December is a time filled with multiple emotions, resulting from all the expectations and activities that come. Everyone around us has their own expectations and we feel the expectations of others. This pressure can feel overwhelming!
A Chronic Voice has provided some great prompts to get us thinking about the month of December. December is one of my favorite months, too.
De-stressing is a word we to which we can all relate, because stress is sure to hit us at some point this month. Traveling, shopping, budget busting, crowds, and more all bring stress. We have to find our own personal fixes for stress.
When I’m stressed I need to rest more. With chronic illness comes severe fatigue and pain. If I don’t take tons of resting breaks, I will crash! My stress levels stay pretty low now that I’m older. I’ve learned to just not care about other people’s expectations. The only day that stresses me is Christmas Day, because I feel like I should have a big dinner with all the traditional dishes.
I have to battle my feelings of self-sufficiency and ask for help. I just can’t do everything. Getting help from others is a wonderful de-stressing technique for me.
Savoring the month of December is so important. As I try to make memories with my family, I need to savor each moment (good or bad). Appreciating the little things and being thankful for the moment is so helpful and important. They always say to stop and smell the roses. If I stay observant, there are roses everywhere.
Savoring the awesome smells, tastes, and feelings of December will bring happiness and joy. I love the smells of spicy candles, bread dough, and pine needles. The tastes of December are those rich flavors that make me happy. The tastes bring back memories of my grandmother’s cooking. Each grandmother had a different menu and specialty. Mmmm….wonderful memories.
Feelings of December are easy to savor. Childhood feelings of magic are still helping us to savor the new feelings. Though, I never forget the old feelings and how fun and special they made me feel.
Simplifying in December is probably the hardest thing for me. If a person gets sick enough, they will be forced to simplify their holiday. We have simplified our Christmas in a few ways. We cut back on how much we spent on the holiday. As we simplified our living expenses, we were also simplifying our space to decorate.
Resting in December is the most important thing I can and will do. I rest so much that those who don’t have chronic illness will probably think that I’m lazy. I rest so much that I often feel that I’m lazy, too. I am not lazy. My body demands rest. My body must rest more than people who are not chronically ill.
Resting is what I do when I can no longer stand up or even sit up. The requirement of rest prohibits me from attending all types of December activities: church, musical events, family reunions, and more.
As I participate in forced rest, I do my best to feel a part of this season. I watch church and musical performances on tv. I am easily pulled in to the tv that helps me to feel like I’m actually there. I know that sounds lame, but because I have no choice, it’s easier than it sounds.
Finalizing in December means to me that my shopping list is finished. I want to finalize my shopping and wrapping early in December. Then, I feel like I can truly relax and enjoy everything else that happens.
When you’re trying to finalize all the things on your To-Do List, the stress is high, but when it’s finalized the relief is great! I love to reach this point, so that I can pace myself and bake some cookies. My favorite part of Christmas is to be home with family and not have to fight the crowds.
The beauty of December brings me to celebrate the birth of my savior. His birth brings peace to the world and peace to my heart.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6