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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Essential Oils - Coping with Christmas

Many people find this time of year very stressful. Christmas celebrations, family visits, financial pressure can all add stress to our lives.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, this time of year is usually filled with some sort of family celebrations and can be a difficult time of year for many people. 

In this blog post I'm going to talk about how essential oils can help with the emotional issues that this season can bring up but also some advice that we as a family try to stick to.

We are a Christian family so Christmas is important to us. We try to focus on why we celebrate Christmas and spending time with family is important to us. We have a small family and noone in our immediate family are divorced so that makes things much easier during family gatherings. But we aren't a perfect family and there are people in our family who don't get on that well. An added issue for me personally is that Christmas is the only time of the year when I feel home sick. Even after 28 years in the UK, it still doesn't feel like Christmas to me and I miss Norwegian Christmas traditions.

We made the decision when we first got married to spend every other Christmas in Norway with my parents and every other Christmas in Cornwall with Simon's family and we've stuck with that through 26 years of marriage. There have been years when affording the airfare was difficult but I'm very thankful for low cost airlines. 

We've also tried to keep Christmas shopping within reasonable limits. We decided early on to limit how much we spent on Christmas presents and we've pretty much stuck with that. We don't buy expensive presents for each other or the girls but stick to a pretty strict limit. We probably spend a lot less on presents than most of my friends. We also decided to limit presents to family and not buy for friends. Once you start buying presents for extended family and friends' children etc, the costs can easily spiral out of control.

We also limit how much food and alcohol we buy. We have a good Christmas lunch with extra treats but we don't plan elaborate meals for every day of the Christmas week. Because both Simon and I struggle with weight issues, we've always tried not to buy too many treats. We buy one or two small boxes of chocolates to enjoy on Christmas Day and Boxing Day but I stopped buying big tins of chocolates years ago. I remember buying a big tin of Quality Street chocolates in October one year with the idea that I'd save it for Christmas. Well of course I couldn't resist dipping into it and by the end of the month the tin was empty and I had to buy another one. 

One of my main issues with Christmas Day is that I didn't want to spend all day preparing food. I don't like cooking but I understand the importance to the rest of my family to provide a nice Christmas lunch.  

For me it's important to go to church as a family on Christmas morning and not spend all morning in the kitchen or get up at 4am to start prepping lunch. Simon helps me chop all the vegetables and peel potatoes and we usually do that the day before. Then before we leave for church, I get all the food ready to go in the oven as soon as we get back. Our rule is that the person who cooked doesn't have to clean up. So after lunch I sit down with my knitting while the other adults clean up.

In the afternoon we usually go out for a walk and then relax and watch TV for the rest of the day.

This year Emily is in charge of Christmas lunch. She's a vegan so is cooking a vegan option and doing all the potatoes, vegetables and vegan Yorkshire puddings. I'm in charge of preparing the beef - just pop it in the roasting pan. 

So my top advice for a happy Christmas season is:
1. Decide why you celebrate Christmas or other religious festivals.
2. Decide what's most important to you and your family. 
3. Set a spending limit for presents and stick to it.
4. Plan the day and who does what. Divide the tasks of cooking the meal and cleaning up between the adults available or even get the kids to help out.
5. Limit alcohol if it's likely to cause any issues with people drinking too much. 

So what can you do to diffuse difficult family relationships and encourage everyone to get along? I will be diffusing essential oils on Christmas Day to encourage a good, positive, festive mood. Smell affects our mood in a powerful way. 

Here are a few essential oils which may help:

Several of the oils mentioned below is from the Emotional Aromatherapy Diffused kit which I blogged about here.

Balance is a blend of oils that promote tranquility while bringing harmony to the mind and body and balance to the emotions.

Peace is a blend of oils that promote feelings of contentment, composure and reassurance when anxious feelings overwhelm your emotions. I find this oil calming and use the Touch version (diluted in a roller bottle) at night to help me sleep.

Citrus Bliss is a blend of citrus oils that have energising and refresing properties that can uplift mood and reduce stress. This is one of my favourite oils but I've run out at the moment or I'd definitely add this to the diffuser as I prepare lunch.

Holiday Peace is a blend of fir oils, Frankincense, Grapefruit and Vetiver that calms and soothes the mood, cleanses and freshens the air and creates a serene atmosphere.

Holiday Joy is a blend oils that uplift the mood and enliven the senses. It boosts your immune system and purifies and freshens the air. 

Forgive is a blend of oils that promote feelings of contentment, relief and patience. Diffusing this blend will help to counteract emotions of anger and guilt. If there are difficult family relationships, this may be a good oil to add to your diffuser blend.

Console is a blend of oils that promote feelings of comfort and hope. It counteracts negative emotions of grief, sadness and hopelessness. Christmas can be a difficult time if you've lost loved ones, especially if that loss was recently and this is the first Christmas without that person. My thoughts and prayers are with those that find themselves in this situation. I can only imagine how difficult this season is if you've recently suffered a loss.

As emotions running high and potential family rows aren't an issue for us on Christmas Day,  I will probably diffuse Holiday Joy, Holiday Peace and Siberian Fir (to get the Christmas tree smell that our fake tree lacks). But if anyone is in a bad mood, I will add Forgive.  

I hope you enjoy this Christmas season and manage to celebrate in a way that's important to you and your family. If you find this time of year difficult because of loss, difficult family relationships, divorce, financial stress or other issues, then my thoughts are with you. I'll be praying you find peace and happiness this Christmas.

If you have any questions about any of the oils I've mentioned in this post, or any other DoTerra products, do not hesitate to contact me on I'm happy to help you.

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