As Christmas approaches the schedule in my clinic, EMW Holistic Center becomes extra packed. Some people gift treatments to their friends and family, but a majority of people need to come in for an acupuncture, massage or reiki session because of the overwhelming stress and anxiety they experience during our favorite Christmas holiday. In January, it is our nutritionist that get’s overwhelmed to help people fit back into their clothes.

Classic complaints I hear every day presiding Christmas – “My in-laws are visiting”, “My parents want us/me to go home”, “I can’t handle Christmas travel/shopping”, “I still have so many presents to buy and I am broke”, “My kids are driving me insane with all of the “I want” comments”.

The list of stressors around the holidays is long. Being a mother myself, I used to be mortified at the thought that one day my darling little girl, will need stress relief because I am coming for the holidays.

There are any reasons are out there to suck the joy out of a beautiful time of the year.

#1 - Self-Inflicted Judgment - How did I do this year? Did I accomplish enough? Did I fulfill my New Years resolution…? Am I going to come out to my family this year?

We judge ourselves and we judge all those we spent last Christmas with on their accomplishments. “So, how was your year?” is a question so many of us are dreading to hear from our family and friends. Being with family on Christmas can be the most wonderful thing for many and the most stressful thing for just as many.

#2 - Gifts - Having to find gifts for family, friends, their kids and even sometimes co-workers can be incredibly stressful as many of us wait till December to do it, and it can leave you broke.  Buying gifts for people we love. can be enjoyable, but at Christmas we are expected to buy gifts and that alone takes the pleasure out of it.  Holiday shopping is stressful, holiday driving is stressful. You need to be prepared mentally, emotionally and financially to enjoy it, as well as be creative, unless you are a good planner and started back in September.

#3 - The pressure the media has put on us to have a jolly good time!

And not to mention all those who are alone, the hole of loneliness is never as deep as it is on Christmas.

You need to be determined to bring calm into the storm. How you do it is up to you. I can help you navigate through the stressful time with my skills in Chinese Medicine and I can share with you how we deal with it in my family.

Of course, being Jewish, takes some pressure off of us, but we’ve also made a pact of simple presents for Christmas. I buy meaningful gifts throughout the year when something catches my eye and for Christmas, I get everyone a pair of nice slippers.  We get together on random days in the year when we can make it work. And I have a white elephant Christmas party at my house every year with all my “vagabond” friends and we actually have a pressure free jolly good time.

- Remember that most are going through the same angsts and fears.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Find humor in it. Laughter heals your heart.
- Get off any diet you are on except if your health demands it.
- Enjoy the good “bad” food!

If you are taking my “chill pill”, Illuminate, increase your dosage by a couple more capsules each day. If you have never tried it, it’s a good time to give it a shot, as it does help a lot! And to make it more affordable to more people, we will offer 30% off through the end of December, our last sale of the year, when it is most needed to find some calm. And, if you live in LA and want to stop by my office, email me to set up a time and get an additional 5% off each bottle or pick up a sample.

It may take a couple of seasons to find a way to take the  stress out of Christmas, but you can turn it into what it is meant to be. You are the boss!