The holidays. I attempt to mentally prepare myself yearly starting right after Halloween when “Jingle Bells” prematurely starts playing over the loud speaker at the local retail store. No matter how hard I tell myself it is just part of the consumer aspect of our society, it never prepares me for the drama that the holidays can and often do ensue. Let’s face it, the holidays can be hectic, online shopping hermit-style or otherwise.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind. If we practice these consistently, it will change our perspective for the better:

1. BREATHE –
When triggered, breathe in positive energy (affirmation: “Calm”) through the nose and release the negative (“Frustration”) out the mouth. Do this three times to return to a sense of peace.

2. REFLECT –
If this is a repetitive pattern (like with a family member or friend), remove yourself and clear your mind. As gently as possible say, “I need some time to myself now.” No explanation needed; no anger, just calm.

3. RELEASE –
Emotional upheavals are fleeting. Keep this in mind when you have been “triggered.” But the two things we want to avoid are spreading and/or internalizing them. Some tips to release in a healthy manner using the four elements:

– Earth: Go for a walk; connect to the earth. If it’s raining, journal. Get it all out on paper.

– Air: Breathe in your name; breathe out the person or situation. Repeat as often as necessary.

– Water: Take a shower or bath using bath salts or (my favorite) lavender epsom salts. Imagine the water is filled with cleansing energy, washing all your frustrations down the drain.

– Fire: Burn the person. Ha ha. No. Journal how this person is teaching you, what you have learned from them, and that you now want to let the lesson go. Burn that paper.

4. FORGIVE –
The sooner we forgive, the better. The most important person to forgive? Ourselves. When able, take a moment to yourself to sit (establish this time for YOU). Close your eyes, hold your hands to your heart and repeat three times:

“I came here to love, and I send to my heart healing rays of light and peace. I love myself, and I forgive myself, knowing that as I release these thoughts of anger and frustration, I heal both myself and therefore the others around me.”

Watch this brief YouTube clip on the above tips!