This might be a more stressful holiday season than normal, or maybe not, it really depends on you. We can control some of our stress though and it's important to do that so our physical symptoms of chronic illness don't get out of control!
In this episode we talk about:
Welcome to the chronically living and how to make the most of it podcast. I'm Kelsey Harris, a chronic pain warrior here to inspire hope and strength to the spoony community, get ready to lift each other up and find ways to live the best life possible. Hi, everyone. Thanks for tuning in again this week, just gonna be a short, quick episode holiday, I guess episode. This week, I'm literally moving across the country on the day This episode is coming out. And I'm still packing and getting ready as I record this. If you're wondering why I would do something like move in the middle of a pandemic in December. It's because I have a placement for school in another province. I'm both very excited and a little nervous to start practicing as a student therapist. But that is the reason for my move. So for this episode, I thought I'd just touch on stress, a few reasons. So first moving is very stressful. Another great reason is that pandemics are very stressful. And having a chronic illness is stressful. And many people find the holiday stressful you know, and perhaps not having you know, a quote unquote normal holiday, where you can see family, as usual, may make it more or less stressful for you depending on on who you are, and your relationships with your family and all of that as well. And for many of us spoonies. As you guys know, stress can make physical symptoms worse, darn Mind Body connection, right? I thought we, we could just touch a little bit on some ways to maybe minimize your stress over the next few weeks. So for me, a great way to minimize stress is just to take a moment to relax. I find it very important and helpful. And that can be many, many ways. You know from going to massage which is health care related, so still counts, apparently during a lockdown. But much easier if you don't want to leave your house. For me that usually looks like a meditation or mindfulness practice. I tried to do about 15 minutes, but even doing five minutes can really help regulate your body and calm your mind. And just keep your nervous system you know, flowing nicely. I progressive muscle relaxation is another technique you can use. You can find any of these through like meditation apps on YouTube, there's tons of meditations and progressive muscle relaxation is on there. I also offer a few on my blog, which is janeversuspain.com. So if you want to check that out, it's also an option. Another good way to relax is to try to find some some of the positive even when you're overwhelmed. You know what is going well for you? What are you thankful for? There's always at least one thing that you know, you can probably name even if it's small. Now's a great time to do some self care. Especially if you're doing something that you really love to do. That could be taking a bubble bath, going for a walk, maybe doing some baking holiday baking. Another thing I really recommend doing is connecting with family and friends online since we're not really supposed to do it in person this year. I do, I'm going to be totally honest and point out that I am going to my parents house for two weeks, kind of before I finished my full move, um, I will be staying inside. And according to regulations as a single person, you are allowed to join another household for the holidays, so it just kind of makes sense for me to join them. I'm definitely being cautious because they are a bit older and I definitely don't want you know for me to get sick or for them to get sick. But and you know, I'm going to take every necessary precaution that I can. But that is the plan. However, for all my other family members, and my friends, many of them are in Ontario right now which I will be leaving, I will be connecting with them via FaceTime, zoom, you know, whatever other app we decide to use. I use house party with a friend. And to be honest, that's mostly what I've been doing for the past nine months. There have been a few small exceptions. I have one friend here who was in my bubble. And another one that I kind of in my bubble as well but that's it like everybody else has been Online only. So anyway, my long winded point is that socially connecting can actually help us relax and not feel overwhelmed. It's really good and important for your your mental health to connect with other people. However, if connecting with certain people actually makes you more stressed than I would say, probably minimize your interactions with them. At the end of the day, we are in control, even when it feels like we're not in control. Stress is natural, but it's not permanent. And I really want you guys to take good care of yourselves this holiday season. My quote this week is from Khalil Gibran, who says our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it. So my view is this. We can control some things, but not everything. We should take one day at a time. Make the it's important to make the best choices that you can based on what you know, keep yourself safe, do things that make you yourself happy. It's totally normal to stress and worry about the future. We all do it. But we can learn ways to let go of that worry. Like the ones I just talked about. Okay, so now I'm gonna sing you a little Christmas song goes like this. I don't wanna love for Christmas, there is just one thing I need. I don't care about the presence underneath the Christmas tree. I just want some reviews. If you could hop on iTunes, Make my wish come true. All I want for Christmas is reviews. Guys, if you like the show, please help me out and make sure it reaches more people hop on iTunes and submit a rating and a review because it's really gonna help the show my whole goal with this podcast is just to help other people come up with adaptive ways to deal with chronic illness and to share their stories and to kind of improve our all of our overall lives. And the more people that can find the show them, the more people it's going to help. I'm going to read one review that I do have. It's from knight who says interesting to hear the viewpoint of the human condition from a naturopath. Thank you for taking the time for the review and the reading. I really appreciate that. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview with Dr. Alex. I definitely want to bring more perspectives from professionals and from spoonies on here in the new year. Looking forward to that. And anyone who sends in a review, we'll definitely get a shout out on air as well. I hope everyone has a lovely holiday season and remember, keep making the most of it. Thank you so much for joining me today on the chronically living podcast. If you love this week's podcast, please subscribe, rate and leave a review. Until next week, stay strong