The holiday period is upon us. For many, it’s a time of love, connection, extreme stress, exhaustion, and overwhelm.

We start the holiday period with the very best of intentions, but the size of your to-do lists, the ability of family members who you love dearly to push your buttons, and a little bit of alcohol can turn the holiday period into a battlefield. 

This year, it’s possibly even harder as many of us face a second Christmas apart from loved ones.  

Here are three things that are easy to implement and even easier to remember in the moment, so that you can be your best self and create a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons.  

Tip #1: Manage your to-do List

The fact is that many people start the holiday period exhausted. The daily list of things to do, people to ferry around and places to be, further withdraws from an already dwindling energy bank account.  

Start building up your energy bank account early. Schedule it in and prioritize small acts of daily recovery.

What’s your daily water intake? Are you hydrated? How’s your sleep?

If you’re thinking, “But it’s a week away from Christmas, and I’m exhausted”, it’s not too late. Schedule in some walks, keep a bottle of water in front of you, and plan out your time for bed as a ritual. You’ll be in a more resilient state on Christmas Day.

Look at your list of things to do. Can you group your tasks so that you’re not doubling up on travel time? Or could you save time by doing the grocery shopping online?

Who can help you with wrapping the presents? Can you turn wrapping the presents for the grandparents into a fun activity that you can share with the kids? Double bonus because then you get quality time with the kids and they love to wrap up shiny things.  

If you have folks coming over to your house, delegation is key. Can somebody else bring the dessert?

If you’re going to somebody else’s for Christmas, reach out and let them know that you’d love to bring dessert, or the potatoes, or whatever your superpower dish. Help your host feel good about saying yes by sharing how much it would mean to you to be able to do this. 

Tip #2: plan who you want to be

Remember what you want to feel during the holidays. Choose three words that describe your best self when you’re interacting with whoever you’re sharing Christmas Day with.

Maybe you want to bring joy, spread some calm, or be grateful for those magic moments. Find those three words and put them in your phone.

For each person you’re planning on being with, decide how you will be with them that will embody your three words.

Set an alarm on your phone, on your watch, or write your words on a post-it note and place it in a secret place in your bathroom so that you’re reminded of those three words throughout the holiday period.  

Is somebody is winding you up? Pop into the bathroom and read your note.

How can you choose to respond rather than react to those tricky situations? The more you rehearse the day in your mind with those three words front and center, the easier it will be to be that person on Christmas Day. 

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, the holiday period can be a bit too much. Whether it’s reminders of loved ones no longer with us, being near somebody where the relationship has fractured, how we feel deep down about ourselves or being unable to connect physically with loved ones.  

Tip #3: practice the white mist exercise

The first step is awareness.  

Recognize how you feel within yourself and allow yourself the grace to know that it is okay to feel that way. If you feel you can safely share how you are feeling, do that.  

If you need to get some space, click this to practice the white mist exercise. It’s discrete, quick and an easy exercise. You can take yourself away to the loo or the bedroom for five minutes and no one is the wiser.

Repeat this as many times as you need to.

I’m sending you the energy of peace for this holiday period. So may peace be with you.