Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Blogmas #6 | Self Care at Christmas

Hey Spookies! It's the busiest time of the year for an awful lot of people, and it's so easy to get swept up in the excitement of Christmas, forget to take care of yourself, and end up burning out. Even more so if you have any kind of health problems. It's so important to keep on top of self care to make the best of the holiday season, so this post is a gentle reminder to not forget about yourself this Christmas.

Don't forget your meds //  It's so easy to get busy and forget all about your medication, but do your best not to! I'm awful at remembering to take my inhaler, and usually only realise I've forgotten to use it for several days when I go out in the cold and end up sounding like Ozzy Osbourne. Ditto having a busy day and nearly falling asleep without taking my before-bed pills. Set an alarm in your phone, nominate a friend or family member to remind you - do whatever it takes to stay on top of your medication! Remember to make sure you've got enough medication to last over Christmas, and to fill your prescription on time to get more if you don't. The last thing anyone wants is to feel awful over Christmas and be unable to access their medication. 

Don't take on too much // It seems like everyone is doing something Christmassy every day. You've been invited to a billion things, you've got shopping to do, you're busier than usual at work, everything is getting a bit chaotic and overwhelming. It's okay if you can't do everything! If it's all getting too much, cancel those plans and curl up on the couch with a Christmas film instead. There is always tomorrow.

It's okay to ask for help // At this time of year, it's definitely easy to feel like you're just bringing other people's festive cheer down by asking for help or needing to talk. You're not. It's the season of loving and giving, so those close to you should be more than willing to listen or help in any way they can. They'll want you to enjoy Christmas too! It's okay to need help. It's okay to not be okay, even at Christmas. Illness doesn't take a holiday, and those who love you will know that. If you really aren't keen on talking to your loved ones, but you are feeling overwhelmed, remember you can talk to your GP, or even Samaritains. Don't suffer in silence this holiday season. 

Stay warm! // It's so simple but so important. So many conditions can be exaserbated by the cold, but it's so easy to think 'oh I'm just nipping out' and not to wrap up enough. Have I remembered to wear gloves at all this year? No. Has the cold air made the eczema on my hands so bad they bleed? Yes. Have I forgotten to wear a scarf most of the time? Yes. Has my asthma been worse as a result? Yes. Keep yourself toasty to stay as healthy as possible. Forgetting your scarf can mean feeling worse for a few days, and it's not worth saving that extra minute before leaving! 

Treat yourself // It's the season of giving, but that doesn't mean you can't give to yourself. Treat yourself to some new soft pyjamas, or a day inside watching films, or a nice bubble bath filled with festive bath bombs. Whatever it is that helps you feel you, treat yourself to it without any guilt. You deserve it.

Tips for those who love someone ill over this festive season // Let them know you're there and still have time for them in the flurry of festivities. Offer to vist them and sprawl on the sofa with snacks, awful TV, and no pressure to 'entertain'. Make an effort to include them, and if they're not up to going out, take the festivity to them. If Christmas shopping is difficult for them, offer to help out or keep them company whilst they do theirs. Of course, everyone is different so the best thing you can do is ask what they need. There's a billion ways to offer support, but just being there makes a huge difference.

Of course, everyone is different, and so the ways we look after ourselves need to be too! I've just based these tips on what I need to remind myself of, and things I've noticed other friends with health conditions need a gentle reminder of too. What are your best self care tips for the festive season? Let me know!

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