The holidays can also be a stressful time for many us living with pain too. The demands on our time, our bodies and from our pain, drains us quicker now than usual. We also put more stress on ourselves trying so hard to make everyone happy, with finding the "perfect gift", preparing the perfect meal and trying to be the perfect host/hostess or even appreciative guest....it's tiring!
Let's face it...the holidays can be stressful! BUT...I wonder...are there things we can do lessen the impact of our pain, of our stress and obligations, and can we learn to enjoy this time of year instead of dreading it? I think there are and I think we can.
- I can't find the "perfect gift" for those I love and I may not get what someone likes or wants...good thing for exchange and return policies....don't stress over this
- write down a list...of things to do, things to buy, things to bake/make and check it off as you go...add things as you need and remove others as they're done...and even some that you just don't have the time for or no longer need
- if you're spending more time alone than you would like...do things that you wouldn't normally do with yourself...go to dinner, go see a movie, take a short holiday somewhere...get away and enjoy a change of scenery...this is the perfect time to focus on yourself and your own needs
- be mindful of your thoughts....we can talk ourselves into the worst of moods and emotions when stressed out, lonely or any of the other emotions that come with the holiday season...calm the racing mind with calming thoughts, mediation, music or whatever else soothes you...talk positively, lovingly, and encouragingly to yourself please
- have some portable coping skills handy so that you can use them when you feel your anxiety or needs rising...and please...use them!
- don't take on more than you can actually handle...be okay with saying no and not feeling guilty about it...and if you do...hand some of the load back or ask for help...you can't do everything and it's okay not to either
- if your holidays mean spending time with the loving toxic in your life...have a plan...keep your conversations positive and keep in mind that they do mean the best, they do love you and it's YOUR choice whether to follow their much unneeded advice...and you may want to keep your visits brief
- take breaks!! even if it means leaving your company for a little while and laying down, GO LAY DOWN! you need to care for bodies needs and you need to rest so that you can continue with what you want to do later...pace yourself
These are just a few ideas to get you started for the holidays. I hope you will take the time to write your own and make a plan for how you will survive the family. And please...if you know someone who is spending the holidays alone this year...check in on them okay? maybe invite them along to dinner.
The holidays are a hard time for many of us and for our own different reasons. I ask this of you a lot and I hope please that you will...
take good care of you and each other okay?