Holidays are around the corner. It seems like it keeps getting earlier and earlier each year. This time of the year there are higher than normal family expectations, interactions, and obligations which can equal stress, pain, and anxiety for many people. Let’s have a look at how to destress and enjoy the holidays. You know there has to be a better way to enjoy the holidays instead of repeating the same family drama over and over again.The season should be full of joy, good health and fulfilment. My goal is to show you how to prioritize your true desires so that you can be thriving the holidays instead of simply surviving. Being proactive and prepared is the key to having a healthy season filled with the things that matter most to you. For this let’s start with which values you want to honour. If you haven’t identified your values before this is the 1st step. Once you are super clear about which values you want to honour for yourself and your family it’s easier to set boundaries. Setting specific boundaries for the upcoming holidays can help cut down on the financial and emotional stress that often comes with the season. The bonus of clear boundaries is that energetically you give off another vibe which people soon pick up on. For the few who don’t you’ll need to articulate them clearly. Decide what’s more aligned with how you want to feel, no matter what you’ve done in the past. You can create a new tradition for yourself and your family. Taking control means you get to design your ideal time together. You can use a planning board. Look at all the ideas and requests you have collected and make an honest assessment so you can get off holiday “auto-pilot” and make conscious decisions for yourself and your family that feel great. Little cheat sheet to help with the decision-making process:1. Create the list, ask for input if you do this for the family.2. Make the weekplanner board for the holidays.3. Plan and hold a family meeting. Start with why you are doing this and agree on how decisions will be made .4. Make the decisions and write them down.5. Put the board in a common visible area e.g. kitchen.6. Inform people that need to know e.g. if you are coming to dinner, the party or if and want you will bring, gift budget or any other requests etc… all depending on the outcome of your decisions.Don’t forget to have fun in the process. Think of nice snacks, creative ways to make a board, assigning family members different tasks to share ownership. Don’t take all the monkeys onto your shoulders. Dealing with intrusive questionsDo you remember the intrusive questions and awkward conversation that sometimes come up? Think of the specific scenarios and sentences to respond to these questions directly. I have a number of food allergies and get questions and well-meant advice all the time. Here is one of my responses: “Thank you so much for caring about my health. It can be a nuisance sometimes, but luckily I have it under control”. Then I switch the conversation to another subject.