The holidays are a stressful time for most of us, anyway. But when you’re dealing with chronic health issues, normal levels of stress can spiral out of control quickly.
Thus, it’s essential to be kind to yourself during the holiday season. For that matter, you should be kind to yourself all the time. It’s just that the holidays place so much emphasis on being happy and partying up a storm. But when you feel less than festive, that’s no reason to beat yourself up just because you need to take a break from all the excess merriment constantly bombarding you.
Here are five tips for handling the holidays with less stress and more kindness to yourself:
Shop early and online: Regardless of whom you purchase gifts from, there’s usually a great selection of gifts that one can buy online. However, if you like to buy local and your favorite local retailer isn’t online, that’s a huge surprise unusual but not insurmountable. Just be sure to shop earlier and get the gifts in the mail before the holiday rush.
Don’t feel compelled to attend every single holiday event: While socializing during the holidays can be a good thing, it can also be wearying on those who suffer chronic illness. Sometimes the best way to celebrate a holiday is by simply doing nothing. And even if you’ve told someone you want to go their party, if you’re not up to the task of attending, then you have every right to pass on the outing.
Watch movies or read books: I can think no better way to pass the holidays than to watch favorite films or read a good book. When it comes to movies, there are all sorts of great holiday favorites, but just watching a funny movie can be awesome.
Start a journal: The holidays are not only a time for celebration, but are a time for rest and reflection. And even though I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, I do believe in taking stock in your life periodically and deciding which goals are the most worth pursuing. Keeping a journal is a great way to sort out one’s thoughts.
Simplify and organize your living and work space: As a writer, I must admit to have developed some dreadful habits when it comes to collecting clutter. But if you just clear out a bit of space and organize your stuff methodically, you can actually make progress on that front. It can actually be restful to pile crap you’ve collected into a heap and just toss into the recycle bin. Or wherever.
As an aside, the end of the year is also a great time to revisit your spending habits. I’ll be going over my own spending and developing a working budget, as well as sharing any tips and tricks I learn in the process with you.
If you’ve found this helpful, please share it wherever you hang out online!