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By Jenna Avery, CLC,
Life Coach for Sensitive Souls

The holiday season is full of challenges – difficult family members, stressful shopping, and seemingly endless holiday parties, to name a few. Sensitive Souls often find the holidays even more stressful than our less-sensitive friends. We easily pick up the emotions and expectations of others. Since so many people get depressed around the holidays, we’re more susceptible to depression ourselves. This means we have to practice extra self-care and go into the holidays with open eyes.

Ideally, the holidays are beautiful, rich, and warm. Here are strategies to stay connected to the essence of holiday magic.

1. Connect spiritually with the season. Honor the rituals you love and let go of the rest. If you enjoy hosting events or decorating, focus your attention there. Then do it with love! Create a sacred space for your work – light candles, play special music, or drink seasonal beverages. Imbue your efforts with reverence and full presence.

2. Honor the rejuvenating aspects of winter. Consider hibernating animals as your guides! Take the time to honor winter darkness as a time of retreat. Go within to rest, renew, and regenerate. Drink nurturing teas, take baths, and focus on your favorite self-care rituals. I love candles, fires, fairy lights, music, and as much coziness as I can comfortably create.

3. Allow generous quantities of downtime. Know your limits for socializing with friends and family. For instance, if spending the day with family is stressful for you, don’t plan anything that evening or the next day. During the holidays, when I attend at least three daylong events with family during one week, I take a week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day to recuperate. And, I usually spend New Year’s Eve at home with my sweetie.

4. Prepare yourself wisely. When you engage with the world or visit others, take extra time to center yourself, through meditation or gentle exercise. Plan ahead what you’ll wear, have your gifts wrapped, and consider what you need to bring along. In times of greater stress like these, allow generous time for yourself. Consider having supportive tools at hand, like flower essences. Bach Flower’s Rescue Remedy and Mustard are helpful for stress and addressing sudden and unexplained depression. Flower Essence Services' Yarrow blocks energy and emotions from others. I always wear a necklace made with obsidian and hematite to ground and protect me from the energies of others.

5. Go easy on the gifts and shopping. Be generous with yourself when it comes to shopping. Remember, it’s the spirit of the holidays and giving that counts, not the price tag on the present. Planning ahead helps. I once devised a strategy to buy gifts locally and traveled using side streets only. Another year I gave myself permission to buy online and spend a little extra on shipping and gift wrapping. Although I love to make gifts, I let it go unless I can complete them at least a couple weeks before giving them. What a relief! No extra deadlines!

6. Be gracious to your body. During the holiday season we often give ourselves license to eat, drink, and be merry with less than supportive foods for our sensitive bodies. Be sure to drink plenty of water, which is centering and cleansing. Sugar, alcohol, and caffeine all increase overstimulation, so go easy on them. Your body will thank you later.

7. Be ready for your family. Prepare yourself mentally for family challenges. Often we know what to expect but try to pretend it won’t occur. While you’re at it, open your mind to consider alternatives. Is it possible to shift the energy of engagement with your family in a new direction? Enlist support from like-minded family members and project positive interpretations on difficulties when you can.

8. Use the power of visualization. Practice energy skills like grounding, clearing, and shielding to keep you well balanced. You can practice these skills even in the middle of stressful moment. To ground and protect yourself, place your feet firmly on the floor, and imagine anchoring a vibrantly colored cord of energy from the base of your spine to the center of the earth. Now let a pure crystal rain cleanse negative energy and wash it down the cord into the earth to be recycled. Draw clean earth energy up through your feet into your body. Feel the stable earth energy supporting you and grounding you. Imagine filling your energy field with beautiful, purplish-white and silvery light and putting a strong, solid shield of reflective silver around you. Let this light and shield feel like you are enveloped in a thick, comforting blanket. Set the intention for the shield to deflect any negativity that comes in your direction by transforming it to love.

9. Come home to heal. When you do come home, take the time to augment your efforts by taking an Epsom salts bath. This is a must-do for Sensitive Souls who’ve been exposed to intense holiday energies and emotions. Fill a bathtub with hot water and add four generous handfuls of Epsom salts with ten drops of lavender or rose oil. Soak for about 20 minutes, and be sure to shower to rinse away the salt water, which can dry your skin. Candles and soul-soothing music are good, too.

Above all, practice excellent self-care and remember to enjoy yourself. May your holidays be filled with peace and your spirit joyful!


Copyright 2004-2011, Jennifer Avery, All rights reserved.

Jenna Avery is a highly sensitive coach and intuitive who specializes in guiding sensitive souls to find a deep sense of inner rightness within themselves so they are inspired to step forward and shine. Jenna is a Certified Life Coach based in Berkeley, California. She can be reached at 510.984.3474. You’re invited to take her free online assessment: "Is Your Sensitivity Working For You?" on her website at

These articles may be published on your website in their entirety as long as the copyright notes and biographical information above are included in their entirety with functional hyperlinks. Please also send me an e-mail to let me know they have been published, and where. Thank you!

Jenna Avery, CLC, MCP, MLA
2721 Shattuck Avenue, #245, Berkeley, California, 94705
tel: (510) 984-3474
Please contact me on my new website here.
© Jennifer Avery, 2002, 2011, 2012.  All Rights Reserved.