Whether you're going to gather with family or friends, many people find holiday events very stressful.

Here are some simple tips to help you prepare and make this year better than your last. Make sure you do these BEFORE you go!

Prep #1: Remember Why
Holidays were created because they have meaning. Due to of all the commercialism and busyness, much of the root meanings get swept aside and the holidays become something entirely different than their original intent.

However, if you can take a few moments to remind yourself about the larger themes that make this time special, you will be in a much bigger internal conversation than stressing on what to wear or bring.

What you can do:
Ask yourself, "Why does this day matter and why does it matter to me?"
"What transcendent themes do I want to hold in my consciousness as I go to this gathering?"

Prep #2: Get Centered and Clear
Believe it or not, part of what creates those uncomfortable moments with other people comes from inside of you. Even if you're not the instigator, you are the responder or reactor to someone's negativity or clumsiness.

The more clear and centered you are, the more likely you are to act in the way that you really want to be. You'll have the most success if you clear yourself before you go.

What you can do:
Think of the situation you are going into. Who will be there? What is the nature of your relationship with each one? Is anything triggering you? If so, name it specifically.

Try to access your wise, observer self (the part of you that doesn't get triggered). What would that part of you say about these people and situations?

Work to get to a place of peace and compassion for each person that you will encounter.

Ask yourself, "What kind of person do I want to be at this gathering?"
Name all the attributes of your best self that you can bring into the situation for the highest good.

Prep #3: Devise Strategies for Difficult Moments
If you know that you will be in some situations that you find particularly awkward or toxic, plan some strategies to help you navigate those moments. Have them at the ready in your bag of tools so you won't be caught in a situation that you have difficulty getting out of.

One big idea to keep in mind is that you have choices. You may not feel like you have choices, but you do. You don't even "have" to go to anything unless you choose. Once you choose, that's where the wisdom comes in.

What you can do:
If you know you will be around someone who is particularly critical or demeaning, create several strategies to politely remove yourself.
Ex. If grandma starts getting mean and critical, I will suddenly have to use the restroom and excuse myself. (I got that one from Rabbi Finley).

Comb through each and every possible negative thing you can imagine and create ways to gracefully navigate them. And yes, even with all the prepping, there will still be those unexpected surprises. ;-) These are opportunities to learn.

Don't forget that other people may also have some anxiety about the event. Your clear energy will not only be good for you, it can actually make a positive impact on other people as well. If you don't believe that, just try it as an experiment this year. What do you have to lose?

Author's Bio: 

Belinda Lams is a Certified Life Coach. She is passionate about helping people clarify a compelling vision for their lives and then take the transformational steps to realize this vision everyday.

Her inspiration is to be an inspiration.

Utilizing her journey of brokenness and healing through the loss of her daughter to cancer, Belinda brings a unique and compassionate approach to life transitions; discovering life after death and loss, intentional living, practical tools, and living from your passion and purpose.

Through phone coaching, or home-study courses, Belinda capably and lovingly helps people to de-clutter and live on purpose. Her clients are empowered to exercise their power to make better choices and create their best life.

She was trained in the Co-Active Coaching Model and Reality Therapy Techniques through Refuah Institute in Jerusalem, Israel. She also studies Spiritual Formation and Moral Psychology with Rabbi Mordecai Finley of Ohr HaTorah in Los Angeles, CA.

Along with personal coaching, Belinda is available for speaking engagements and workshops.

Check out my self-coaching e-course Soul Activator: 90 Days to Kickstart Your Life from the Inside Out.

Visit www.soulorganizer.com or contact Belinda at bblams@gmail.com