Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Is the Crazy Over?

The holidays are over and people are still out at the stores getting the last of the great bargains.  It always feels that once we pass December 26th there is a universal sigh of relief that’s almost audible.  In case you’re one of those heading to the stores for the bargains, the scoop is that the big sales will be around till January 5th if not later.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday.  Yes the presents are great, but I’m hoping you had time to connect with family and friends who care about you.  In many cases, what do you get for the person who really doesn’t need anything?  I think spending time together is a great gift.  The truth is that spending quality of time together is better for you than the new tie or umbrella you may have received.  A visit with loving family and friends sparks your immune system.  It releases hormones in the body that soothe the body.  Who knows you may even laugh and if you’ve ever read Norman Cousins, you’ll know that laughter is a great remedy for pain.

It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday frenzy.  When facing a health challenge you may even put yourself in the frenzy to prove something to yourself, but it’s over and hopefully there is no price to pay for the over exertion from the marathon of holiday shopping.  Take some time to simply regroup.  Think about what these specific holidays have meant to you and write it down, put an album together, create an art piece or scrapbook.  Having a comforting memory is a great way to reduce tension and bring the body back to center.

What did you do to get through the holidays?  Let’s see if we can create a huge list that can be utilized for all future holiday seasons!

Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Frenzy

It’s the day before Thanksgiving (in the United States) and I just got back from the grocery store.  I was surprised that the lines were relatively short.  I guess the big push will be after 2pm when people begin leaving work.  It’s the official start of the holiday season and if you thought the political ads were bad wait till you see what retailers have planned for you as we approach Black Friday.

There is a frenzy in the air that’s palpable.  If you let it; the frenzy will consume you.  When faced with a health challenge the desire or maybe the need is to act like everything is “normal”.  The truth is that you’re a bit more fragile than you were before the illness.  If your immune system is compromised in any way those big sales where you get up at 4am may not be in your best interest.

We all have a tendency to over extend ourselves during the season.  Obviously the economy is on everyone’s mind, but so should your physical status.  Know your limits.  Don’t do more than you’re capable on any given day.  Plan your day so that you keep focused and can achieve your goals without draining all your physical and emotional resources.  Make it even easier by shopping online.  Black Monday is when the retailers offer great deals online and you can avoid the rush and the germs, what a bonus.

This is not the time to prove anything to anyone.  Keep your eye on the prize…your health.  Take lots of deep breaths and release the anxiety of the start of mass chaos.  Thanksgiving is a time of reflection (and of course, turkey), so use the time wisely.