Holidays are depicted as a time of gratitude and good cheer. The media portrayal of the seamless moments and advertisements aimed at finding the “perfect” gifts can make anyone feel inadequate in comparison.

The reality is that many people do enjoy this time of year, but for most, it provides challenges. The majority of the American population report being more stressed during this season above others. Besides the financial strains, many are triggered by social obligations and what may feel like forced connections. Other people may be grieving loved ones’ who have passed on or experience negative moods due to feelings of loneliness.

In recent articles, I’ve explored the powerful health-promoting aspects of nurturing connections and the detriments of isolation, social rejection, and toxic relationships. Healthism, which focuses on remaining rigid and adherent to strict dietary and exercise prescriptions, is a major contributor to stress and is heightened with the availability of once-a-year homemade goodies and dishes. The pressure to keep an impossible idealized societal standard of physique puts the breaks on the enjoyment and community many could thrive upon in a less superficial society.

The biggest danger of healthism is that it can create isolation and intolerance among those who do not share common health beliefs. It can result in tension among loved ones and may make certain individuals forsake gatherings based on the fear of being exposed to the wrong foods or to avoid judgement from being “less disciplined.”

The other major health-sucking issue for those who do attend festive events is the pressure of staying centered and not triggered in social interactions with people that normally would not easily mix. This is especially prominent in today’s volatile political climate.

In the upcoming weeks, I will provide you with information, tips, and tools to navigate through the holidays with more ease, openness, and positive connections with your loved ones and acquaintances.

Watch this eight-minute video to learn the first two tips for navigating through the calamity and gaining a sense of holiday cheer. You will learn:

  1. How the holidays can trigger discord
  2. How the brain is the central hub of the stress response
  3. How chronic stress impacts the whole body and causes negative symptoms
  4. The difference between a resilient and non-adaptive response and how either can become “hardwired” into the brain
  5. How essential oils can support our brains and physical health and protect our brains from getting stuck in maladaptive behavior patterns


Please share your thoughts and comments below!


Resources and References:

Original article with references

The neurobiology of stress

The influence of smell on the brain and how essential oils modulate brain function (additional source)

How smell affects memories and how odor receptors are found all throughout the body


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.