Holidays I love them and kind of dread them.
My family is in a different state so it gets more lonely.
I miss seeing them open their gifts, I also miss cooking for a crowd. But I have chronic bone pain from Osteonecrosis,Osteoarthritis, Spondylolisthesis and Hashimoto.
And I know that holidays can be so overwhelming for so many.
Here is my checklist to plan your self-care routine so that you can enjoy the upcoming holidays and hopefully not be frazzled and in pain.
1. Make time for yourself.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed during the holiday.
Even if you are out of town visiting family or friends make it a point to have some alone time to just relax and breathe.
If you can afford one maybe consider a massage, or if you’re able to see about attending a local yoga studio . You can also contact the local library because they often offer many things for free.
2. Breathe .
The holiday season ,can trigger all kinds of anxiety, people pulling and tugging at the same item you want, traffic jams,crowds in the malls ,people who forget to drive in the winter weather.
And just spending a few minutes breathing will give you a good dose of stress relief.
Put you arms up and out near your side , palms up count to four as you inhale, and raise your arms so that your palms are at eye level as you count to four.
Now turn your palms down and exhale for a count of 4 and lower your arms back to the beginning space. Hear yourself exhale.
Do this a few times and you will feel yourself relax.
Another one is breathe in for a count of 4 hold it for a count of 4 and exhale for a count of 4.
3. Be mindful about drug and alcohol use.
Sometimes the holidays are filled with parties, which sometimes also means alcohol or drugs will be around. You may feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol cz your friends do or you think it will take the edge off.
If your going to drink set a limit say at 2 drinks.
Never your drink alone. There are some crazy ass people out there who will try to slip you something. Trust no one with your drink.
Also never drink and drive , don’t drink buzzed either. and always wear your seatbelt.
It’s best to just pay for a taxi or Uber.
4.Some family members can be a stressor, you know that uncle who drinks way to much knocks over the tree or that other relative who just won’t shut up about politics
Take care of yourself during difficult interactions with family.
The holidays mean we’re often in places with people who you may not see the rest of the year.
5.Make room for grieving loved ones who have passed. It’s normal to miss them. Talking about some good memories often helps.
Be kind to yourself don’t worry if you cannot do it all, it’s ok.
You have a lot going on balancing maybe doctors, work, school pain, family , holiday prep all the above .
Don’t be to hard on your self and be kind to others because we are all dealing with something and holidays aren’t always easy especially while having a chronic condition
And others …. well they could be hurting also in some way.
May you have many blessings ! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!