The holiday season is a magical time full of fantasy movies, decorated houses and trees, lit menorahs, music, dancing, delicious holiday foods, celebrations, and gifts. With so much going on, it’s no wonder that the holiday season inspires strong emotions. Sometimes they are positive, full of love and happiness… sometimes they are not so positive… sometimes the family dynamic shifts, bringing on unnecessary stress… sometimes they’re down right painful or debilitating. Support healthy emotions during the holidays to make them more enjoyable.
Whether you’re ecstatic, sorrowful, or dreadfully fearing this season, know there are millions of other people who feel the same.
10 ways to support healthy holiday emotions
Keep Your Routine
Many people throw their routine out the window once its inconvenient or there are other things going on, especially holiday festivities.
If you are struggling through the holiday season, keep your routine sacred. Don’t change up too much too quickly. This will help save you some sanity, and minimize the anxiety.
Meditation & Yoga
Meditation and yoga are two of my favorite ways to help me calm my mind and not get overly carried away by all the invading thoughts that come with this time of year.
Struggle with calming your mind enough to meditate? This is where yoga becomes super helpful. I highly recommend taking a class that will help you learn the breath work that goes in hand with Yoga. When you focus your mind on the stretches and breathing techniques, everything else melts away. This is exactly how I learned how to meditate with typically having an overly cluttered mind.
The best thing about the process of focusing on stretches and breathing… over time it also helps your mind not race so much… especially when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Right now you are exactly where you are meant to be.
Though it doesn’t always feel like it. And that is ok.
Mindfulness helps bring us back to the present, leaving the past in the past. It is ok to plan for the future… as long as we don’t get stuck in all the mind-consuming what-ifs. There are things here and now that would benefit from you. The past is gone. The future hasn’t occurred yet. We live today.
What do you have here and now that would benefit from your focus? Children? Spouse? Significant other? Parents? Pets? Friends? Community? They all have purpose in our lives, and you deserve to have them in your life.
Feel Empowered To Say No
Saying “yes” to everything is a rapid way to give your mind an extra dose of anxiety, overwhelm, and the desire to hibernate.
If you are not feeling up to doing something… you have permission to say “no.”
Not sure if you’ll have time? You have permission to not take on additional responsibilities, make additional plans, or do anything that isn’t fully aligned with what you need during this season.
Volunteer with A Local nonprofit
One of the fastest ways to feel purpose, gratitude, and accomplishment is to link up with a local nonprofit organization or church. Getting involved in projects that benefit other people are incredibly rewarding, provide other things to focus on, and can be incredibly therapeutic. Plus, there is always a need for help, everywhere.
Random Acts of Kindness
Random acts of kindness are a lot of fun, help us feel good about ourselves, and benefit other people’s lives.
I have a bunch of ideas over on my Ways To Manage Self-Care with Kids post. Whether you place a few dollars under the lids of baby formula at the grocery store, leave special gifts for your mailman, or shovel your neighbor’s driveway… there is always something nice you can do for someone else. And doing nice things that enrich other people’s lives leave us feeling good about ourselves and better about our circumstances.
By and large, we are not meant to be isolated creatures. We need community. We need a social outlet. And in today’s age of the internet, actual community has become less and less, leaving us feel isolated and alone… even when living in a city.
It is perfectly ok to network with a local nonprofit, join a local club or meet up group, or gather with your neighbors to gain that sense of social acceptance and interaction.
Ask for Help
Just like we as humans are created to be social people… we were not created to do everything alone.
Sometimes we need to ask for help. Whether it is helping with something around our home, help with not being alone, or help with achieving access to services you may need… don’t be too proud or stubborn to force yourself to go through life on your own. It is ok. You have permission to ask for help. And to keep asking different people or organizations until you find the help you need.
Self-care has been at the forefront of the internet for a couple years now… and for good reason. For so long we’ve (as a society) believed that focusing on ourselves is selfish. While yes, self-care can turn into a selfish addiction, that is not the point of it.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. Self-care enables you to focus on your needs, and rejuvenating your body and mind, so you can fill your energetic cup to be able to pour into others.
Unfortunately, most self care modalities just aren’t enough to combat our stress. This is why I’ve created the Soul Aligned Sustainable Self course… to guide you through soul-deep self care strategies that actually work.
When you take care of yourself, you become more equipped and capable of helping to care for others.
Have you had a chance to read about how what we smell can impact how we feel? If not, I highly recommend looking into it.
Being the holiday season, I thought the timing is perfect to readdress how smells can elicit emotional responses and what you can do to support your (and your family’s) emotions this holiday season in a healthy, nontoxic manner.
How? By using essential oils.
What do essential oils have to do with emotions?
When you inhale an essential oil, the molecules travel up your nostrils to the olfactory cortex. The olfactory cortex is located in the brain’s limbic system, which is where emotions come from and emotional memories are stored. The olfactory bulb transmits impulses to other parts of the brain, including the amygdala.
Because the limbic system is directly connected to parts of the brain responsible for controlling heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone regulation, essential oils can profoundly impact your physiological and psychological wellbeing.
Have you ever taken the time to smell something and experience the flash of memories associated with that smell? Memories flood in, causing changes to your body within seconds. How? When you inhale an essential oil’s aroma, those molecules enter your bloodstream very quickly and begin to impact the brain.
So, which oils can help you during the holiday season???
There are a few oils that I use to help my family and me through those emotional moments:
- Bergamot (great for grief)
- Black Spruce (helps uplift you when you’re feeling defeated, or experiencing emotional blocks)
- Blue Tansy
- Cypress (helps uplift you when you’re feeling defeated, or experiencing emotional blocks)
- Frankincense (helps you step past emotional blocks)
- Geranium (helps move through feeling abandoned, and emotionally balancing)
- Grapefruit (helps you not absorb other people’s negativity)
- Jasmine (helps enhance your confidence and love)
- Juniper (emotionally balancing)
- Lavender (emotionally balancing)
- Lemon (uplifting and emotionally balancing)
- Orange (uplifting and emotionally balancing)
- Sandalwood (great for supporting you through emotional trauma, and emotionally balancing)
- Tangerine (helps with grief)
- Vetiver (helps with relaxing when feeling anxious and worked up)
There are no set rules for how to combine these… often we just add a few drops of the ones we have or intuitively feel we need.
One of my favorite DIY essential oil blends to use for the supporting emotions is:
- 2 drops lavender
- 2 drops frankincense
- 3 drops lemon
Not interested in DIY?
Here are some pre-made essential oil blends, perfect for inspiring loving and positive emotions that I love and highly recommend.
This is my “go-to” oil blend for emotional support and well-being. Also known as “happiness in a bottle,” it is powerful with helping uplift your mood, especially when feeling grief-stricken, guilty, or just flat out feeling defeated. It opens your heat to allow you to be more accepting of yourself, your circumstances, and other people. It helps reduce feeling angry, is emotionally balancing,
Joy Essential Oil Blend is a lovely blend of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lemon, Coriander, Tangerine, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa.
This blend is designed to uplift you emotionally (especially when you have a heavy heart), causing you to smile even when you feel there is nothing worth smiling about. It also helps you move through fear, and focus on love.
Pro-Tip: Add an extra drop of lemon while diffusing for a crisper, brighter smell. It totally changes the aromatic experience, while still bringing about some cheer to your home, office, or car.
Christmas Spirit Essential Oil Blend is a purifying blend of Orange, Cinnamon Bark, and Spruce, perfect for the holidays! It inspires joy, peace, happiness, and security.
I love this one through the holidays because it makes a world of a difference, especially when you’re feeling depressed during this time of year. Just like its name, this oil blend helps you embrace your Christmas Spirit.
It also helps support the respiratory, nervous, and circulatory systems, keeping you feeling physically well too.
This is an amazing blend that I am never without (especially this time of year). It brings a feeling of peace and tranquility. No more occasional stress, tension, and nervousness!
Reminiscent of a margarita… Stress Away Essential Oil Blend is a blend of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Ocotea, and Lavender that brings that “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” feeling better than a bottle of booze.
This is an incredible blend of Spruce, Ylang Ylang, Idaho Balsam Fir, and Cedarwood that creates a feeling of protection, empowerment, and grounding.
Sacred Mountain Essential Oil Blend helps instill confidence while you overcome your own emotional mountains. This was one of my favorite blends to use for my family after my Father-In-Law passed to help support conflicting emotions, encouraging love and helping make the grief more manageable.
Sacred Mountain also provided a lot of healing and balance for me during my health crisis, where I was feeling excruciatingly depressed, incapable, and irritated by all the joy and festivities going on around me that I was unable to participate in
Plus… it smells divine when my husband wears it as a cologne.
Peace & Calming.
In the words of my young son, Peace and Calming Essential Oil Blend “peaces you out and calms you down.” This blend of Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy promotes relaxation and a deep sense of peace and emotional well-being.
It calms the nerves, relaxes the mind, and relaxes the body. Perfect for those hyper moments (or to help you relax while traveling).
This is one of my absolute favorite essential oil blends. It’s a blend of coconut oil, Black Spruce, Geranium, Blue Tansy, Camphor, and Frankincense.
It is wonderful for balancing energies, inspiring courage, and confidence. Valor Essential Oil Blend dispels anger, is emotionally balancing, helps you move through emotional blocks, builds you up when feeling defeated, move past feeling rejected, and overall helping uplift you emotionally.
It helps balance electrical energies within the body, giving courage, confidence, and self-esteem. A definite must-have for veterans, parents, students, kids, and introverts!
Rub it on your neck and back to sooth those sore muscles from a long day of cooking or night of wrapping gifts. This blend is the most important oil in my collection.
Harmony Essential Oil Blend does just what the name suggests: it brings harmony and can help dissipate feelings of discord.
It’s a blend of Sandalwood, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Orange, Angelica, Geranium, Hyssop, Spanish Sage, Spruce, Coriander, Bergamot, Lemon, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa, and Rose, which is uplifting and elevating, helping to inspire positive attitudes.
Harmony is the only essential oil blend I’ve found to help balance out all the chakras. Wearing it, especially during times of conflicting emotions, really helps me be able to be fully present in the moment, and focused on heart-centered interactions.
Forgiveness Essential Oil Blend is a blend of Melissa, Geranium, Frankincense, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Angelica, Lavender, Lemon, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Palmarosa, Helichrysum, and rose.
It is especially good for people who have experienced emotional trauma and loss! It helps you to move past those barriers in life by bringing you to a higher spiritual awareness of your needs, leaving an angelic feeling in your soul that promotes foregiveness of yourself and others, helping you move on with your life.
Being a domestic abuse survivor, this oil has helped me move forward from suppressing negative energies and memories to forgiving the person who hurt me and myself, and taking back my personal happiness (without feeling a need to pretend).
Forgiveness does just what it says… helps us move through grief, rejections, emotional trauma, and into forgiveness and acceptance.
For more about using essential oils to help you with forgiveness (either towards others or towards yourself), check out this Forgiveness video I helped create!
How to use Essential Oils to support your healthy holiday emotions
There are a few ways to use essential oils in a safe manner. Keep in mind, essential oils are highly concentrated and need to be used cautiously.
Typically, I add a few drops to a diffuser necklace (a special type of locker designed for being able to smell the oils while you wear it). I love how pretty the necklaces are, and how convenient they are for sniffing oils. Sometimes, I’ll dilute the oils with some sweet almond or coconut oil and apply the oils topically to myself to wear as a perfume. Sometimes
Applying oils safely to your body
When I wear the oils topically, I dilute them (1 drop per ml ratio) and apply them on my wrist, back of my neck, or over my heart. I have found that many people love the scent of the oils I choose to wear, which makes me laugh when they come closer for an extra sniff! I threw out my chemical-filled perfumes years ago and truly enjoy using this natural method for smelling (and feeling) good. I also add them to homemade lotions, sugar scrubs, Epsom salts for baths, or add to some witchazel for perfume/cologne sprays. These are also huge hits as gifts! All the ladies in my family are now most excited to see what new great-smelling mix I’ve come up with. Homemade gifts are the best. There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing someone you care for love something you made for them.
Adding oils to your diffuser
One of my favorite ways to enjoy these oils is to diffuse them. This way the lovely aroma fills my home, allowing everyone to enjoy them and receive the physical benifits too! Diffusing easily creates a calming and/or uplifting environment. And even for those stubborn family members who don’t want to apply oils to their skin, they are breathing in the oils – which as we learned, makes a difference in their emotional balance!
I laugh because my family was full of essential oil skeptics, but every time we have the diffuser running the difference in how everyone behaves and feels is noticeable by all. They all even flock to the diffuser now and talk about how relaxed, calm, or genuinely happy they feel and how good it smells. Seeing that response always makes me smile.
Put a few drops of oils in the diffuser in your family room area to help keep the peace. I have heard so many stories about my friends’ family get togethers that have ended up much more enjoyable experience all because they diffused some oils before guests arrived!
I think about these oils every time we are getting ready for a big family gathering, and I hope you will too.
Don’t have oils yet?
If you’re going to make the investment of essential oils to help you live a higher quality of life… make sure you’re purchasing high quality essential oils, and not the cheap knock off fakes. I put a guide together filled with my own personal research for you, all about how to find high quality essential oils that I strongly recommend you take a look at.
Supporting your emotions during the holiday season is one of the most important things you can do…
Whether you enhance your fitness routine, take an extra yoga class, find a local nonprofit to volunteer for, do random acts of kindness, and/or be more conscious about the little things you can do to enhance your health, sanity, wellness, and foster a sense of togetherness… it is important to focus on the activities and things that bring you joy.
The more joy and purpose you allow into your life, especially during this time of year, the easier you’ll be able to handle it. There is no need to sit and sulk, unless you’re in a life season where some of that that is needed too.
Remember: you are more loved than you’ll ever know. But sometimes it takes a little physical and conscious effort to allow yourself to feel it.
- Managing your weight and energy, naturally
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- View more of my sanity-saver posts
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P.S. If you’re looking for more information about essential oils, I invite you to go check out the EssentialOils.Life website… it is filled with great tips, tricks, and recipes for using essential oils to enhance your quality of life!