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Posted Nov 27 2009 10:04pm

The holidays bring many types of emotions to the surface – for PWP and those who are not suffering with Parkinson’s Disease.  For those of us who are responsible for planning and cooking meals, preparing our home for visitors, and expending our energy units to purchase gifts, wrap them and mail them, the holidays can seem like a monster waiting to lurch.

So, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for PWP and non Parkinson’s people too.  These suggestions are some of the things I’ve learned over the years to help de-stress in holiday planning and preparation.

1.  ALLOW others to help out.  This may mean that you ask them to bring a dish to the holiday meal or assist in the preparation.  In the fervor to prepare a great holiday meal, we actually place ourselves in the position of being completely exhausted – and unable to enjoy the company of those we love.

2.  IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!  We only have “x” number of energy units allotted to us each day.  The holidays are time to enjoy the company of the people we love.  Don’t burn up all of your energy units on preparations that don’t really matter.  Leave enough of your energy units so that you can actually ENJOY your visitors.  Besides, those who love you will still love you with dust on the furniture!

3.  IF YOU TRAVEL, be sure to take snacks and a water bottle with you.  If you are flying, those airport delays and runway delays may leave you without food to take with your medicine.  Common sense tells us to “be prepared” – but sometimes we forget that we need to plan for the unexpected!  Even if you travel by car or bus, prepare for the unexpected so that you will be able to take your meds without interruption.

4.  GET SOME REST!  Yes, this is me talking to myself!  When I’m with my family I don’t want to miss a minute of being with them.  I rise early to be with the kiddos, and will try to stay up late to be with the adults.  Do what is in YOUR best interest – and get the rest you need.  Your rest is critical to having a good attitude, being attentive and having some normalcy in your routine.

5.  BREATHE!  So many times when stressed, in a hurry or just trying to maneuver through the day I find myself holding my breath!  Be sure to remember to breathe deeply.  Take a minute to close your eyes, breathe deeply into your diaphragm and exhale through your mouth.  Do this 5-6 times and keep your shoulders down, chin level to the ground  with your head held high.  You’ll be surprised how this helps you to relax, get the oxygen to your brain and de-stress you in just a few minutes.

Enjoy your holidays – and remember – it’s only another day out of 365 this year, but it’s a time to fellowship with those we love and rejoice in the blessings we have.


Posted in Being Hopeful, Happiness, Holidays Tagged: coping with the holidays, Holiday stress
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