It’s not quite time for the turkey or singing Auld Lang Syne, but… the train is slowly approaching the Christmas day station, where some of you will have a sense of joy to be sharing time with friends and family, and for others, it may bring back some sad memories.

Christmas is one of the times of the year when knowing your value comes into play because you have to share your time with people you might avoid for the remainder of the year.

However, as you prepare, here are a few suggestions you might find helpful:

1) If you have a habit of being a people pleaser, i.e. saying yes to dropping off a relative even though where they live is entirely out of your way, imagine finding the courage to say no -politely- when you’re expected to say yes.

2) Put your mental health and well-being first, so do a graceful exit or avoid conversations that feels like a trigger.

3) It’s strange that if you’ve had a disagreement with someone throughout the year and expect to meet them at Christmas, remember they may be feeling as uncomfortable as you do. It can be challenging but do your best to imagine a different outcome. My next point is one of the strategies I use to manage such situations and it works well for me.

4) Abraham Hicks calls it segment intention. Before you leave home, set an intention of what the event – gathering-day means to you and what you want from it. -i.e. ‘I want this gathering to be uplifting for all of us, and as we only meet once a year to feel better for having met. We are all happy and satisfied at the end.

I’ve done this frequently throughout the year, and it has worked. Things have gone much better than expected, and you have to think and behave differently to get a different result.

5) Often, the story we tell ourselves about a situation or a person is probably not true; allow yourself to hear their story (even if you may not like them), your paradigm may shift.

6) Think about the one thing you will do differently next year, not five things, just one. For me, it’s completing things – I will write about this in a forthcoming post.

7) Sometimes, your anxiety can come up unexpectedly and feel overwhelming. I’m a great fan of Mel Robbins, who has suffered from anxiety for, as she says, decades. She has several videos on handling anxiety, but this one would be a good start.

7) To know your value is to decide how you want to feel and what you will allow. But most of all, it is to recognise that it all is down to you – no one is coming to save you.

8) Believe that you are good enough and don’t need anyone’s validation and that you are your validation.

9) Sometimes, things are never as bad as you expect them to be, and if you’ve made it to Christmas, you’ve done well.

In the meantime, be good to yourself; I intend to do the same.