“Tis the Season of the Stressed-Out Holiday Brain
In my recent post on my Healing, Health, and Wellness blog, I reviewed the statistics on how the holiday season can cause “festive stress.” This can hamper tidings and good cheer in December and bring a preliminary damper to the gratitude of November.
These unwelcome repercussions are often relayed to me in my naturopathic and functional medicine practice. It seems from November to mid-January, this form of overwhelm impacts many of my clients and brings new ones my way. I often hear a version of the following statement:
“Dr. Sarah, it’s the holidays, they are so stressful! I don’t have enough time to do everything. I can’t sleep and my diet has gone down the drain. I know what I need to do, but…”
Naturopathic Medicine for Tidings of Calm and Good Cheer
The good news is that there are plenty of effective, holistic, and natural tools to bring calm to the stressed-out holiday brain. When these have been enacted, many of my clients have reported that their usual season filled with jitters went much smoother and that the happy spirit of the holidays had been restored!
Some of the wellness modalities that have been found to be particularly helpful during the end of the year festivities include:
- Self-care practices
- Nourishing social connections
- Taking consistent whiffs of soothing aromas from essential oils
All of these techniques have the power to promote overall well-being and prevent the negative effects of intense stress on the body and mind. (source, source, source)
The Calm of Emotional Blends of Essential Oils
Due to their efficacy and immediate response, emotional blends of essential oils are my number one go-to naturopathic “hacks” for my clients during “holiday havoc.” Previously, I expanded on how essential oils can be used for dealing with unhealthy patterns that surface during hectic times. At the same time, they also promote more nourishing practices. Below is an excerpt:
How Essential Oils Support Sanity and Nourishing Behaviors
Essential oils are a perfect companion to any technique for anyone dealing with unwanted cravings, habits, or addictions. They have the ability to calm the mind-body in many ways, and modern science has verified that essential oils modulate physiology and emotions on the psychological and biochemical levels. Their constituents and aromatic properties have also been shown to positively influence brain patterns and function. Furthermore, essential oils are great multi-taskers in that they will simultaneously promote physical health, cleaner air, and overall well-being for anyone lucky enough to inhale them. (You can learn more specifics on “How Essential Oils Calm the Brain, Body, Balance Hormones, and Promote Bonding” by clicking this link.)
For these multi-factorial reasons, research has demonstrated that essential oils can be used to support healthy behaviors and break addictive cycles. They can be diffused in the air to not only soothe one with a SUD (Substance Use Disorder), but can also fill the home atmosphere with a “scent of calm” and potentially “air out” negative emotions.
Choosing the Right Combination of Essential Oils for Holiday Stress Relief
One of my favorite things in my naturopathic medicine practice is finding the perfect blend of essential oils for my clients. This is based on knowing their unique needs, biochemistry, treatment goals, and all the many other factors relating to these beautiful healing tools themselves. Although I offer this service as essential oils consults, I know not everyone can afford or desire such individualized, lengthy, and in-depth attention.
I’ve seen such profound effects with their use in my practice, it is my desire to make more people aware of how these therapeutic modalities I use with my clients can also support them in having a more serene season.
Previously, I provided a blend for physical support and focus to get through rough days. Now, I want to talk about the benefits of a blend for inspiring hope. This combination of essential oils will help to break through overwhelm and restore calmness and feelings of gratitude.
Belief and Hope in a Bottle.
Below is an example of essential oils intended to stimulate a hopeful attitude and to keep one from getting caught in negative rumination, turmoil, or despair.
Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Sweet almond) oil
Almond oil is a carrier oil that has support for healthy skin and a low toxicity profile.
Melissa officinalis† (Melissa) leaf oil
Also known as lemon balm, melissa has a variety of properties that may support better overall health and mood. Studies done in vitro and vivo have shown this oil protects against oxidative stress, inhibits unwanted microbes and viruses, supports healthy lipid levels, and modulates inflammatory pathways. (source, source, source, source, source, source, source).
Many may be aware of the “hangry” moody effects that can occur from wonky glucose levels. Well, melissa oil has also been shown to alleviate this, at least in rodents, by balancing their blood sugar levels.
Finally, in a clinical trial, this soothing oil was shown to relieve agitation in dementia patients. (Note: other interacting factors were reported to possibly influence results.)
Juniperus osteosperma† (Juniper) oil
Juniper oil has been reported to modulate brain activity and calm the mind. It may also promote the health of the urinary system.
Commiphora myrrha† (Myrrh) oil
Myrrh oil is high in sesquiterpenes, which modulate the brain and are neuroprotective. These constituents also cross the blood brain barrier, work to calm irritation in the tissue, inhibit microbes, and much more.
Picea mariana† (Black spruce) leaf oil
This conifer oil has many healing properties. The grounding phytoncides of fir trees can support immune health and balance the stress response.
You can read more about this hope blend and its benefits here.
Using Essential Oils for Hope During the Holidays
This blend of essential oils can be diffused for promoting hope, nurturing, and grounding. One can also use the carrier oil and combine the essential oils into a bottle and dab a few drops on the wrist. Some companies may have pre-made, similar blends that you can purchase as well. (Ensure that it is high quality!)
Whatever method you use, make sure to inhale deeply.
Conclusion: A Message of Hope
Try this emotional blend of essential oils when your spirits need upliftment or if you feel the demands of life are too much to bear.
I have had several cases of those who were diagnosed with depression and anxiety report they felt over 50% better after one week with this intervention alone! When we added in the other factors to support brain health including nutrition, lifestyle, self-care, mind-body medicine, and therapy as needed, the results were so great that even this essential oil believer was humbled!
Let me know what you think.
Please share your comments below.
Coming Up on my Naturopathic Medicine Blog
I will finish off this series with a discussion on blends for abundance and joy. Stay tuned!
For additional safety and medical information, visit my essential oils database. It includes a full category on how to use essential oils safely and potential drug interactions that can occur.
Please be extra cautious and be sure to check with your doctor if you have a seizure disorder. The Epilepsy Society of the UK lists certain essential oils implicated for their antiseizure effect as well as those that have stimulating properties.
If you and/or your physician are interested in consulting with me to assist with supporting the integration of essential oils safely into a therapeutic protocol, essential oils consultations are available.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.