Holidays can be stressful
How we respond to celebrations is individual – some people thrive on the extra activities leading up to the holidays, while the rest of us have to take special care of ourselves to combat the effects of stress on our bodies. This article will review the effects of stress on our minds and bodies, offer some simple tips for staying healthy during the festive season and suggest several homeopathic remedies which I would recommend you have on hand to treat family and friends.

Stress has been linked to:
– Hypertension and heart disease
– Digestive issues (Chrohn’s, IBS)
– Immune system disorders (rheumatoid arthritis)
– Sleep disturbance
– Weight gain or loss
– Joint pain, back pain, tension headaches, hair loss
– Skin disorders (excema, psoriasis)
– Problems with memory and concentration
– Anxiety and depression

Practical tips for keeping healthy through the holidays
– Avoid (or limit) stimulants such as coffee, refined sugar and alcohol
– Eat regularly to keep your blood sugar stable – nuts, raw food bars, veggies with nut butter or hummus, protein shake
– Exercise and take time to relax each day doing something that keeps you centered, have fun!
– Sleep – make time to get plenty of rest!
– Flu prevention (Vitamin D3, up to 4,000 I.U. per day, healthy diet, homeopathic Influenzinum 9C) (see my blogs on Flu prevention for more information on this topic)

Remedies for Holiday Related Stress

Bach Flower Rescue Remedy is a great remedy to have on hand. Place 2 to 3 drops in a bottle of water and sip. It can provide relief for shock, sudden bad news and temporary anxiety.

In the context of holiday stress, Aconite would be helpful for panic attacks that come on suddenly, with extreme restlessness and fear.
Patient looks anxious, shocked, staring, glassy eyes and is extremely distressed. The need for Aconite can often come on after exposure to a cold, dry wind. It is one of the main first remedies for an attack of croup.

Argentum nitricum
During the holidays, Argentum nitricum might be needed for the person who feels extremely anxious with an internal feeling of hurry. Headaches (often one-sided) from overwork or too many emotions and stomach symptoms such as painful distension, belching and diarrhea from anxiety and apprehension.

This remedy is a common teething remedy and can be useful around the holidays for little children who are irritable and don’t know what they want. They might ask for something only to reject it when offered. It might also work for the adults in your life who are responding in a similar fashion.

This remedy can help to settle a person in an over-excited, over-sensitive state. Pain and noise is intolerable. During the holidays, Coffea is useful for happy, over-excited children (or adults) who can’t sleep.

Other suggestions
The Bowen Technique is a gentle form of body work that acts on the physical but also the mental/emotional levels. If you are feeling stressed leading up to the holidays, it is a good idea to treat yourself to a Bowen treatment. The treatment helps to relax the body, reduces stress and detoxifies. Many patients report their mood and sleep is also improved after beginning Bowen treatments.

How to take homeopathic remedies
For home prescribing, I suggest a 30C potency (the strength of the remedy). Dissolve one pellet under the tongue, 5 minutes away from eating or drinking. In general, the more acute a situation the more often you would repeat a remedy (from every 4 to 6 hours to every 1/2 hour). Sometimes only one dose is enough. If the person is improving, give the remedy less often and when they are feeling better STOP giving the remedy. If after 6 doses there is no improvement, STOP giving the remedy and choose another.

The remedy suggestions above are intended only for the relief of temporary stress and anxiety. If your problems with stress are chronic you should consult with a professional homeopath who will take your case and find a remedy that fits with all of you. This is called a constitutional prescription.

Suggested reading
Miranda Castro has written this lovely, easy to read Homeopathic Guide to Stress. As with her other books, this is filled with loads of practical advice as well as homeopathic suggestions.