With American Thanksgiving this week and Christmas holiday season around the corner, here are some of my top tips on how to not only survive, but thrive, through any holiday.

Practice Gratitude!!

It’s called a practice for a reason – it’s something to which we need to dedicated conscious time. Set aside some time in the morning of Thanksgiving to write in your journal. Start each sentence with the words “I am happy and grateful for…”

You may list things that are already true in your life, and gratitude for your future self and your dreams coming true.

If your family or the people you celebrate with do not already have a tradition of going around the table and sharing gratitudes, why not start that tradition?

As my friend Lana Shlafer wrote today “So whether you live in the US and celebrate Thanksgiving or not, I invite you to spend some time this week making lists of what you’re grateful for, telling those you love why you love them and spreading appreciation wherever you go.

Not only will you brighten your day, but you’ll be a powerful beacon of love to those around you.”

If you are feeling down, depressed or really triggered during this holiday or time of year, try the technique that Tony Robbins talks about in his book Awaken the Giant Within. He writes that even if you do not feel grateful in the moment, you can always ask yourself “What could I be grateful for?”

Make a special plan:

Revise your intentions or your own personal alcohol agreement for the day/holiday. Factor in the time of the meal, how you want to feel before, during and especially AFTER, and work backwards from there. Come up with specific strategies that will work for this unique settling. Do you need to bring a non-alcoholic beverage with you? What time will you begin drinking? How will you space out your drinks? What will you alternate your drinks with?

Remember that YOU are in control:

With so many factors that might feel OUT of your control, with family obligations, lengthier meals, more alcohol being consumed around you, food you might not normally eat, it can feel overwhelming and destabilizing. Remind yourself of what you CAN control and focus on that…

Start your day with intention:

Make sure to follow your healthy morning routine in the morning. This sends a powerful message that you are taking care of your body and mind first and foremost. Drink water and lemon, tea and/or green juice. Take a few moments to journal your intentions. Visualize the occasion with the most positive outcome you can imagine. Focus on that rather than everything that could possibly go wrong.

Take 5 (or 10):

There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks! When we’re out of our normal routine or around a crush of family, we can easily lose our center. If you find yourself particularly sensitive to other people’s energy, it can be especially important to take little breaks. Excuse yourself to lay down for 10 minutes and plug in a mini-meditation or some chakra balancing music. Head to the bathroom and put a drop of floral or calming essential oils into your palms, rub them together and inhale deeply for 10 breaths. It’s amazing how quickly this can reset your energy and bring you back into yourself.

At the dinner table:

1. Deep belly breathing: Here’s something you can do at the dinner table if you’re feeling yourself tense up or feeling triggered. Take a deep breath through your nose, expanding your belly. This activates your diaphragm and takes you out of “fight or flight” and into a calmer state. Hold for a second at the top and then breathe out very slowly, pulling your belly in toward your spine.

2. Mantra for peace: This is a simply and sneaky technique that you can use in any public situation to remind yourself that peace starts from within. You can of course say this aloud of are comfortable doing so or are by yourself, or you can say the words to yourself.

  • Touch your index finger to the thumb on your same hand and say the word “peace.”

  • Switch, touching your middle finger to your thumb and say “begins.”

  • Continue down the line, touching your ring finger with your thumb and say “with.”

  • Touch your pinky finger to your thumb and say “me.”

Have fun with Holiday themed mocktails:

Who said drinking less meant being stuck with boring ol’ water? Make it fun for yourself (and your guests) and try some new mocktail recipes. There are really delicious and healthy seasonal options including ingredients such as persimmons, cranberries, ginger, mint, pear, cinnamon, cloves, rosemary etc. I google’d “healthy thanksgiving mocktails” and found some amazing options.

What are your favourite strategies for thriving the holidays? I’d love to hear.

I also want to take this opportunity to tell you how grateful I am for YOU!! Thank you for showing up, for reading these blogs, for embracing yourself and your desire for something different. Thank you for helping ME feel less alone – yes, it helps knowing you are out there. And if you’ve been or are a client or Masterclass participant – my deepest bow of gratitude to you. It means the world to me that I am able to do this work. So thank you thank you thank you!!