Pain Concern
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How to cope with Christmas Holidays

Well christmas is coming and it is a time of year I both look forward to and dread in equal measures. The run up is exhausting with preparations and shopping and also quite lonely as I feel unable to attend the usual social gatherings I did in the past.

I thought it would be a good idea to gather together peoples tips on how to survive this time of year, what do we do to make it easier? How do we cope with the isolation? how do we cope with being sociable and in pain?

My first tip is ....get your medication organised early so you know the med cupboard is stocked and there will be no emergency runs to the chemist.

My second learn to say what you can cope with....'I would love to come join you for an xmas drink but could we make it earlier and somewhere with easy access'

My third is do not get stressed there is an xmas every year so if you can't do it this time no worries.

What tips do others have?

11 Replies

I don't dare think. Am still in denial even though we have been practicing away in a manager at school.

I need to go to bed I am too knackered to be sensible.

See you tomorrow.

Night night

X. X


Dear nedd,

Do you work in a school and if you do how do you cope with the extra physical demands at this time of year?


Hello Nutty,

Good points.

After many Christmases under our belts there is really only one things to do.

Pacing yourself. Everything else slots in around that.

Do you really need to fill 2 trolleys with food at the supermarket>? Every year trying to find suitable presents for assorted family who probably neither need nor like what you buy? All too much stress.

David is putting the tree up. Something he does every year and every year it takes him longer. But he does it and I encourage him. But the time we have driven out to the nursery, I've brought it in and potted it it takes a week.

As you say - you have to decide which it any functions or parties you can manage. In out case it is family dos. As I don't drive we can only go if he feels well enough and that is not possible to plan ahead.

Ay the risk of sounding like Scrooge - Christmas is far too too commercial and prefer the simple approach. Preferaby someone else doing the cooking too!

Do listen to your own body and do what you do all year - pave yourself.

Please spare a thought too for carers out there. Lots of extra work for them.

Pat x


My mum came up with a good one, frozen veg is far more sociable can be bought in advance and no one can tell the difference when it hits the table.

Thank you for your replies


Good afternoon from foggy Oxfordshire.

If I had the nerve I would follow a friends example.

She gets all guests to write a favourite ready meal from M S. All sorted bar pudds. And she orders what she likes.

As it is I immerse myself in all things Christmassy to get a fix of festive feeling. Energy allowing.

It could be going for a wander with whippet at night and seeing everyone's decks. Listening to holiday music. I go into a pit this time of year and find I need my fixes to infuse me with energy and focus.

I agree with Patton pacing is everything. But my pacing can be crawler gear if I am not careful. So I have lists. It helps me to brake things down and every tick is a step further up the mountain.

Re frozen veg. I have recently discover frozen runner beans. What a god send.


Hi from London, I usually buy a bit extra for several weeks in the run up to Christmas and store or freeze what I can. Today I made sausage rolls and froze them. Last year was still exhausting, so pacing yourself is a must, remember it's only a dinner after all. Looking at it like that brings puts it into perspective.


1) Ask visitors to bring a dish each for the meal, or just have what we call around here a "fuddle" - everyone brings something to eat for a buffet (if you're really organised you can tell people what to bring so that you don't end up with 20 plates of sausage rolls)

2) If you're having Christmas at your house then it is perfectly acceptable to go and have a quiet lie down. If you're at someone else's house it might be harder, but many people nod off on Christmas day & no one minds. It is not the law that everyone has to sit together in the same room ALL DAY - it's just not normal! Some alone-time is fine.

3) Plan what you're going to get from the shops before you go. Decide how long you can spend out shopping and don't deviate from your plan. Not unless you want an increase in shoulder pain. (Why do I not take my own advice?)

4) Do not buy a Christmas tree that you cannot carry for the same reason as (3) above. (Now this time I did get it right).

5) Buy yourself a small treat. (Nice new socks this year). You've survived another year with pain, you deserve it!

6) Delegate tasks. If you have children who are slightly older tell them that if they need cards / presents for friends / a special packed lunch for a party etc that they must tell you / help or they won't get it!

7) It is Christmas, it is not life-and-death if there's no cranberry sauce or you don't send out cards ( I often fail miserably on both and no one has suffered as a result). It's often our desire to meet others' expectations that makes it so demanding. I don't have any tips for dealing with this thorny problem, but...

...repeat after me, "I will not get stressed, I will not get stressed, I will not get stressed..." Breathe.

1 like

my friend and her family have a secret santa, but you have to supply a fiver with a choice of five things your santa can choose from - everyone gets a surprise, something they both want and like.


you can also give "gift cards" e.g I will babysit, or I will wash your car, or I will come shopping & not moan!


Social isolation means you have nobody to invite over or visit, so you would not be saying I would love to come but. When you have nobody at all to see or visit then you are socially isolated.


I don't do stress anymore been there done that not worth the effort of pain of being stressed at Christmas so I just let it flow the way I want it too it's Only one day I know it's very special is too me last year in much pain did the cakes and puddings in October doing my first pudding next week got the ingredients today online will do the cake the week after was painful last year making it but was worth it plan ahead ex chef lol


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