It's holiday season, and the demands on everyone's energy, time, and patience are much higher than normal.
Trying to manage work, family, holiday plans, gift buying, social engagements, end of school semester and all they entail is stressful on anyone.
For you, if you're in pain, it can be nearly impossible to cope with it all. Here are a few simple suggestions you might find helpful.
1. You Don't Have to Do It All
You don't have to be the person you were before you were struggling with pain, and you shouldn't be trying to be.
Yes, people have expectations of you and they forget that you're in pain. It's no fun, but you're going to have to gently remind people that you can't be everywhere and do everything like you used to this holiday season.
Tell others that it's hard on you not to be able to be as involved as you have been in the past, but that it is very necessary for your healing. Let them know that the best way they can support your healing is to let you make the choices you need to make - the choices that may keep you home a little more and out a little (or a lot) less.
Let them know it's nothing personal about them. It's personal about you. You're taking care of yourself.
2. Give Yourself a Free Pass
Give yourself a pass to stay home if you need to, or to ask others to do more than usual so you can attend gatherings without wearing yourself out.
Tell others that you are giving yourself this free pass to be able to cancel at the last minute, or leave early if you have to, and ask for their understanding ahead of time.
Then do it, and do it without guilt. Your priority is healing.
3. Don't Cut Yourself Off
So, here's my formula: Choose a small number, say 3 to 5, celebrations that you feel are the most important to you personally. I don't mean the ones you used to think were important based on obligations to work and family and friends. I mean the ones you feel are important to you.
The ones you really enjoy and would really miss if you couldn't go. If at all possible, find a way to get to those and only those. For only a brief period, if need be. And without doing any of the cooking or prep, if need be.
Let yourself have the times that are important to YOU, and let yourself say no to the rest.
This may sound selfish, but if you're in pain, you need to be a little more selfish for now. It isn't doing anyone any good for you to wear yourself out trying to be everything and everywhere.
So, instead of being exhausted and grumpy at too many functions, pick a few choice ones you can attend with enjoyment. Above all, be kind to yourself and take care of yourself first this holiday season.
4. Find a Holiday Ally
You might find someone for the whole season, but you might also want to ask a different person for each function. You need more help. You need to do less.
Give yourself a break this holiday season and by giving yourself the gift of attending fewer functions, saying yes only to the ones you will really enjoy, finding an ally or two who will support you in the ways you need, and giving yourself a free pass to say no when you need to so you can fully enjoy the celebrations you do attend.
If you enjoyed this post, please take a moment to like it on Facebook or share on the social media of your choice. As always, I wish you well on your path.