Prep for the Holidays

I’m using a bonus prompt for today’s wego health post: Prep for the Holidays- in a post

Isn’t my art getting better? I hope you appreciate the magnatitude of my talents! My art teachers who gave me C’s didn’t know what they were talking about.

Dealing with the holidays has been on my mind today, as I just got back from my daughter’s Thanksgiving program at school. I love the holiday season, but it is absolutely exhausting for everyone, and it is even more difficult for those of us with chronic illness. I spent my morning at my daughter’s school sitting in a seat designed for a 5 year old while trying to keep my son from destroying everything in sight (note, my son is 2, so all the bright colors and fun things in a kindergarten classroom are irresistible). I thought we had an obesity problem with America’s children, shouldn’t the seats be bigger? After just one morning of holiday celebration, I’m exhausted and hurting.

This was an “exhausted” that couldn’t be prevented, but much of the holiday exhaustion can be.

I survive the holidays by doing a couple things:

1. I begin my Christmas shopping in the summer. I start thinking about what various people might want and collect presents slowly throughout the entire fall. This way I’m not running around like an insane person dealing with crowds and traffic and ripping my hair out when I can’t find what I want at the last moment. I never ever go near the mall around Christmas time, it’s like a death trap, it’s where Christmas dreams go to die (OK, that may be a little dramatic, but seriously, it’s a nightmare, the joys of living in the city).

2. Minimize. You can’t do everything. You home’s decorations may not look like a magazine, but that is OK. You may not have the brightest Christmas lights on the block, but that is OK. You may not have homemade wassail ready for your family after they come inside from playing in the snow (or lemonade and 70 degree weather in our case) but that is OK. There are plenty of easy ways to decorate and have fun at Christmas.

3. Bake ahead of time. I try to make large amounts of cookies in November  I stick them in the freezer, so when I need them in December I can just pull them out without any effort.

4. Learn to say no. Sometimes you are just going to have to say no. If you have obnoxious relatives who want you to cater to their every need (i’m lucky that I do not), too bad. It’s important to spend time with family, but it is also important to take care of yourself. You only have a certain amount of energy, so make sure to use it on the important things. For a long time I was wasting all my energy on keeping everyone happy, but then one day I realized that I was so exhausted from pleasing everyone else, I had nothing left for my kids or husband. That was just not acceptable to me, so I started saying no, and it’s very liberating.

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