I finished my Christmas shopping. Like most people with a chronic illness I did most of my shopping online but I also did some around town. I avoid large shopping malls as I tend to find that exceptionally draining. Just the walking, commute and the crowds is a bit much for me. But I can hit a few shops in town without problems.

It is the season of stress!

If you do not do the online shopping then remember to take a lot of breaks!  And you do not have to do it all in one day. It is always better to go with a list and just go in and out. Know what you are going for so you do not have to linger.

I know this time of year can be pretty stressful for people. And I like to say to try and keep it simple but that can be difficult. I know a lot of people like to do the big family dinners for Christmas. But there are options there. You can do a lunch instead and do platters and cold cuts. You can do a pot luck dinner and have everyone bring dishes... that is always a fun one to do and a lot easier for a host. Or someone else can host and you can go over There! Or you can all go out for dinner, that is always nice.

There are also a lot of social obligations this time of year... for those who are not hermits that is. I do not have that many on my plate, which is how I like it. But some people can have quite the load. Remember it is fine to say no to some things. Especially if they require travel and you know that it will exhaust you too much... and you might have to work the next day. Some things take more energy than others. We can choose some over others. We don't have to accept every thing that comes our way. Even when I was working there were some work obligations I would say yes to... like helping with the Santa Claus parade and then others I would say no to, because I had said yes to one and felt like I was all good on that front. I only have so much extra energy and no one is going to guilt me into using it on every little thing that comes up. However, there are those things I really do want to engage in. Like my spouses Christmas party. In which case, I will go and ensure I have all my medications on hand to do so. I will go even if I do not feel like going and even if it is not a good day to go because I do not want to disappoint my spouse but the fact is, I want to go, so I hope it is a good day.

Winter is not always kind to us in general. It is a busy season and it can be stressful. The fact is we actually should be taking it easy and not be taking on more stress. Therefore we really should take care to ensure what we choose to do and how we do it is enjoyable and not stressful during the holidays. Not too much activity and just right for us.

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