How To Manage Exhausting Holiday Stress and Chronic Lyme Disease.
I know that posts haven't been as regular as they should be. I've just been a bit tired and distracted. Call it the holiday blues, the winter slow down, stress, or whatever name you want to give it. I've just been tired and distracted.
Many of my readers know that I have Chronic Lyme Disease. I have this strong belief that the more you focus on being ill, the sicker you feel. So I really try not to give a lot of thought or power to having Lyme and try to focus on being alive instead. Sometimes, however, the symptoms get really thick and closer together and it makes it hard to forget or not focus on it.
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I'm so tired!
This month we will celebrate Thanksgiving and then Hanukkah soon after. So the holidays are here for us and all around us, people are getting their holiday spirit set into full swing. I, however, have just been mentally side-tracked with distractions. I feel like I have so many things that I need to get done, but I am just so tired that I really just want to curl up with a book and a cup of tea and rest. But even when I do take a nice break and try to relax I feel as if I should be doing more and moving forward. So it's a back and forth battle.
I know what I really need to do is to stop thinking cluttered thoughts and clean out the piles and piles of thoughts that are just getting stuck in there and not flowing very well. It's not easy and it's not enjoyable. But it's needed.
Tips for Managing Holiday Stress
Many of us forget to take care of ourselves when we are stressed and even more during the holidays. So pre-planning your routines and coping skills is the best way to navigate and care for your needs.
Make time for exercise. – Take a few minutes each day to care for your body. Yoga, stretching, even a quick workout will boost your energy for the rest of the day and keep you from feeling stiff or sore later.
Go to bed on time. – It might take effort, but making sure you keep your sleep schedule during the holidays is important to your health. When you are fighting Lyme Disease and exhaustion, you are more prone to getting sick easier.
Ask for help. – Like many people, I have a long list of To Do items to get ready for the holidays. Often I feel overwhelmed and stress myself trying to get it all done. Ask for help! Make a list of things that you can pass off to someone else and take advantage of those who might offer their assistance. Wrapping gifts, setting the table, or just walking the dog… let others help you.
Remember that you don't have to take on everything.
Pick your battles. – You don't have to attend every event you are invited to. You don't have to engage in every frustrating conversation at the ones you do go to. You get to choose who and what to share your energy with.
Remember WHY. – We plan these events, say yes to invites, run around trying to get everything done. But why? I think that sometimes we need to stop and remember the reason that we are doing all of this? Is it because you enjoy spending time with friends and family? Is it because you love decorating? Why are you working so hard?
We know this isn't the easiest time for many people and we want to remind you that depression and anxiety are normal and part of living with Lyme Disease. But if you are feeling like you just can't find your joy, please talk with someone. There are people out there who want to listen and help you navigate your way through it.