Christmas Stress

Is Christmas one of those stressy times of year for you?

Then make sure your kit is well stocked!

There are so many issues that can arise, although the remedies suggested here are not necessarily just limited to Christmas. It is a time of so many emotions perhaps because some families get together only once a year, because cousins don’t get on, or maybe because a child is let down by an absent parent. Let me tell you, just getting Christmas dinner on the table has caused ructions in our extended family in years gone by!!

And then of course there may be long distance travel involved perhaps with delays, crowds or maybe travel sickness or anxiety.

Remedies for Christmas Stress

The remedies I’ve listed cover a whole range of situations and include both single remedies and combinations, so see what jumps out at you. I’ve focused mainly on the mental/ emotional picture so you may need to do a bit more research to see what suits your family’s ailments, however I do think the right remedy usually stands out when you read it! If it fits the mental/emotional aspect it will generally fit whatever physical symptoms present.

Aconite – for those major shocks which seem to rear their heads at Christmas, or for the sudden onset of the cold that your sister’s kids came with and spread around! Scratchy sore throat, runny nose, high fevers after being chilled from too long in the pool or a chill wind (just as an example) which come on very suddenly are all indicators for Aconite. This is also a good remedy if someone has an irrational terror of flying or some other activity. Give frequently along with SOS, our own 21st Century version of Rescue Remedy.

Anas Barb – if your family is one of those that tends to pick up illness over Christmas just from the wealth of bugs going around and particularly if you are travelling to a new environment, I recommend Anas Barb taken weekly to support the immune system. Increase to three times a day for three days if someone comes down sick and give the indicated remedies alongside. If you are particularly prone to picking up things on your travels, check out Travel Prep/Winter Prep under Combination Remedies below. They get great feedback, particularly when travelling by plane and train.

Apis – is made from the honey bee so is a useful remedy for any reaction which looks like a bee sting. This would make you think of redness, swelling and stinging and in particular allergic or anaphylactic reactions to food or other allergen. Can be used while waiting for an ambulance if an epipen is unavailable. May also be helpful for a bout of cystitis with burning and stinging.

Arnica – deals with bruises, shock and trauma. Useful after the children get in a fight and one gets hit with the new train or an elderly relative falls over said train and ends up with a bruised and sore hip! It also has an affinity for DVT, a risk during air travel, and can be helpful in preventing this issue arising. It is included in our Travel/Jetlag Combination (see below) which can be helpful if you’re heading to far distant climes for Christmas.

Arsenicum – is important for food poisoning when the seafood was left out of the fridge for too long or try the Gastro Combination (see below) if symptoms don’t fit Arsenicum and you’re not sure what remedy to use. Arsenicum patients can be some of the most anxious around and tend to be perfectionist and nit picking about hygiene, cleanliness and how the Christmas lunch table is laid!

Chamomilla – can be so helpful when you find you have your period accompanied by extreme irritability and major crampy pain – or when the baby decides to cut 4 teeth at once and is inconsolable, with flushed left cheek (or right!) and green poo like spinach. Irritability is high on the list with this one!

Cocculus – is to be thought of for people who are utterly worn out and exhausted, usually from lack of sleep or jetlag or looking after sick children or nursing a new baby. They become trembly with tiredness and feel much worse in the open air. They just want to lie in bed and sleep but this has become impossible because they are out of the habit of sleeping and in a vicious circle of exhaustion. Useful if you fall in a heap with these symptoms after a mammoth effort at work right before Christmas.

Coffea – affects the nerves so that someone needing this remedy will be over-sensitive and overexcited. It is for people who are very excitable or lively or who have received news that has induced a state of being ‘wired’ and cannot calm down. They become so excited they cannot sleep at night or sleep very lightly and then suffer headaches. Feels just like way too much coffee!

Gelsemium – is a good remedy for those situations where someone gets completely paralysed with anxiety or fear, so it could be reading the bible at church on Christmas morning, singing in a family concert or getting on a plane or boat. Paralysis and heaviness is the keynote here rather than obvious terror such as we see in Aconite.

Hypericum – is a must when someone gets their fingers trodden on or shut in the door. Intense pains shoot along the course of the wounded nerves and the area is very sensitive to touch or pressure. It is useful for inflamed, exceptionally painful bites or stings on nerve-rich parts and is important for cuts or wounds which end up with nerve pain.

Ignatia – covers a whole range of symptoms, but I tend to think of it for an irrational, hysterical response to many things. There can be great dramatic highs and lows, there may be sighing and yawning, they are very sensitive to being told off and they shut themselves away if they can. It’s big remedy when someone is overcome by grief; so kids who get dramatically upset over some minor issue or who are devastated because they didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas. Children who find their absent parent can’t be present or just doesn’t show up, or maybe when the older generation reminisce over how it was better in the old days and grieve about long lost friends and family. Good for the anti-climax that can often follow Christmas!

Ledum – is a must for when the dog bites one of the kids for pulling its tail and it is known as the anti-tetanus remedy, so useful to have on hand even if you’re heading off to emergency after a bite or someone steps on a rusty nail, etc. Useful for insect bites and stings where the pain is improved by cold compress or bathing the area in cold water.

Nux Vomica – Someone’s sure to suffer from a hangover or indigestion from over-indulgence over the Christmas holidays! Often it will be accompanied by constipation, extreme irritability/anger and sleeplessness, classically waking at 3am and not being able to get back to sleep, then falling asleep just before its time to get up and waking grumpy. These people are often workaholics so they may not be able to put the mobile phone/computer away for a break! Make
sure you have some Nux Vomica in the house and try giving it before bed as this can prevent some of the symptoms, then again in the night.

Phosphorus – These kids (and adults too) are usually extrovert, party people who tend to let over-excitement exhaust them. In small children the result may be that they vomit! They are loved by everyone and are very open with their emotions so will often pick up on what’s going on and come down sick just when you don’t want them to. They can be prone to low blood sugar because they burn up what they eat so quickly and need to be kept regularly topped up with food and fluids. Nervous exhaustion from excitement can often result in a cold which goes to the chest or similar
illness – just what you want at Christmas or some other special time. Phosphorus people can also be prone to fainting!

Pulsatilla types tend to be very affectionate, gentle, sweet and they cry easily. When unwell or out of sorts they can be whingy and clingy and joined at the hip to Mum! Too much going on can cause them to become sick and this might be a cold, cough or fever often with thick yellow, green discharge. They can be chilly but are often worse in a warm or stuffy room and their physical symptoms such as a cough can be worse in this environment too. It’s often the first remedy I think of for nausea or vomiting which comes on after too much rich food in children, although this can apply to grownups too!!

Sepia – Feeling stressed, irritable, overwhelmed and want to run away from it all? Overwhelmed with how much there is to do, all that running around, shopping, cooking, cleaning? This state can be accompanied by depression brought on from the feeling of being overwhelmed, and snappiness is often the way it manifests towards family and friends. Feeling overwhelmed can lead to exhaustion, aversion to company and feeling worse if consoled. At its worst there can be complete indifference to loved ones, to work and especially the children. The snappiness can lead to weepiness, sensitivity to noise and a sluggish “I just want to go to bed and put the covers over my head” feeling. Often everything is worse pre-menstrually with a dragging down sensation in the abdomen.

Staphysagria – is a remedy for sensitive, touchy people who are very easily offended. They are very sweet and cannot tolerate rudeness in others so the festive season can be a challenge for someone like this as it can be a perception on their part rather than a reality. They may suffer from suppressed angry feelings and if caught up in confrontation may become easily exhausted, shaky, unable to sleep and headachy. Children may become ill after being told off and can look like Pulsatilla kids. Sometimes the suppressed feelings erupt and these people can come irrationally angry and throw things, then quickly settle down again and feel better!

Useful Combinations

Cold & Flu Combination – speaks for itself! Combines those remedies most indicated for the first and second stages of a cold, flu or similar.

Gastro Combination – do not start Christmas at home or overseas without this remedy in your kit!! Great for trips to Bali and the ever present risk of Bali Belly in those susceptible and it means you don’t have to think about remedies when someone throws up or gets diarrhea after a big Christmas lunch!

Kalm Kids – is one of our long-standing combinations for any emotion a child can throw at you. Can be really helpful for kids who you know are going to be over-excited, sleepless or feral prior to or on the day of a big event, who you are dreading taking on the plane, or who always play up at your Mum’s? It covers restlessness of small children on long flights, waiting in queues or who suffer anxiety, hyperactivity and similar emotions. Adults can try this one too and I’ve
recommended it for anxious, restless cats and dogs!!

SOS – someone’s had a fright, shock, is anxious or hysterical but you either don’t have the right remedies or don’t know what to give? Don’t leave home without our modern take on Rescue Remedy!

Travel/Jetlag Combination – contains all the remedies to help you cross time zones and deal with the bugs that can float around on a plane or through air conditioning. Use frequently from the day before travel right through to one week after for best results.

Travel Prep/Winter Prep – these are newer and more robust immune support remedies. The remedies are interchangeable (ie they contain the same remedies) and are very useful if you are travelling by plane or train, where you’re going to be in contact with people who may be unwell. No-one wants to be sick over Christmas from something they picked up on the trip, and while nothing in life is guaranteed, we get very good feedback about the supportive benefits of these combinations.

Seriously, our home wouldn’t be without homeopathy at any time of the year!

Melanie Creedy originally trained in the UK in the early 1990s and holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Homeopathy. She is registered with the Australian Register of Homoeopaths (AROH) and is a member of the Australian Homoeopathic Association. 
She was Vice President and Professional Development Coordinator of the Australian Homoeopathic Association from 2011 to 2015 and is editor of the AHA National Newsletter. 
Melanie has used homeopathy for 30 years and has been in practice since 1998. For many years she ran The Children’s Ear Clinic in Western Australia, but since her tree change to Tasmania, has a special interest in women’s and children’s health generally and helping individuals manage their journey on the spiritual path with homeopathy and her range of essences. Melanie has developed her own methods of dealing with complex cases over the years and offers distance consultations via phone and skype to allow people Australia-wide to access her services.  
Homeopathy is a traditional medicine. It may be used in conjunction with other medicines. For any ongoing chronic condition, it is important to be assessed or examined by your healthcare professional or specialist. Always seek medical advice in emergencies. The information provided in this blog does not constitute medical advice but is for information only. If in doubt as to the appropriateness of a  suggestion or treatment seek advice from your homeopath.