How to Survive the Holidays (with essential oils)
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Does the thought of the holidays stress you out? Do you dread getting together with certain family members? Are you the one who always has to do the preparing and cooking with little to no help? Are the holidays an added expense that you can do without? All of these situations can have an short term impact on your health. Literally stress can shut down your immune system and your digestive system - and you definitely don't want that to happen.
There are ways to get through these issues and essentials oils can play a huge role in helping to manage those difficult moments. So take a look below at my top tips for surviving the holidays.
1) Dealing with Difficult Family Members
Whether it be someone you feel is always being judgmental, or a relative whose boisterous personality is more than you can take, you want to make sure that you set your expectations for the day.
Realise that it may not be an easy day, and don't get overly stressed with things being perfect and trying to impress. Limit alcohol so that tensions and feelings don't get the better of anyone.
Oils to use:-
Harvest Spice (the Gathering blend) - a blend of Cassia, Clove, Nutmeg, Cinnamon Bark, Cedarwood and Eucalyptus to invoke feelings of thanks, warmth and happiness. (Harvest Spice is a limited edition item and is only available to purchase during the holiday season.)
Cedarwood - this is a the Oil of Community to help you regain feelings of belonging, social bonds and finding joy in relationships.
Forgive (the Renewing Blend) - a blend of Spruce Leaf, Bergamot Peel, Juniper Berry Fruit, Myrrh Resin, Arborvitae Wood, Nootka Tree Wood, Thyme Leaf, Citronella Herb. This can help with feelings of forgiveness, understanding and tolerance.
2) Rushing for Gifts
Do you find you are the one who, no matter how much you promise yourself it will never happen again, you still always end up leaving gift shopping to the last minute?
That last minute hunt for gifts when all you see are empty shelves can leave you in a panic, or you think you are being smart by ordering online, only to discover the kids main Christmas gift won't ship until after January 2nd (Aaaggghhhhhhhh).
The best thing really to do is get into the habit for buying gifts earlier. I hate crowds - so the thought of doing my christmas shopping amongst hundreds of other people makes me breathe heavily. I start my shopping in November with the intention to be done by November 30th. I order online, so there has never been a situation where my gifts have not been delivered to me on time. I want my December to be as relaxing as possible!
Oils to use:-
Balance (the Grounding Blend) - for those times when your racing heart just feels as though it will burst out of your chest, get your bottle of Balance, open the lid and breathe in the aroma. The grounding effect is instantaneous. Balance is a blend of Spruce Leaf, Ho Wood Leaf, Frankincense Resin, Blue Tansy Flower, Blue Chamomile Flower, and Osmanthus Flower essential oils in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil.
Ginger - the oil of empowerment can help you feel empowered and capable. It helps you assume responsibility and accountability.
InTune (the Focus Blend) - this can help with completion of tasks and projects, living in the present moment and keeps you calm. This blend contains Amyris Bark, Patchouli Leaf, Frankincense Resin, Lime Peel, Ylang Ylang Flower, Hawaiian Sandalwood Wood, Roman Chamomile Flower essential oils
3) Cooking, wrapping, shopping = Major Overwhelm
Planning is the key to this one. Make an extensive list for everything you need to get done and realistic times to get the task completed. You will love seeing the boxes ticked off with your accomplishments. Got a spare 10 minutes? - look at the list to see if there is something you can do/ prepare/ make a call/ shop online.
When it comes to preparing that major holiday dinner, plan in advance what you will make and write down how long it takes to prepare the ingredients, and how long it takes to cook. That way you will know what to make first. Also plan for where the food will cook - Turkey's already hogging the oven? So how about steaming the veggies?
Using crockpots will also be your friend.
And what are the kids doing whilst you are juggling a thousand different things? Hopefully not sitting in front of the TV or video game. Have them help - set the table, help cut up veggies or stir the dishes (if they are old enough), walk the dog or at least go outside and play with the dog if there is no time for walkies.
Oils to use:-
Tangerine - this is the oil of cheer and creativity. It will help to diffuse it when you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities and promotes feelings of cheerfulness, spontaneity, optimism and fun.
Aromatouch (the Massage Blend) - this is the oil of relaxation, so will help you feel relaxed, flexible and harmonious. Apply it topically to your skin or diffuse. The blend contains Cypress Leaf, Peppermint Plant, Marjoram Leaf, Basil Leaf, Grapefruit Peel, Lavender Flower.
If you are concerned about managing your diet over the holidays, here is my biggest tip. Portion control. This is what helps me - I take just a tablespoon or two of every dish. If you are an adventurous eater like me and want to try everything, just take a small amount. When you finish your meal and there is something you really enjoyed, you can always go back for more.
And say no to the extra cookies at work. This is already a time of year where indulgent food will be bombarding you - no one eats just a salad on Christmas day right - so cut back where you can. I remember getting roped into a cookie exchange one year - nothing like coming home with 100 cookies when you live alone - and watching them go stale in the next couple of days. JUST SAY "NO THANK YOU, ONE IS ENOUGH" (because it really is).
Oils to use:-
Digestzen (the Digestive Blend) - this one is a godsend for the holidays when you haven't followed my portion control rule (see above) and are now sitting there with a tight, painful tummy. It's uncomfortable, you immediately regret over-eating, and you need relief fast. A blend of Anise Seed, Peppermint Plant, Ginger Rhizome/Root, Caraway Seed, Coriander Seed, Tarragon Plant, and Fennel Seed essential oils.
Grapefruit - this is the oil of Honoring the Body. It can help those who tend to have a pattern of mistreating themselves through dieting or judging ones weight. It helps with respecting the body, body-acceptance and promotes a healthy relationship with food. Grapefruit can also help with the after effects of too much tipple when diffused.
Slim & Sassy (the Metabolic Blend) - this one is great for helping with appetite control. It helps to manage those cravings and boosts the metabolism. A blend of Grapefruit Peel, Lemon Peel, Peppermint Plant, Ginger Root, and Cinnamon Bark essential oils helps to control over-eating.
5) Money Worries
Here are some great tips to help you manage money for the holidays.
a) Write down your budget. Don't be stingy about it, but be realistic. What is the maximum that you can COMFORTABLY afford to spend. Be sure to include everything - cards, stamps, gifts, food, donations.
b) Cut out the unnecessary extras - avoid being tempted by those pumpkin spice, candy cane lattes. At $4 or more, that can soon add up for some extra cash.
c) Consider donating money to a person's favourite charity rather than gifting - personally, I would love this if someone did this on my behalf - and most organisations do actually give a gift of some kind along with your donation.
d) Suggest a pot luck holiday dinner - this is fun, affordable for everyone, and no one is left with a huge food bill or being a slave to the stove.
e) Cut down on the mountain of gifts - far be it from me to tell you how you should spend your money, but I actually really love this idea from my husband's cousin. Each kid gets just three gifts - something they need, something they want and a surprise. Anything else, let's face it, will always be a bit indulgent.
Oils to use:-
Spikenard - this is the Oil of Gratitude. It opens feelings of acceptance and gratitude helping a person feel content with what they have.
Onguard (the Protective Blend) - this is a great one for strengthening your boundaries and independence so you don't feel susceptible to peer pressure (or keeping up with the Jones's). It is blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils.
So with your armour of oils in hand, you will be able to have a most enjoyable holiday season. HAPPY, Healthy Holidays to you all.