Chronic pain

Yesterday, I decided to wrap all the gifts that were crowding my bedroom. Did I sit down at a table and wrap gifts? NOPE – stood for almost 5 hours and then had difficulty sleeping because of chronic pain. That was a dumb thing to do. This morning, I got up and started a list of what NOT to do this season, thus reducing my anxiety and my chronic pain.

  1. Be creative and find alternative ways to “get the job done”. I bought an iRobot Roomba and Braava on sale and now let them sweep and mop my kitchen floor. It is perfect for those multi-taskers – My floors get clean while I sit and work on another project and it saves my back.
  2. We have multiple celebrations at our house. In the past, I have done all the preparation and cooking for these BIG dinners. A few weeks ago, I realized that it really didn’t matter what we had for dinner, people just wanted to be together. AND…men love to BBQ AND turkey and prime rib is REALLY good prepared on the BBQ by my husband and son. I also got past my guests thinking I was being “bossy” and asked them to bring specific dishes to accompany turkey and prime rib ( I can do potatoes). And our family night with just our kids playing games and catching up- what else but Pizza!
  3. Don’t plan back-to-back celebrations – I need a day off in between to re-cooperate. If I can’t do that, I give myself permission to lie down for a few hours and take a break. Become an expert at power naps.
  4. Plan an “unwind” part of the evening celebration. Maybe it’s sharing family photos with a cup of tea, watching a holiday movie, but it is a time, where everyone in the house, starts to quiet down.
  5. Stick to my regular sleep schedule. Once my guests have started to unwind, it is much easier to slip out of the room at 10PM and head for bed.
  6. Prepare to stay healthy. With guests, comes runny noses and coughs. I can wash my hands over and over again, but it is hard to deny myself a snuggle with my grandchild. Consider adding honey to your hot drink if you feel a scratchy throat coming on. I am a firm believer in netti pots and use it often during the winter months as preventative as well as, if I fell like I am getting sick. I always have little bottles of hand sanitizer in my purse, on the counter, by the couch.
  7. Shop online…groceries, gifts, after holiday sales. It is so less stressful!
  8. Use holiday gift bags instead of wrapping paper – by the time you stuff the bag with decorative tissue paper, add festive ribbon, no one will ever realize using bags is easier on your hands then wrapping.
  9. Don’t forget to exercise every day. Seattle drizzle makes it hard to walk outside, but mall walking in the morning before all of the shoppers, works just as well.
  10. Hang up the Superwoman cape. I know you say that all the time, but I want you to actually do it! Remember the joy you get when you do for others? Let your friends and family experience that same joy by helping you.

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