I see this every year about this time of year. My patients come in complaining of headaches and muscle tension around the head and neck.
“I don’t know where these headaches are coming from,” they say, all the while rubbing their neck.
I call it pre-Christmas syndrome. ‘Tis the time of year we entertain, eat, drink and be merry.
We travel, we visit and we stay up late. We are bombarded by sales, the perfect gift, celebrating, long hours and falling out of our normal daily routines.
The headaches and tension are there for a reason. Listen closely to yourself and you will see why your body is protesting to you. It is telling you something.
But, in the back of my head I can hear that faint voice echoing what I said last year: “Next year is going to be different. I will spend more time with those I love and allow more time to relax. I will eat less junk and not wake feeling delicate.”
I am not about bah-humbug. Not at all. I just don’t want to be making up in February for what I did in December.
Well, at least I will try.
The operative word here is ‘holiday.’ Allow some time off to recover from the hectic season and don’t wait until Dec. 26 to do it.
Read a book, go for a walk, write someone you love and tell them why you love them. Simply…allow time.
Engage in at least one snowball fight or two snow angels. When did snow become just something to shovel? Bake with your children and let them lick the spoon.
Make a gift for someone you love.
An automatic is this: if you drink, don’t drive. That ruins lives.
The critical error we make during holidays is that we allow ourselves to get fragmented and spread too thin over the season.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to people. Our tendency is to please everyone and we end up giving to our own detriment.
If you don’t want to do something because it just doesn’t appeal to you just say, “I am sorry, I can’t. I have a commitment already and I have to keep it.”
You are not lying; your commitment is to yourself. Just know your limits and respect yourself enough to not place yourself in debt this year, allocate your time to serve yourself and the ones you love.
Enjoy the season and give it some meaning, there is much to celebrate—so celebrate.
And please, have a Merry Christmas, one that you will not forget.
Markus Thiel is a doctor of chiropractic in Kelowna.