Nickie Coby (puppybraille) wrote,
Nickie Coby

Surviving the Holidays

Many of you on
know that I'm not having an easy time this season.

First I sprained my ankle two days before Thanksgiving. As if that weren't bad enough, it's been slow to heal. Then I resprained it on Thursday, two days before Christmas. Anyone noticing the pattern here? Then I started to feel let down after my trial stimulator was taken out. It's extremely hard to go from 90% pain relief to 100% pain. And finally there's the rushing around, feverishly workingon beaded creations to give as gifts.

And for some reason, I felt very isolated. At many gatherings, the topics being discussed are ones I can't relate too. Then there's the anxiety of what people will think of the gifts I gave them. And finally I haven't really seen my friends much and that makes it hard. In short, I was frazzled,depressed, lonely and anxious. Not very much of a Christmas spirit.

So what did I do to turn that around and find time to cope with my pain and other symptoms? I found several things helpful.

Quiet Time

When my pain got to high from my foot dangling down, I went to rest. I used whatever distress tolerance skills during the laying down part and other times, but we'll talk about that later. If it all got to be too much I excused myself. I was fortunate enough to be with family and friends and on Christmas Eve and some of Christmas day, I just took that time out. It helped me a lot!

Using Distress tolerance skills and mindfulness

There are things in life that you can't control. For me at Christmas, spraining my ankle certainly didn't add to cheerful excitement. And, as I mentioned previously, i was in a lot of pain. I also had to deal with stress surrounding my handmaid presents. I couldn't change those things, so I had to use what are known as distress tolerance skills. Basically they're things that will make youfeel better when you're uncomfortable or emotionally uncomfortable.

I used many skills, mostly distraction and relaxation, to help myself tolerate the distress of any situation. My goal was to find comforting escapes which were healthy.

Social Butterfly?

While resting was important, talking to friends proved to be hugely helpful. It kept me from getting too antsy.


I found that keeping my mind in the here and now makes a difference.

Knowing where your Tools Are

Finally, it was important to know where my comforting tools were. In other words, what was in my toolbox.
Tags: chronic illness, chronic pain, coping skills, tool box

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