Managing Christmas Stress With Chronic IllnessDec 06, 2023
It's 3 a.m., and here I am, wide awake. The calendar says it's less than three weeks until Christmas. My mind races with a never-ending to-do list.
Andrew (my partner) is away, working on our new country block. Things there are a bit off track, adding an extra layer of stress to our lives.
Then there's Christmas shopping – something I haven’t even started. Navigating the crowds, the noise, it’s so overwhelming, especially when getting around is a struggle in itself.
I think about all the friends I want to catch up with. How will I make that happen? It's a puzzle I haven't quite figured out.
And amidst all this, emotions are running high. It's been a massive year. The cancer came back, leading to two single mastectomies. Then I got Covid. And through it all, trying desperately to ensure all is okay with my MS.
My thoughts now turn to the recent PET scan results – not exactly what I’d hoped for. And with more news expected this week, the apprehension builds. Oh, and I must remember to get that blood test done.
Does this resonate with you? Are you also beginning to feel the burden of year-end stress? As Christmas Day draws near and the year comes to a close, the tasks seem endless. And frustratingly, our chronic illnesses don’t take breaks for the holidays.
Chronic Illness Mindset Reminder
"Go to sleep!" I remind myself, to focus on the power of mindset in dealing with chronic illness hurdles. And the end of the year, with all its demands, is precisely one of those hurdles. It's not about gearing up for battle but about navigating through with more joy and less stress.
This isn't uncharted territory for me. In my recent blog post, How Can You Use Your Mindset to Overcome Chronic Illness Hurdles? I dove into how the Hurdle2Hope Roadmap I created for me (and for you) is much more than random thoughts – it's a lifeline filled with practical insights. These insights have been crucial in managing the challenges of chronic illness, including the stress that comes with the end of the year.
This blog series is dedicated to exploring each pillar of the Hurdle2Hope® Roadmap, especially in the context of the festive period stress. So, let's dive into Step 1, focusing on how to create an environment that empowers you to harness your strength and confidently navigate the upcoming days and weeks.
Hurdle2Hope® Roadmap: Harness your Strength
When facing stress about an upcoming event, like this holiday season, imagine yourself at the starting line. This is where Harness Your Strength, the first crucial step in your Hurdle2Hope® journey, comes into play.
This step revolves around creating the right environment – one that enables you to tap into and utilise your inherent strengths, and perhaps even discover new ones.
How do you harness these strengths in the midst of a stressful situation? As I’ve discovered, the key is creating an environment that enables you to look after yourself emotionally and physically.
3 Tips to Help You Harness Your Strength With Chronic Illness
I want to share three tips with you that will help create the right environment to harness your inner strength, especially during the holiday season. These tips are about cultivating a space that nurtures both your emotional and physical wellbeing, enabling you to draw upon the strengths you already possess. Let's dive into these strategies because by choosing to read this, you've shown that you are ready to harness your strength
🎄Stay in the moment:
Avoid getting overwhelmed by future worries or concerns. Instead, bring your focus back to the present. Engage in activities that ground you in the here and now, like mindful breathing or gentle walks. Redirect your thoughts to what you can control today. This present-focused approach can significantly reduce anxiety and help you manage your energy effectively.
🎄Focus on immediate tasks:
Ease the sense of overwhelm by dividing your tasks into 'immediate' and 'future' categories. This strategy, detailed in the FREE guide, helps you conserve your energy by focusing only on the essential tasks at hand. Leave the rest for later.
Prioritising in this manner not only helps manage your energy but also reduces stress significantly and instantly.
🎄Visualise a joy-filled festive season:
Instead of focusing on all your worries try picturing yourself laughing and sharing moments with friends and family, feeling energised and fulfilled. Embracing this positive visualisation can transform your emotional outlook, allowing you to look forward to social events with excitement and joy. Get excited about the possibilities – this can be a truly wonderful time of the year!
Adopting these strategies can transform your approach to the holiday season, allowing you to embrace each moment with strength and positivity, despite the challenges of chronic illness.
This blog delves into using mindset strategies to navigate the stress of the holiday season when living with chronic illness. By creating the right environment, you can tap into your inner strength.
Key approaches include:
- Staying present to manage immediate concerns
- Focusing on immediate tasks to reduce overwhelm
- Visualising a joy-filled festive season to create less worry and more excitement
These strategies aim to transform the holiday experience into one of greater joy and less stress. For even more mindset insights download the Dealing with Holiday Season STRESS: It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3! Fill in your details below ❤️🧡💚