Holidays and Chronic Pain

Do you have to keep doing all the holiday traditions?

What is most important?

Is it your family? Is it your friends?  Buying presents? Wrapping presents? Stuffing stockings? Decorating? Cooking? Cleaning? Caring for the emotional health of everyone else?

Making sure that you are the Martha Stewart of the annual parties you host? Volunteering at the food bank? The annual festival of the trees? Putting up Christmas lights? Driving for hours to look at lights? Singing in the choir? Learning all the songs because the choir director decided you should sing all the carols in their original languages?

Getting up for midnight mass and making sure you and your children are all dressed in holiday finery? (Please equate this to the holiday you celebrate).

Are you exhausted???!!!???

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Are you trying to do all the same things with chronic pain? If you can continue the way you always have, keep it up. Distractions and doing the things that make you happy reduces aches and flares.

Did you notice last year that when you tried to keep up with your usual activities, that it took you months to recover? Is it worth it?

Do you know that others just want to be with you? Your loved ones will not care if your house looks perfect. In fact, you may find that by being less perfect, not only do you relax but others can relax.

Before this season truly begins, look at what you want to let go of and do it. If it is an annual event held at your house, suggest someone else hosts it. If no one does, it was time to let go of that tradition.

Create your self-care list

Promise that you will do one of these ideas daily.

  • Nap
  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Stretch
  • Walk
  • Meditate
  • Sit and stare at the world
  • Talk with a good friend
  • Play an instrument
  • Do a puzzle
  • Pet your animal

Make this your season of self-care with some fun activities intermixed.

You choose what you want to do.

Hugs and have a glorious peaceful season.

Gail Sinclair, MHt, CNC is a hypnotherapist who helps those living with chronic pain go from discomfort to thriving by using hypnosis, pain management tools and resources.

She is a Master Hypnotherapist, Nutritional Consultant, and a Reiki Master Teacher. She has over 20 years in healing work and is an international award-winning speaker.

Gail lives in Portland, OR with her delightful husband, son, and cat. She can be found cooking, knitting, writing, and figuring out new ways to thrive with Trigeminal, and Occipital Neuralgia.

You can reach her at

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