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‘Tis the season to be jolly, but for those of you who had a rush of blood to the head earlier in the year when you offered to host Christmas for the whole family, it can sometimes feel more like the season to be irritable, overwhelmed and worried. Even if you aren’t playing host, the sheer craziness of shopping in crowds, travelling at peak times and being with your nearest and dearest for a concentrated few days can find you swearing to book a long-distance flight this time next year. And then, there are some of you who maybe find the festive time difficult. Perhaps a loved one is no longer with you, perhaps you feel depressed or are even fearful of being on your own.

Bach Flower Essences can help us all with our wobbly emotions in the run up to and over the Christmas period. Simple to take, they give us a helping hand, whilst gently rebalancing us emotionally. There are 38 remedies (plus the famous rescue remedy) in total. I have jotted down just a few prime candidates to help you through December.

If, on reading this, you fancy a “cocktail” made up for you, send me an email / ring me with your list (I recommend having at most 5 essences at a time). I charge £5 for a bottle of your combination essences plus £3 postage.

Beech – overly critical and feeling irritated and annoyed by the way other people do things. Perhaps Great Aunt Mabel has a particularly grating voice that gets to you, or your ever-so-helpful cousin is just not washing up the “right” way. Relax with a spot of Beech.

Centaury – the inability to say “no” to others. Helps us to stand firm in who we are and what we want. So when you are exhausted and really need some time to yourself you can say “NO” nicely and assertively to the neighbour who invites you round for the cuppa and mince pie that you don’t really want!!

Cherry Plum – you feel like you are losing your mind and may do or say something you’ll regret. A good one when you feel close to blowing your top!! The Bach Flower that counts to 10 and takes a deep breath for you ……..

Elm – you have bitten off more than you can chew, and no, this is not for when you cram that extra roast potato into your mouth!! We are talking overwhelm from too many responsibilities. Your usual capable self suddenly loses confidence and feels inadequate and unable to cope. Elm helps to put things back into perspective, and maybe, just maybe, you don’t actually have to do everything on your list after all!! (Do, Ditch or Delegate!)

Holly is for envy, hatred, spite and jealousy. Old family feuds and perceived hurts can sometimes come to the surface when we are all under the same roof. Holly helps to open up our natural loving nature.

Honeysuckle – for those of you who have lost a loved one and wish him/her back with you, or for those suffering with home sickness. It helps us live in the present and make the most of opportunities presented to us. Perhaps an invite from a friendly neighbour could open new doors (literally and figuratively)?

Impatiens – as the name suggests, this is for impatience. When people and things are not moving fast enough for you!! The children are getting under your feet in the kitchen, the queues in the supermarket are a mile long, the traffic hasn’t moved for the last half hour ……… it helps us appreciate that things happen when they happen, and no amount of frustration on your part can hurry them along!!

Larch – for those of you who are lacking in self-confidence. Maybe you’ve been landed with tackling the Christmas Dinner for the very first time, and don’t feel up to the task. Larch helps give your confidence a boost so that you feel that you can try new things, without expecting failure, and even if you do burn the carrots, you can put it down to experience without feeling despondent.

Mimulus – for everyday fears of things we can name and also for those of us who are naturally shy and feel uncomfortable in social situations, perhaps getting tongue-tied or going bright pink when someone speaks to us. It gives us a quiet courage to face our fears.

Olive – for exhaustion. You’ve overdone everything and now feel drained beyond tired. I like to take this throughout a stressful period to prevent getting into this state.

Pine – you feel guilty and responsible for everything and everybody and find “sorry” on your lips far too often. You feel guilty that your aunt doesn’t like her present, or that lunch is going to be 10 minutes late and even apologise for the weather!! Pine stops us from taking on everyone else’s stuff and feeling that we are to blame for all that goes wrong. (And even when we do something wrong, it’s done and dusted, and there really is no point in feeling guilty for it for evermore!)

Scleranthus – decisions, decisions, decisions! Which colour socks to get Uncle Sam, which party invite to accept for New Year’s Eve? If you find yourself toing and froing between this and that, Scleranthus helps you make a firm decision that you are happy with.

Vervain – you have planned the perfect Christmas, you feel driven and bubbling with enthusiasm, always on the go, with not a moment to sit down, but now cannot relax and unwind. Vervain helps you to switch off and relax mentally and physically.

White Chestnut – for gramophone-record style worry; going over and over the same things. The long to-do list, what presents to buy, “should I have”, “what if” etc. Your head feels crammed with stale old thoughts, so it’s not only difficult to concentrate during the day, but also nigh on impossible to drift off into sleep for a bit of mental peace and quiet! It helps to de-clutter our brains so that thoughts can start to flow in and out rather than take up permanent residence!!

Rescue Remedy – a general remedy for anxiety, the effects of an argument, maybe an accident in the kitchen, or when you are generally just not feeling “at one”. Impatiens and Cherry Plum are both included in this combination so it’s good when you feel you might just lose it with those around you!!!

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