Surviving the Holidays… Alone and Without Heat… And With Chronic Pain

Okay this could literally be three separate posts, but since this is what happened to me this Christmas, it’s going to be one. The Christmas (or whatever religion you celebrate) holidays can be a stressful time for anyone. And for those of us who fight chronic pain on a daily basis, we all know that stress can just make things worse. Cooking, cleaning, preparing to deal with our own families and our inlaws, if we have them. It can be a total mess. Putting our bodies into complete distress. How can we possibly survive?

IMG_0919Spike and I made each other warm on Christmas

The answer is mindfulness. Take a few moments whenever things get too crazy and do some deep breathing, or meditation. Start your day with yoga. Yes, your body is probably going to hurt, but remember, pain is perceived by the mind. Taking some time for yourself can be extremely helpful in times of stress.

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My holiday’s were stressful for different reasons. For one, I work in retail and live in a different province from my family, so I wasn’t able to see them for Christmas for the third year in a row. We’ll see what the future holds, and luckily I’m going to see them (in a warmer climate) in a month from now. But it’s still hard, and stressful, and lonely. On top of that, I live in the basement suite of a three story house (each floor is rented out separately). Our furnace stopped working on December 23. We’ve been using space heaters since and it’s dreadfully cold, especially in the basement. Now we have to evacuate the house as the hot water is also not working… Stress. My body is in turmoil, but again, I’ll make sure to practice a lot of mindfulness the next few days, and do some exercise as I stay at a hotel.

IMG_0922This is what I need tonight… We’ll see what the hotel situation brings…

Stay strong during times of stress, my chronic pain warriors. We are all in this together.