Tackling the Holidays
By Leslie L. McKee
It’s hard to believe that the holidays are already upon us. It’s my favorite time of the year, and it may be yours as well, but if you are someone who, like me, lives with chronic pain and illness, this time of year presents a whole new set of challenges that others may not face.
Holidays can be busy and stressful for anyone. Our to-do lists are jam-packed with activities such as shopping, planning menus, and hosting get-togethers. It’s a time for families and friends to celebrate. However, the holidays can also be a time for anxiety and increased pain to take over if we’re not careful.
I’d like to share a few tips to help you this holiday season. And while they are extremely important for people living with chronic pain and illness, these reminders can be beneficial to those without chronic pain and illness, too!
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that you can’t do it all by yourself. It’s okay to ask for help.
Here are three keys to remember: pace, prioritize, and delegate. This is a list of some ways to help you do just that.
· Create a schedule. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and planning a holiday celebration shouldn’t be either. And when you’re working on your schedule, be sure to build in a recovery day after the holiday, as well. Your body will need time to recuperate.
· Set realistic goals. Determine what truly needs to be done, keeping in mind that “less is more.” Then choose those items that only you can do and prioritize them. Slowly work on the things that you need to do, and delegate the rest to trusted friends or family members. In doing so, you may find that there are some things that aren’t truly essential and can be removed from your to-do list all together.
· Let go of the need for perfection. We all like things to go as smoothly as possible, but pushing ourselves to achieve an impossible quest isn’t helpful. In fact, it can increase your stress level and steal your joy, in general, not just during the holiday season.
· When possible, prep as much as you can in advance. Some items, such as cookies, can be made early and frozen, making things a lot easier than trying to do it all at the last minute.
· Order groceries and gifts online. This can save both time and money, as you’re less likely to grab those impulse buys.
· Use gift bags. You can find cute bags to fit each person on your shopping list, and you can save pain by not spending hours trying to get the wrapping paper on “just so.”
· Instead of hosting the event yourself, find a restaurant that is open for the holiday celebrations, and let them do the work for you.
· Set boundaries. Let others know when you are starting to feel overwhelmed. Your health comes first.
· Take rest breaks as needed. Trust me. Your body will thank you for it. Taking time to breathe will also allow you to enjoy the time with your loved ones vs. watching it fly by.
Why me? Is God punishing me? Is my faith not strong enough for God to heal me? How can I achieve my dreams? What’s my purpose?
If you’re someone living with a chronic illness or chronic pain, these are just a few of the questions you’ve likely asked on more than one occasion. You may feel overlooked or even resentful. You try to stay positive, but some days it’s hard. It’s natural to feel this way and grieve, but it’s still possible to have a hope-filled life. God has a purpose for the pain.
Christians aren’t immune from pain and illness, but we don’t have to go through it alone. Jesus promised that He would “never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV).
Millions of women suffering from chronic pain and illness want the reassurance they’re not alone. The devotions in HOPE Amid the Pain are written by a chronic pain warrior with over twenty-five years’ experience will point them to hope and encouragement. It’s possible to Hang On to Positive Expectations (HOPE) even amid the pain.
- Amazon Link for paperback copy of HOPE Amid the Pain: https://amzn.to/3Anl7SL
- Amazon Link for hardcover copy of HOPE Amid the Pain: https://amzn.to/3BVJ1Wd
- Amazon Link for Kindle copy of HOPE Amid the Pain: https://amzn.to/39fOlHl
- Barnes and Noble Link for paperback copy of HOPE Amid the Pain: https://bit.ly/3pecPKr
- Barnes and Noble Link for hardcover copy of HOPE Amid the Pain: https://bit.ly/3peuvW7
- Barnes and Noble Link for Nook copy of HOPE Amid the Pain: https://bit.ly/3vE7JZf
- Kobo Link for HOPE Amid the Pain: https://bit.ly/3lUeSkH
- Booktopia Link for HOPE Amid the Pain: https://bit.ly/3vpviVn
Social Media Links:
Amazon author page: https://amzn.to/3aXGTkU
(@leslielmckee on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter)
Leslie is an editor, author, and reviewer, but editing, writing, and reviewing are not merely jobs—they are her passions. Leslie is an avid reader with an eye for detail. Leslie has been a chronic pain warrior for more than twenty years, so she is familiar with the peaks and valleys associated with living with a chronic illness. She has felt God come alongside her through His Word and remind her that the battle is His and she’s not alone. Leslie is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and The Christian PEN. Her devotional journal (HOPE Amid The Pain: Hanging On to Positive Expectations When Battling Chronic Illness and Pain) was released on October 26, 2021, with Ambassador International. She has had devotionals published in Ellie Claire/Worthy Publishing compilation books, and she’s also published flash fiction stories. In her spare time, Leslie enjoys reading, playing piano, crocheting, spending time with family and friends (and her turtle!), and rooting for the NY Giants. You can find Leslie at www.leslielmckee.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @leslielmckee.
CFP: THANK YOU Leslie for this wonderful and encouraging post and for readers for coming by to visit us at the OWG blog! This looks like an amazing book and is on my self-gift list!
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