The holidays are definitely not always love and joy and peace on Earth. They can be an incredibly triggering time for many people, as joyful and celebratory as they are designed to be. Even more triggering is the idea they are “supposed to” look and feel a certain way – dressed with an air of “merry” expectation – regardless of the diverse feelings they may conjure within us individually.
Family get-togethers can be stressful, intense, and emotionally dysregulating - no matter how much inner work we have done, or how potent our self-care rituals might be. Keeping our zen while inhabiting our own space is undoubtedly easier than coming together with family, where we can be thrust back into old psychological dynamics (ones we thought we had transcended!) and thrown off balance mentally, emotionally and behaviorally.
During this time it is crucial that we dig even deeper into our proverbial holistic tool box and draw to the surface those self-care practices most potent to our self-soothing, thus strengthening compassion and self-connection. Along with nourishing foods, mind-body practices, meditation, gratitude journaling, and the like, essential oils can be incredibly helpful allies, especially since they are easily transported on-the-go.
Essential Oils for Staying Grounded
Some of the most powerful essential oils to keep us grounded, harmonized, and centered include Spruce (Northern Lights Black Spruce is my favorite), Clove, Frankincense, Patchouli, and Cedarwood. One easy way to use these oils is to apply 3-5 drops of your favorites directly onto the soles of your feet, feeling the connection between your feet and the earth. Allow this sense of connection to emphasize your experience of embodiment, rootedness, and empowerment. You can also dilute these oils in fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply with a rollerball.
Grounding Aromatic Ritual
For a more intimate and powerful at-home ritual (pre or post family gatherings), mix 3-5 of your favorites and add to a warm foot bath. You can add oils to ½ cup of salt before adding to your foot bath if you like. Soak your feet up to your calves in very warm, aromatic water. Visualize tension, exhaustion, and negativity of whatever is not serving you washing away with the water’s cleansing flow and movement. Allow yourself to feel cleared, neutralized and centered.
Ultimately, remember that whatever brand of “holiday” you are wearing this year is completely understandable and appropriate – no matter what you think things are supposed to look like. Embrace and embody the fullness of who YOU are in this moment, and resort to your favorite self-care tools to remind you just how beautiful you are inside and out.