3 Coach-Centric Tips to Survive the Holiday Season!

With the holidays nearly upon us it's time for many of us to spend a few days in close proximity to our nearest and dearest. So, why not use our coaching skills on ourselves? The standard tips to survive the holiday season can be taken up a notch as we create an opportunity to learn, grow - and practice what we preach.

Just because we're coaches doesn't mean we're immune to challenging or difficult family dynamics - and it's so easy to slip back into old patterns of behaviour when we're tired or stressed.

Whatever your reality, here are 3 Coach-centric Tips to Survive the Holiday Season and Enjoy Your Families More:

  1. Walk Your Talk - and Focus on You First! You already know this - but do you practice it? Do you meet your own needs BEFORE giving to others? How much sleep do you need to feel good?If you're worn out with all the parties and/or entertaining - book time in advance for a stroll or a soak in the bath to relax. When you make sure your needs are met you'll be at your best - what better way to walk your talk than that?
  2. Let go of Expectations and Open up to Possibility. Who doesn't want holidays to be fun, joyful, warm, festive? Well, when families end up fighting it's often simply because everyone has expectations of their own. So, don't add yours to the mix! Relax and decide to go with the flow, be OK whatever happens. And you never know, someone else's ideas or wishes might bring something new that you haven't thought of or experienced before...
  3. Be Giving. (And I don't mean holiday gifts). Give the gift of listening, forgiveness, appreciation, acceptance - all those skills you have in spades as a coach! We know we can't change others - only ourselves, so instead of reacting to your Uncle making that joke AGAIN, give him laughter. Instead of being resentful that your sibling is not helping clear up, show your appreciation to the host by helping anyway. Or ask your sibling nicely to pitch in and help! Instead of switching off as your aunt drones on (as usual) about how successful your cousins are, listen and nod appreciatively. This isn't about changing who you are, it's about giving your family the wonderful coach-like gift of your attention and acceptance and seeing what happens

What are YOUR coach-centric tips for surviving the holiday season? We'd love to hear them, so just comment below!


And if you liked this article about tips to survive the holiday season, you may also like:

Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

Image of Model car carrying Christmas tree by pixel2013 via Pixabay


  1. Wanda

    I decide in early November how many "Holiday Parties" I am going to attend during the entire season. I try an prioritize my desires as well. When the invitations come rolling in, I have to choose carefully the ones that I say yes to as I already have the number! When I hit the number for the season that's it - this helps me with feeling like I have to say yes to every invitation and feeling burnt out (not to mention - gaining 10 pounds) by the 1st of the year! Take care of yourselves! It may seem hard at first, but it gets easier each year and I end up spending very quality time with the people I want to be with! Thanks EL for the tools and your sharing spirit.

    • Emma-Louise

      Thank-you Wanda! Great tip around the party count, it really makes you prioritise and focus on the ones you WANT to attend 🙂 Love it! Warmly, Emma-Louise

  2. Deborah Peterson

    I have come to realize that when the holidays are upon us, stress is in the air without doubt! When it's time to gather with family/extended family/boyfriends/girlfriends of the children, it is better to insulate yourself with what you know and not isolate negative people with how they may make you feel. Insulating takes maturity and knowledge of what's really going on behind the scenes of peoples behavior.

    • Emma-Louise

      Thank-you Deborah for your kind and wise comment! All too often we jump to cutting out negative people from our lives. And yes, family (and extended family) members can fall into this category. Instead, when we allow other people to be as they are, we give ourselves space too - preserving valuable energy. I guess that is insulating (keeping the heat in!)! Warmly, Emma-Louise

  3. Christine Boyle

    Thanks Emma-Louise, another valuable issue. By way of comment I recommend to "just say no!" Listen to your true wants and desires and promise yourself to make choices which honour you and sometimes that means saying "no" to others and "yes to you!"

    • Emma-Louise

      Love it! Thank-you Christine 🙂 I am a big fan of saying "No" (although I am still practicing and getting better!) Warmly, Emma-Louise


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