Create a list of things you need to get done for the holidays and then pick your top three items. As for the rest, delegate if at all possible or ask for help. It may also be worth it to ask yourself, how important is it for me to get this done?
Pace yourself. First establish a realistic amount of time per day that you believe is reasonable to get some work done. Knowing that you only have a set number of hours to get things done before the pain starts to take over, be sure to work within those time limits. Give yourself permission to be ‘selfish’ in those boundaries (and when I say selfish, I mean in the most respectful way possible).
Connect with people. Even if you feel like the pain is too great and you cannot get out of the house, make a call to a loved one or a close friend or a relative you haven’t connected with in a while. Technology is connecting us in ways that make it much easier without all the uncomfortable travel. Or if you think that getting out of the house would lift your spirits and lessen your pain then get out and enjoy!
Schedule time in your day for daily self care. Think of it as an opportunity to recharge your battery and help you prepare for what’s next. Find a quiet corner to breathe or to lie down, turn off the lights and tune out the tasks of the day and tune in to your thoughts, or just listen to some music. Again, be intentional and make this a non-negotiable!
Keep your appointments throughout the holidays. When things get busy it is all too easy to cancel an appointment when you ‘need’ to get things done. Keep your health and wellbeing a priority so that you can manage the holiday with as much control as possible.
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Take time to pat your animals. Just 5 minutes of petting an animal can send you a healthy dose of oxytocin to help mitigate the pain. Don’t have a pet but you know someone who does? Take some time with their pet and reap the rewards. Interesting note: your pet also benefits from a hit of oxytocin…it is a win win for both!
Serve your body well with good food. I know this one sounds extremely obvious but it can be really difficult over the holidays when we are surrounded by food. Remind yourself that whole foods actually help your body to fight underlying health issues and supports your mood as well. Feel free to enjoy small amounts of the comfort stuff (deserts of course). Then once you have savoured those special morsels, get back onto your health sustaining foods.
Have an Epsom salt bath infused with lavender to help calm the mind and the muscles after a day of battling pain. Be sure to drink water afterwards to help the body flush out the toxins that had accumulated in your body.
Get a good nights sleep. Now I know sleep can be extremely elusive and for many, can be very hard to find. Create a list of things that you know will help you to fall asleep such as warm bath before bed, no caffeine after 2:00 pm, warm blanket to calm the muscles, magnesium before bedtime, meditation apps, breathing apps, cut out electronics two hours before bedtime. Be creative and list as many things as possible that you know of that will help you to fall asleep. If you are having one of those nights where you are struggling to fall asleep then you can lean into any of the strategies that you know work.
Ask yourself at the end of the day, even if it has been a very hard day ‘what was one small win for me today’? You will be amazed with what you come up with. This may take some time to articulate, especially if it has been a tough day but if you think really hard you will likely think of something. Spend some time on that one win, say it out loud or write it down. And then get up the next morning with the idea that you will strive to have one more win today too.