Step One: Choose your time wisely. Limit time with family members who push your buttons.
Step Two: To get the most from your holiday experience, make a commitment to yourself to use this time to your advantage. Write about your uncovered shadow beliefs, feelings and negative experiences with friends and family. Give yourself full permission to express your feelings completely without judgment.
Step Three: Stay in contact with a friend that's easily accessible for "venting!" You might even schedule some "complaining time" where you debrief and fully express your grievances. Ask your friend to just listen to you without comment or agreement.
Step Four: Schedule time around the holidays with safe friends and family members. Give yourself the gift of special time with loved ones who make you feel great.
Step Five: Do something for your heart. Volunteer at a local shelter or food kitchen. Collect old toys for needy children. Visit a local nursing home even for an hour. Contributing to others is food for your soul.
Step Six: Surrender your expectations. Instead of setting yourself up for disappointment, decide to do things differently this year. When you notice yourself projecting into the future, worrying about the past, or listening to your negative internal chatter, use a simple statement like "be here now" to remind you to return your thoughts to the most useful place of all—the present!