The rush up to Christmas can, for some be the most draining and stressful time of the year. This is not a ‘grinch’ post, I am a big believer that complaining is draining. Moaning about feeling tired does not make you any less tired (or any more popular!) Be kind to yourself at this time of year.
During the last few years, I have realised that it is OK to make life easier for yourself. In the past, I said yes to every party at this time of year even though I often did not have the energy, or the money to join in. Reason I said yes? Because I didn’t want to feel guilty for not going. This did me no favours, because by the time Christmas day arrived, I had completely run out of energy, for the people that I was meant to be spending time with, my family. Worse still, this period of ‘overdoing things’ would be followed by a period of illness, which eventually led to me losing my career (if you don’t know, I’ve got MS). But you know what I’ve realised?
FRIENDS ARE FOR LIFE, NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS
Most folk know it is OK to keep in touch during the year, not just during the rushing period just before Christmas. ‘SHOULD’ and ‘NEED’ (you should pop in, I need to see you’ Do not be afraid of these words, people are just being friendly, however, do not get trapped by guilt if you don’t have the energy to join in, and need to say no; give yourself a break.
IF PEOPLE KNOW YOU WELL ENOUGH TO BE A GOOD FRIEND OF YOURS, THEY WILL UNDERSTAND.
Get the balance right. Better to see well you than ill you – it’s OK to pace yourself. Looking back, I don’t know how I did it when my daughter was growing up and before I had to give up nursing. I was a single parent working full time, I think there was a lot of ‘powering on through’. I was younger and things were different with my MS. If I was in that situation now, then I would have no choice but to prioritise the necessary. A story my physiotherapist told me about someone who is joining in on that ‘Elf on the shelf’ business… it was making this person ill due to overstretching their energy reserves. Stop that now! Things like that are only fun if you are actually enjoying them.
A NOTE ON THE BIG DAY
When the Christmas dinner has been cleared away, you’ve eaten double your body weight in turkey with all the trimmings plus pudding(s), drank loads, and enjoyed some quality time with your nearest and dearest, Don’t forget to look after yourself . Please don’t martyr yourself here with I should and I need to (those words again). Just do the necessary, give yourself a break, put you’re feet up, treat yourself it is Christmas after all. Unless you want to carry on being a stress head, (no one will thank you though). You may be thinking ‘it’s alright for you’ . No it isn’t; but I have learnt that stress is toxic, this is no good for me, I have chosen to take control.
SLEEP AND ONWARDS
It’s Christmas… there are more social events. More than likely, if you do drink alcohol, you will have been drinking more than usual. You may have been able to get to sleep easier, but you will not have been able to stay asleep. Not the deep refreshing sleep that we all need to keep ourselves less vulnerable to moods, stress and illness. Enjoy yourself but like I said, it’s only fun if you’re actually enjoying it. Give yourself a break!
If you can’t get to sleep, I would recommend good old fashioned reading a book to help you drop off, (one of my books should do it!) Not a gripping thriller that will keep you awake until 2AM though. Other genres are available to help you escape and switch off, as are other relaxation methods.
Onwards; you might be thinking of January and going on a health kick binge (I know I always do). I have recently started reading a book called the Healing Point by James Lilley. It’s easy to read and all the bases of health are covered. Great to read a book about health when you’re trying to be healthy; puts you in the mood!
This is probably going to be my last blog post of 2018 – it’s been a blast!
All the best to you at this time of year, Samantha xx