If there is a motto I’m hoping to follow this month, it’s “Presence for the Holidays.” Note that this is “presence” rather than “presents” as the latter often reduces my experience of loved ones to a list of gifts I need to purchase rather than really seeing and being with them. And while I love the excitement of anticipation in early December, often the actual holiday experience has been more of a frantic dash to the post-New Year’s finish line, followed with a huge sigh of relief. Potential moments of love, joy and sharing back there were plowed through like discarded wrapping paper.
While feeling calm and present isn’t too hard to do right now, that familiar whirlwind is all too easy to get caught up in. So now is the time to get all the helping strategies in place to stay present and experience family, friends and traditions in a fresh and inspirational way. This year when New Year’s has come and gone, instead of giving thanks that I survived, I want to be thankful for true gifts of the season – heart-felt sharing in celebration and love.
Regardless of the stress your holidays might involve (the hectic schedule, cooking a turkey for your in-laws, financial concerns or knocking yourself out cooking/shopping/cleaning etc.) here is a short list of helpful remedies to have on hand.
Rescue Remedy – this, along with Arnica, belongs on everyone’s shelf. A Bach flower remedy, it works on the emotional level to defuse all sorts of stressful or emergency situations. Just as the name says, this gentle substance can rescue you from moments when your emotions are on high alert. Whether the turkey is bursting into flames in the oven or a snowstorm has got you stranded in Chicago, this offers an immediate dose of calm. Available in drops (put 10 in a glass of water and sip at intervals) or cream or even lozenges, this is a good friend to have on hand for occasional times when you feel overwhelmed and out of control.
If you want to hook yourself up to Rescue Remedy intravenously, then that signals more of a chronic state of stress and calls for an individual homeopathic remedy particular to your symptoms. If any of these remedies sound like you, then taking a dose in the 30C potency now and again as needed through the holidays may help you regain your composure, sanity and physical well-being. If none seem to fit your state, then this could be a good opportunity to talk to a homeopath and look for a curative remedy specific to you.
Gelsemium – not only is this a superb remedy for influenza, it is also wonderful for many kinds of anticipation stress. Whether someone is facing an upcoming exam or a job interview or your spouse’s company Christmas party, if you feel weak, exhausted and trembling at the very thought, then this could be a helpful remedy. There can be dizziness, a dull headache, loose stools and frequent urination accompanying a general dread of the whole ordeal. All you really want to do is lie down, close your eyes, and not wake up until it’s over!
Arsenicum – another good flu remedy, especially where there is vomiting and/or diarrhea involved, this remedy is good for someone who sees the holiday season as one big potential for disaster around every corner and can feel sick with worrying. If you find yourself pacing or physically restless, need to be surrounded by friends/family to whom you constantly articulate your worries, often feel chilly and thirsty (but drink small sips at a time), then consider this remedy. All symptoms may worsen at night where you lie awake in bed with fearsome “what if’” scenarios racing through your mind.
Nux Vomica – one of the essential remedies to counter the effects of overdoing eating and drinking, I privately refer to this as the “grumpy husband” remedy (but it works for women, too!). For people who have high standards of excellence, burn the candle at both ends, order/organize everyone around and then eat, drink or partake in stimulants just a little too much in order to unwind, look no further than this remedy. For those who get a little too dictatorial, responsible and efficient in their efforts to “manage” the holidays and those nearby and then find themselves with indigestion, insomnia, irritability and over-sensitivity to everything (noise, light, smells, cold etc.), get them this remedy asap before the rest of the family decides to spend the holidays elsewhere.
Ignatia – this last remedy would be for those in whom the holiday season brings up sadness and grief. Whether it’s due to the loss of a loved one and being on your own, or any experience of sadness that comes up, use this remedy to help relieve the pain. Symptoms can include brooding, sobbing uncontrollably or conversely not able to cry at all, a lump in the throat, congestive headaches or various spasms/tics. For many, the holidays can be the saddest of times and this remedy is a wonderful healing balm for the broken-hearted.
With these remedies on hand, hopefully we will all find ourselves remembering Christmas of 2009 as the best holiday season, ever!