It’s my annual malaise that I can count on like clockwork. Every year, at Christmastime, I get sick. Usually I make it until the week before Christmas and then I collapse with some pestilence that sends me right to bed for a few days.
It came a little early this year. And here’s the thing, I don’t get sick other than this one time of the year! And I know why.
It’s a combination of go-go-go mentality to get all the things done that are required for the season together with more nights out and less exercise. More parties, less sleep. More stress, less mindfulness. It all adds up to a compromised immune system that leaves me vulnerable to whatever bug-du-jour is lurking.
Struggling to Find Time for Self-Care & Mindfulness
My inner voice is saying “Take care of you first. Make sure to get your exercise in – it’s a priority! Use some moderation with food and alcohol at all the parties and gatherings crammed into these few short weeks!” – but it’s often hard to listen to that advice.
Heck, it’s hard to even hear it over the pressure of all that needs to be accomplished – shopping, wrapping and shipping, decorating, baking, hosting and attending holiday parties. I feel like Fred Flintstone with my little feet already going when they hit the ground in the morning.
At bedtime, the to-do list is never completely checked off and the next day’s list is just that much longer. It all adds up to a very physically, mentally and emotionally strained time of the year.
The self-imposed obligations debilitate my health and make me sick, literally.
So Why Can’t I Heed My Inner Voice?
What gives? You know the answer; my self-imposed holiday regimen is so ingrained that it is like Kevlar behavior – very hard to change.
I’ve been making Christmas happen for my family for 30 years and in a big way. We take Christmas very seriously, and no corner of my home goes undecorated: including a giant tree that requires umpteen trips up and down the ladder to get it decorated.
This year’s early bout of Christmas illness, however, has got me thinking; I have two choices, really.
1. I can scale down all that I feel I need to do, or
2. I can increase my energy and boost my immune system by moving and eating well.
Will I do either? I don’t know. Right now I can hardly lift my head and make it to the bathroom, but I can only hope that, in a few days when I’m feeling better, the volume will go up from the inner voice and I can stay happy and healthy until this insane season is over.