Coping Skills to Stay Positive During the Holidays
The holidays are upon us with the frenzy of accomplishing decorating and gift shopping, cooking and baking large amounts of food, and socializing with families and friends all to be done in a certain amount of time.
All of this is so exhausting, even to think about it.
I originally was going to write about our family traditions, but I wasn't inspired to finish the article. I decided to write about how to "stay grounded" and positive during joyful times that can also bring us exhaustion, negativity, and overwhelm. These are techniques that I, a sensitive, like to use during the holidays and any other time I'm around many people.
Whether shopping in a crowded mall, driving on a busy interstate or visiting with relatives at Thanksgiving, give these a try to help yourself stay positive and grounded.
1). Carry a 1 inch essential oil bottle with you that has a mixture of 50% olive oil or any other carrier oil to 50% Lavender essential oil (authentic essential oil and not perfume). The mixture needs to be pretty strong smelling. Place some on yourself as a natural perfume to help you feel relaxed. When in tense moments, take it out and smell it from the bottle or pour a little on to a tissue and smell. Do this in the open or go to a private place like a bathroom and relax. (Note, the Clary Sage can be used, except it tends to be a little too relaxing when driving. Also, you may want to make the mixture for Clary Sage 10 drops of oil to 2 drops of Clary Sage.)
2). Stones and some crystals can be very grounding. Grounding, meaning you aren't feeling overwhelmed and you're not feeling dizzy or sort of "out of this world" feeling. They help you to stay focused. They help you to feel anchored to earth. Some stones also have the added benefits of helping you clear your energy of negative energy, thus helping you to stay positive. Some stones to try out are: Black Tourmaline, Obsidian, Hematite, red Garnets, Blood stone, and other black/dark stones that you find on the ground. Keep them in your pocket. When you feel a little frazzled, place your hand in your pocket and hold the stone. Notice what the stone feels like. If driving, keep stone next to you for convenience. Wearing natural stone jewelry with at least one of these stones in it will also help.
3). Before going out any place, make sure you're not overly hungry or have low blood sugar. Eating protein before you go out will help you to stay grounded. I found protein with fat helps me to feel grounded and content. (cheese, nuts, meat, eggs) Where as sugar does the opposite-helps you to feel overwhelmed and nervous.
4). Ground yourself before leaving the comfort of home. One way is to intentionally do it by imagining you have tree roots coming from your feet and tailbone area. Send them to the middle of the earth. Imagine you have a lever on your hip. Open it. This allows the negative energy to be released from your body, mind, and spirit. Set your intention that this happens. If you feel un-grounded while at a party, mall, etc., try visiting the bathroom and re-ground yourself.
5). Rushing around because you're running late or just trying to get someplace else, will make you feel overwhelmed and un-grounded. Slow down. Give yourself enough time to go where you need to go or to do what you need to get done.
6). When feeling overwhelmed or negative, use a mindfulness meditation. This, to me means every move you make, you feel what you're doing. For example, you go to reach for a glass. Feel the glass and notice what it feels like-smooth? cold? etc. Is there a sound to holding the glass? Is there a smell to the glass or contents? etc. Be mindful to what you're doing and feeling. For me to remember this, I will remind myself, I do not know how much time I have left to enjoy life on earth. And so it would be nice to exactly know what the glass feels like or what a hug from your loved one really feels like. Experience everything you do in the present moment.
7). If you feel "attacked" emotionally by someone you're around, either be assertive with them or leave the space you're at. Go to a quiet place such as a bathroom stall. Now feel the emotions you' re feeling. Try to stay in the present moment when doing this. Use no judgement and no stories, just feel until they disappear. This will help you to release the negative emotions and not stock pile them in your body. To feel better, try placing your hand over your heart and keeping it there for a few minutes. Focus on the feelings you feel in this area. You should be feeling "love". Know that you are "loved".
8). When inside visiting or at parties and you're feeling overwhelmed by the music, by the smells (perfumes), by all the people around you, try leaving the party/ gathering to go outside for even 5 minutes. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the silence, and feel the positive energy of nature.
9). When you need to be at a gathering with a lot of people and you're sensitive to energy emitting from other people, try sitting at the edge of the group and not in the middle of the group. This way you're not bombarded by all the people's energies.
10). Limit your time with these gatherings. If you're feeling tired, it's time to leave.
11). Eat good, healthy food. Sure, have that Christmas cookie, but don't eat a half a dozen of them in one day. I won't give up my favorite foods just because they are sweets, but I will limit them in my diet.
11). The most important lesson I've learned and I have learned it the hard way is to "STAY IN THE PRESENT MOMENT!" It's harder to do this if you're around relatives, family and friends, but it isn't impossible. By being in the present moment, I was able to see a negative behavior drama going on between a couple of my relatives. By noticing it and watching it, I was able to "not get hammered over the head with it." I was not pulled in to the negative behavior drama. When I stay in the present moment while walking in a busy shopping center, I am able to pick up on negative energies that are emitted from others. If I wasn't present, I would of picked up the negative energy feeling grumpy, angry, anxious, depressed and exhausted. Negative emotions are prevalent and they are catchy. By being in the present moment, I notice when others' are walking around in the store "unconscious" to what is going on. It's like they have missed out on half of what is going on in front of them. By being in the present moment, I am able to know what I'm feeling and know when I need to nurture and care for myself. Living in the present moment is life.
If you would like to be in the present moment as much as possible, first try catching your thinking when it goes in to the future or the past. When you notice this, label it as past or future and say to yourself, I bring my spirit back to the present moment. I release the past/future. Do this everyday, all day long. Slowly, you'll start to learn how to stay in the present moment. It's not easy, because when we try to do this, stay in the present moment, we are making up a new way/ a new path of being. Stick with it and you'll find that you feel a lot more lighter, happier, and alert.
I hope these coping skills can help you have a more enjoyable time during this hectic but joyful time of year.
Written by Cynthia Bergsbaken of Reiki in the Prairie LLC