Although everyone faces some form of stress or another during the holidays, those of us in the neurodiversity community will probably notice the more difficult side of our wirings get worse over the holidays.
Of course, heightened stress levels combine with changes in the weather to weaken our immune systems, which can further worsen our problems, thus elevating stress levels even more. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle.
That’s why it’s so important to keep ourselves healthy throughout this time. Here are some of my go-to tricks.
Say No and Let It Go
We’re under constant pressure to spend money, give things we may not be able to afford to give and quite a few other things, this time of year. Whether it’s obnoxious commercials, pleas for help from charities or requests from family and friends, we can only spread ourselves so far.
There’s absolutely no shame in saying ‘no’ to any request, especially when you’re already feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. It’s natural to feel guilt when it’s a cause you believe in or someone you care for who makes the request, but you still need to take care of you first. It can be a very hard lesson to learn, but it’s an important one.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
We tend to be more vulnerable to infection when the air dries and gets cold. That’s why we need to make sure we get the rest we need, eat properly (most of the time) and get enough exercise. Don’t forget to wash your hands often, and cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
I know not everyone believes in vitamins, but I’ve noticed a distinct improvement in health and energy when I started taking vitamin D, fish oil and magnesium. Regardless of how you get your nutrition, it’s a good idea to stock up on those types of nutrients to help bolster your health.
On the topic of things like the flu shot, if you don’t want to get it for whatever reason, try not to feel guilty about it. I have an allergy to something in both the egg and non-egg preparations, so I refuse to get it, despite some downright aggressive scare tactics. I’d rather risk getting the flu instead of facing the certainty of a potentially life threatening reaction.
While we’re on the topic of allergies, if you or yours have indoor or food allergies, keep your emergency allergy kit handy.
Lean on Your Support System
Unfortunately, not all families are healthy to be around.
Sadly, abuse does happen, and many people are faced with spending time with their abusers this time of year. If you are in that situation, this is a great entry about how to cope by a young woman who’s faced more than her share of it.
There are so many issues surrounding the holidays and families. Holding the emotions in, however, can make it far worse. If you have friends to turn to as sounding boards, don’t be afraid to chat with them.
It’s okay to be sad this time of year, whether the events prompting the sadness happened recently or long ago.
Likewise, if you’re feeling strong enough, don’t be afraid to offer a shoulder and support to those who may need it. There are more ways to give than with physical gifts.
For anyone with SPD, or have kids with sensory disorders, quiet time is essential. It can be hard remembering that safe room or scheduled quiet time when you’re engaged in the holiday excitement.
Even those without SPD will benefit from a little down time. The more balanced you are, the easier the chaos is to handle.
By remembering to slow down, pay attention to our physical, mental and emotional needs, things like sensory melt downs, dyslexic problems and other neurologically based issues will be easier to handle when they crop up.
I’ve also written a few articles relating to natural remedies and overall health. Here are the links, if anyone’s interested –
How to Make an Herbal Tea to Aid Digestion – This one even has a somewhat awkward video in which I demonstrate how to brew loose leaf tea. (This is why I write and don’t do videos.)
The Best Cold Home Remedies – I can’t recommend the Apple Cider Vinegar/Honey remedy enough.
Catnip – Not Just For Felines – Outside of perhaps putting you to sleep, this tea has worked better for me than some over the counter meds.
Top 4 List of Spices and Herbs for Good Digestion – I’m a huge fan of ginger.
Stay safe and healthy, all!