I love Christmas, but I recognize the stress it puts on the lives of those around me. Whether it’s money difficulties, scheduling problems or just the fact that it’s winter, people can get very worked up.
There are things you can do to beat this menace back. Practical suggestions, herbal remedies and a reminder of why we celebrate it can be employed. Here are a few of the tips we use:
The Reason for the Season: As a child, I was not thrilled with my birthday. I was born four days before Christmas, and most of my relatives combined my birthday gift with my Christmas gift. I got “something special,” which meant either I had to wear it or I had to wait until I grew up to use it.
Now, I love it. I learned as a child to pay attention to the meaning of the holiday and not just the loot that I hauled in on Christmas morning. As long as I can keep that firmly in mind, I’m fine. Not everyone feels that way, and I respect that. However, if you are a Christian, it can play a huge role in saving your sanity.
Aromatherapy: The study of aromatherapy is fairly new in the U.S. It is being studied, but few scientific results have come back. However, those who practice it often recommend certain essential oils to help combat stress. Interestingly, pine is not one of them. The two used most often are chamomile and lavender.
Delegation: If you’re a parent, this is going to be necessary and difficult. It’s not always possible for you to do it all, so you’ll have marshal your troops and let them help you. Even small children can be given little tasks that will help reduce your stress load.
Herbal Remedies: There are herbal remedies that could offer you some relief when things get hectic. Chamomile, jasmine, lavender and passionflower are good examples. Be aware that they can cause drowsiness, especially if you combine them, so don’t drive, operate heavy machinery or anything else that drowsiness could pose a danger for. For children six and older, catnip may help you get them calm enough to handle. Always check with a pediatrician before giving herbs to kids.
Organization: Christmas is chaotic enough without adding lack of organization. Make sure you know exactly where the necessary components of the season are. We use large plastic bins with the contents taped to the outside for ornaments, the nativity scene and other decorations. A special container designed for gift wrapping is stocked with paper, tape, scissors, and stuff to handle that chore.
Weighing the Invitations: You may not be able to attend every function you’re invited to. If it looks like that is going to be a problem, sit down with your family and map out which are necessary, which would be nice and which you could pass on if time is tight. This is really important if you have a large family.
Important Note: If you choose to use either aromatherapy or herbal remedies, check with your doctor before taking them. Some of them have side effects and/or drug/herb interactions.
Sources: University of Maryland; National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy