Don’t Let The Holidays Stress You Out

When I was growing up, Christmas morning started warm and magical. We clambered to the living room in our pajamas. My self-cut curly bangs were usually vertical and my acne was shining bright. My brothers and I unpacked our stockings while my mom photographed it all. Usually by mid-morning, someone had made a rude comment, doors were slammed, and someone was crying. Things settled down again by the afternoon and we reconvened to share a holiday meal. Year after year, this was our tradition.

The holiday season is a mixed bag. We know what we love about this time of the year, and we know what we don’t love. Whether it’s seeing our family explode, the grief that tends to surface around this time, the financial stress, or any number of issues that arise, that emotional stress can be really intense. We bury it in our busyness, eat the stress amid the holiday decadence, or party it away during the festivities. However, that stress doesn’t disappear, it goes deeper into our body. Our lower back or neck tension may be aggravated. We may get belly aches or indigestion.

Despite what is swirling around us, we can always reconnect with ourselves. Taking a breath, one inhale and one exhale, and simply acknowledging how we are feeling can make a shift. After you ask “how am I feeling?” then inquire “where in my body am I feeling this?” From that point, you can address the physical tension with self-Reiki, self-massage, some light stretching, or gently visualizing the area softening or melting. This will help move the stress or anxiety in the moment.

For moving deeper emotional patterns that surface during the holidays, Reiki is a beautiful way to offer relief and detox the emotions. Clients often look physically different after their Reiki sessions, a lot lighter and brighter. They tend to gain clarity when situations are not emotionally charged or over stressed. Decisions and actions are simpler. We can connect with the ones we love and express ourselves for who we are. Isn’t that what we truly desire? When we clear out all that stuff, we can enjoy the holiday season for all the reasons we love.

If you feel like you need extra support around the holidays, Caroline is available to help. Caroline works in Northampton, MA and has office hours Monday-Friday, including daytime and evening hours. Reach out with questions at

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