“…it’s such a heightened time in childhood this season. There’s so much sensory stimulus coming in and so many big emotions. There’s excitement. There’s joy. There’s fun. There’s good tastes. There’s all of this, right? It’s such a big sensory experience that it really pulls up those parts of ourselves that we don’t always come in contact with our five year old self or our 10 year old self as those neurotags are activated and as the experience or process. And then we feel a lot of those emotions that child was feeling and it’s layered…” 

-Elisabeth Kristof, Co-Host of Trauma Rewired and Founder of Brain Based Wellness and the Neuro Somatic Intelligence Coaching Certification

The holiday season, with its twinkling lights and festive tunes, often conceals a multitude of emotions and complexities beneath its cheerful facade. It can be a magical time full of celebrations and connection that can also evoke feelings of loneliness and overwhelm — especially for those with a history of trauma. This duality of emotions can be hard to navigate.

In this episode, we’re looking at the layers of holiday stress, offering insights into how our nervous systems respond to the heightened sensory experiences and societal expectations during this time of year.

Elisabeth revisits the concept of neurotags to illustrate how simple sensory inputs like sounds or smells can trigger emotional and physical responses linked to past traumas. Then, we delve into the impact of family dynamics, societal pressures, internal and external expectations, highlighting the importance of self-care and boundary setting.

As always, we’re sharing our own personal experiences with holiday-related trauma and reflecting on coping mechanisms that have evolved from maladaptive to healthy over time. Jennifer discusses her transformation from poor coping mechanisms to a place of embodiment and self trust. And Elisabeth shares her strategy for providing herself with a respite from the intensity of the season.

Keeping in line with our commitment to practicing what we preach, the podcast is taking a holiday break. And we’re sharing our excitement about Part 2 of Season 3. We have amazing guests and topics to look forward to.

As we unwrap the layers of holiday stress, Trauma Rewired offers a compassionate guide to understanding and navigating the complexities of the season. We invite you to explore your own capacity, establish boundaries, and embrace a more intentional and self-aware approach to holiday well-being.

And join us on the site for 2 weeks, for free. While we’re taking a break from the podcast, we’ll still be on site working with folks. We would love to connect with all of you, because that community is really wonderful. It means a lot to us and we’d love to have you in it. Go to RewireTrial.com to get your free 2 weeks and work with us live and in community.

Topics discussed in this episode: 

  • The concept of neurotags and the holidays
  • Emotional complexities of the holiday season and trauma
  • Triggers and maladaptive behavior
  • Expectations versus capacity
  • Self-care and setting boundaries
  • The holiday season’s impact on our health
  • Healthy coping strategies for the holidays
  • What to expect next season on Trauma Rewired
S3 E24

Listen to more episodes of Trauma Rewired HERE