It’s been a big year for me, and 2020 is poised to be even bigger. My coaching program starts in January, and I want to be in the best possible health for my new clients. I can’t help them to thrive while living with endometriosis if my shenanigans at Christmas leave me unwell or in pain.
Thankfully, I’ve spent the past five years understanding my triggers and what nourishes my body, so I have a plan to help me enjoy the festivities while recharging for the year ahead. While I will be replacing inflammatory foods with delicious anti-inflammatory alternatives, my No. 1 priority for next year is rest.
The last break I had was three days in Budapest in January with my boyfriend. We came home at 2 a.m. to a flooded flat, and any tension we’d said goodbye to on our trip ramped straight up.
It’s been one of those years when I’ve had to work really hard to achieve something, and writing a book has meant seven days a week most of the year. I wouldn’t recommend it, but sometimes our dreams take a lot of work. I took care of myself with exercise, good food, meditation, and as much sleep as my painful bladder would allow.
But I don’t plan to be deficient in rest moving forward. I’m kicking off this intention with a — not-so-surprising — surprise short trip to Scotland that my boyfriend booked for me. After that, I plan to slow my pace before wrapping things up with work as early as possible for Christmas and taking the rest of the year off.
I get that not everyone can do that — and being self-employed, I might find myself in a situation where I still have to finish off some projects.
I’m also focusing on getting good quality sleep. I’ve shared previously that I’ve been working on improving my sleep. It hasn’t been easy, as writing a book has meant I’ve spent many evenings on my laptop, and my painful bladder syndrome has also gotten in the way. But particular things have helped me to have a more restful night, and the difference in my well-being and energy levels have been phenomenal when I do get enough quality sleep.
I’ll be making sure that I wind down two hours before bedtime and stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule. Does that sound crazy? Maybe a little, but sleep expert Matthew Walker recommends going to bed and waking up at the same time to ensure good quality sleep. I’d rather seem boring to the outside world and be well than be exciting while just scraping by.
So what about late-night festivities? Sure, I’ll attend some events, but I’m not much of a party girl. I try to arrange my social life around nourishing activities like catching up over meals, going for walks, trips to the cinema, meeting friends for coffee, and attending workshops and classes. Most of my Christmas socials will take place during the day, and I’ll have only a few small evening events, which I may leave early.
Then again, my plans might not be for you. And that’s fine. We have different lives and interests. My friendship group isn’t into partying much anymore, so this works for me. Additionally, my priority is to move into 2020 feeling as well as I can. If I want to achieve this, then I need to give my body the rest it’s craving after a long and challenging year.
Your priorities might be to enjoy the festive season as much as possible and not let endometriosis hold you back from having fun. How you plan your Christmas, and what you need to do to look after yourself and nurture your values, could be entirely different than mine — and that is fine.
The final way I’ll be resting is by feeding my soul with books on baking and cooking, gentle walks, relaxing yoga classes, and a little self-care.
Do you have any tips for resting well? Please share in the comments below.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.