time and money.
  • Discussing mental health and substance abuse during the holidays, and the value of self-care.
  • Adapting to the realities of your life, and a look at Sharon’s constellation work offering.


Transcript: Here

Additional Resources:

Sharon’s Black Friday Constellation Work Special

Links Mentioned:

The Bear

Sharon Spano:








The Other Side of Potential Podcast: