From late November until January 1st every year, many of us are faced with (mostly) unwanted travel, family time, gift-giving, and everything else that comes with the holidays.
Even if you’re one of those people who love the holidays, there's still travel, cold and flu season, and holiday shopping... all of which can do a number on your body and immune system.
It’s imperative that you take care of yourself as we sprint toward the end of the year. So, here’s a little list of mystical (and practical) tips and tricks to keep you healthy and sane over the holidays.
11 Mystical (and Practical) Tips To Survive the Holidays
I like to think of everything in life via the mind-body-spirit model. If one pillar is off, the others can suffer as well. So often, we focus most of our energy on one or two things, which can create imbalance and, ultimately, stress.
The first few tips are meant to keep your physical body strong. Then, read on for ways to keep your energy body protected and cleansed of nasty energy.
#1: Spend Time Outside
Have you ever seen those crazy photos of Nordic parents putting their babies’ strollers outside in the snow for naptime? This ancient practice is still popular in Northern European countries today.
Parents claim the cold weather is good for the babes and that they sleep better in the fresh air. I couldn’t agree more. And this isn’t just for swaddled infants.
Getting outside, even during the winter months, is crucial for good physical, mental, and spiritual health. Even if you can only stand it for 20 minutes. A little sun exposure on your skin and in your eyes keeps your circadian rhythm on point and can even improve sleep. And fresh, cool air and contact with nature can calm your nervous system and boost immunity.
#2: Avoid Sugar and Cool it on the Alcohol
Hey man, I’m not here to police your fun times. The holidays are all about parties, delicious cocktails, and office cupcakes.
But too much sugar and alcohol can compromise your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and the flu.
Avoiding sugar and alcohol doesn’t make you more spiritual, more moral, or more awesome than your beer-guzzling, sweet snacking neighbor… but it will help protect your immune system so you can be strong all winter long. And being physically strong can help you more easily connect with Spirit, guides, and your intuition.
Love eating cake + sipping on a craft cocktail and feel super strong and awesome in your body after doing so? Fantastic! Ignore this and move on to #3.
#3: Take Your Herbs
Herbs are magical. My relationship with herbal medicine has changed a lot over the years. I have a lot of respect for herbs. I don’t expect them to work like an Advil or a Z-pack.
Instead, I like to drink a cup of tea or a droperfull of tincture and sit silently for a while as my body responds. I listen to and feel for the reaction, rather than expecting something massive to happen right away.
*Oh hai! I’m not a doctor. So this isn’t meant to replace medical advice!
#4: Set Your Intentions
This is a daily practice for me, but I set new intentions for new events or new demands on my mind and/or body.
For instance, you can set an intention for your next family visit. I do this with a two-part system:
- I think of how I want to feel during my visit. Keeping in mind, of course, that I can’t change anyone else’s behavior -- only my own reaction to things. For instance, I want to feel peaceful and relaxed during my next family visit. Be sure to write your intention somewhere.
- I set up some pretty music and light a candle. Thinking of my intention, I take about 10 minutes to visualize a scenario in which I can be peaceful and relaxed with my family. What does that feel like? What does it feel like to laugh and eat good food and feel truly comfortable? No pressure, no guilt, no shame? Truly feel into this visualization.
#5: Get Clear on Your Boundaries
Even if you have super clear boundaries at work or with colleagues or friends, it’s unlikely you have them with the people closest to you. That’s because it’s really difficult to make boundaries with those that we’re also really vulnerable with.
It’s like -- which is it?? Should you be vulnerable or protect yourself? Well, it can and should be both. Before you visit your loved ones this holiday season, sit down and figure out exactly what you will and will not put up with.
Racist relatives? Drunk parents? Tap into your higher self and ask how exactly you should respond.
For instance, if your Aunt Lucy likes to tie one on at Christmas dinner, it’s ok to leave the room. Maybe you call her a cab instead of offering to drive her home. You don’t need to hear her drunkenly wax poetic about her high school years. Again.
Be warned: Loved ones -- especially family -- don’t always respond well to healthy boundaries. But you can do it. I believe in you.
#6: Protect Your Energy
There are probably a hundred different ways to protect your energy. From different herb and crystal combinations to simple visualization techniques.
If you haven’t already, go back to #5 and get clear on your boundaries. This is a form of energy protection -- maybe the most powerful one. Perhaps you get an Airbnb this year instead of staying with your folks the whole time. That’s a beautiful combo of making a boundary AND energy protection.
Other options for protecting your energy include the following:
Keep Parts of Your Routine
Do you love a morning gym sesh or jog? Are you addicted to reading a few chapters with your coffee in the morning? Or taking an energy-cleansing bath in the evenings?
Sure the holidays are a bit crazy, but there’s no reason to give up ALL of your little rituals just because you have family around. Pick one or three things you can’t live without and do them anyway -- despite any eye rolls from your big brother.
Put Yourself in a Bubble
An energy bubble, that is! This is one of the easiest ways to protect your energy and all it takes is a little visualization.
When conversation start to heat up around the dinner table or your childhood wounds are triggered, simply picture a beautiful bubble sounding your entire body and aura. It can be a specific color of your choice or just… bubble-colored.
Even a simple energetic boundary between you and someone else can make you impervious to thoughtless comments and nasty energy.
Use Essential Oil
Plants are amazing for protecting and cleansing your energy. That’s why we use sacred smoke and incense before and after ritual or spell work. But not everyone is going to appreciate you burning your sage bundle while everyone is eating dessert or opening presents.
Instead, try a potent protection blend. I like this blend, recommended to me by my energy healing teacher. And not to toot my own horn, but L’Acqua is designed to protect and cleanse energy on the go -- and it’s amazing.
Rosemary, sage, and lavender essential oils will also work. Simply put a few drops of oil in your hands, rub them together and pat on the back of your neck, temples, and perhaps your third eye. Careful with pure essential oils that aren’t in a carrying oil or spray -- they can burn or irritate the skin.
Carry a Crystal
There are a dozen different crystals that can help protect your energy. I prefer any of the black stones -- black tourmaline, obsidian, or black kyanite. And for anxiety (which can also rear its head around this time), try hematite.
Get one that fits into your pocket or wear one of these stones around your neck for the ultimate protective barrier. If you’re a bra-wearing human, you can also stick a couple in there.
#7: Cleanse Your Energy
Even if you’ve doubled down on protecting your energy, it’s still a good idea to cleanse your energy daily. Especially if you’re around a lot of people or traveling through airports or train stations. (Think of energy like germs… if you’re not careful, other people’s energy can stick to you and affect you in really subtle ways.)
You can cleanse daily (recommended) or wait until you’re back to your regularly scheduled programming. There are several ways to cleanse your energy. Here are just a few...
Essential Oil Blends & Clearing Sprays
The blends I mentioned above aren’t just good for protection. You can also use them to cleanse and clear any negative or unwanted energy. Dab the Aura Cacia blend on the back of your neck or spritz a generous amount of L’Acqua around your body.
Herbal Baths or Showers
I take a simple herbal bath at least once a week. More if I’m around a lot of people or doing a lot of energy work or spell work. These can be as complicated or as simple as you want.
For instance, store-bought basil or thyme work really well to cleanse and clear the aura. Simply brew them up like a tea and add them to your bath. Or, you can just throw the fresh herbs in and soak with them.
Burning sacred herbs, incense or resins is a quick and powerful way to cleanse your energy and the energy of a room. I carry a little travel-size box of pine and sage for this reason. Burning a small amount is usually pretty low-key and no one else in the house can smell it.
#8: Schedule a Healing Session
I mean, obviously, I’m obsessed with energy healing. But if you’re not into Reiki or Shamanic healing, then this might be a good time to schedule a facial, massage, or acupuncture session.
If you have a therapist, coach, or healer you work with regularly, the holidays are not the time to cancel sessions. I know you’re busy, but this kind of self-care is important.
If you're looking for magical, mystical coaching and healing, let's chat.
Simple, easy, portable, and free, journaling is like carrying around a therapist in your bag or backpack. I always tell my clients to write everything down. Getting thoughts out of your head and into the physical world makes seemingly overwhelming issues less intense.
I think of it as “taking the power away” from my thoughts. Or, journaling can just give you space and time to process a tough emotion. Of course, journaling is a lot like meditating -- you know you should do it and you feel amazing afterward… and still, you put it off.
Don’t put it off. Just 5-10 minutes of getting your feelings on paper can be immensely helpful.
#10: Double Down on Gratitude
There’s no end to the annoyances of the holidays. My demeanor went from pleasant and excited to full-on toddler breakdown when I went to pick my parents up from a busy airport on Thanksgiving.
Which is exactly why we have to remember how good we have it. Yes, YOU. You’re reading these words, aren’t you? That means you have eyes that can see. And a computer to read things on.
And even though family dynamics can be challenging, most of us have a deep love for family. Let’s be conscious of the time we have left on earth with those we love. Write down a few things you’re grateful for every day. Or, you can practice the lazy witch version of this and just think of your gratitudes while you fall asleep every night.
#11: Try This Stress-Busting Spell
Bust out this healing ritual anytime things get overwhelming. There aren’t many ingredients and no fire is necessary, so you can take this one with you anywhere.
All you’ll need is:
- 1-2 small, tumbled crystals that soothe you. I like hematite, but rose quartz and amethyst are great, too.
- A soothing essential oil blend or lavender, sweet orange, or rose; Radiance or Clarity Oil would work well here, too.
- A pinch of salt
- Find a space where you can sit in silence for 10-20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the salt over your stones to cleanse them. If you travel with sacred smoke, feel free to cleanse your crystals in the smoke.
- Dab a bit of calming essential oil or ritual oil on your wrists, your temples, and on the back of your neck. Breath in the scent.
- Hold your stone(s) in your hands and start to picture your favorite calming color coming from the heavens. Visualize this color coming down, flowing into the top of your head and flowing out of your hands into your stone. Infuse the stone with the energy of this color, chanting “peace” or another peaceful mantra.
- Now the stones are charged with your peaceful intention. Carry them in your pocket and rub them between your
Get Woo For The Holidays
Magic, spells, and rituals have helped me heal through a lot of weird family trauma, loneliness, and depression. And since the holidays aren’t fun for everyone, I hope these tips help to ease some of the stress that can come with travel, family, and overeating.