Monday, November 30, 2015

Healing After the Holiday

My topic for today's post was supposed to be "How to Recover From a Holiday". In preparing to write said article, I attempted to read what others had written about this subject especially from those with a chronic illness's perspective. But either I am searching for this information in all the wrong places, or else there's not a great deal written that offers helpful strategies to recuperate from post holiday crashes, flares, black holes, train wrecks, or........well. If you have a chronic illness, you know exactly what I'm talking about here.

Most information out there related to this topic is directed towards avoiding said post holiday crash, flare, black hole, or train wreck. I would have to concede that avoiding the occurrence of these nasty events would be ideal. But I also think that some of the advice offered in this vein is rather difficult to follow for those of us who are like me: unrealistic, stubborn, and have a tendency to become so engrossed in the events of the day that any strategy or plan is immediately nixed. More specific to my usual mode -- in spite of energy saving plans, unexpected fatigue appears which results in stupidity which leads to stupid activities which compound the fatigue by astronomical multipliers.

Typical strategies for avoiding fatigue disasters usually include sound advice such as the use of pacing one's activities, planning and taking frequent rest periods, eating healthily, avoiding last minute stressful situations, and developing the ability to delegate, to refuse invitations, and to hone the just-say-no skill. All of which I have no capability to do effectively. So after all major holidays of the year, I crash, or flare, or drop into an energy black hole, or drive myself right into a health train wreck.

You'd think after a decade of dealing with this disease I'd know better.

In attempting to recover from the after effects of a holiday, at this point my strategy is simple: I sleep and whine. And, after a period of time which varies from holiday to holiday, I sense that I am finally crawling up out of the wreckage of a crash by assessing the level of my boredom and frustration. Initially in my flare, I don't want or care to do anything but stretch out horizontally in bed for an extended and cranky period of time. Then I progress to stretching out horizontally on my couch with eyelids cracked open just enough to crabbily watch mindless television programs and subsisting on leftover (and of dubious quality) pumpkin or pecan pie. After which I goober pie down my front and realization dawns that I have been wearing the same jammies for an indeterminate amount of time; which may or may not result in a clothing change. It is at that point when boredom and crankiness begin to dramatically increase. Interestingly, the levels of energy returned directly correlate with levels of boredom and crankiness. So that when even I can't stand to be around myself, my crabbiness forces the realization that I can and will do just about anything that gets me out of the house and into any other environment. At that point I usually realize that I'm on the mend. Most often this enlightening moment takes place during a brief shopping outing.

I wouldn't say that this is a particularly effective or enjoyable method of recuperation. There simply has to be a better way.

Do any of you have other strategies for energy renewal after a holiday crash and burn that don't include old pumpkin pie and days of crabbiness? Be a real pal, guys, and share, please? Christmas is coming........


Marion said...

If you find a better way, please let me know! I end up on the couch, eyes closed, listening to the radio (turned low) to mute the voice in my head telling me to get cher butt in gear. I do make an effort to get outside for a while and I drink lots of water. Does it help? Who knows? But at least I pretend it does.

Kathy said...

I love that moment when boredom increases.

AnnaDe said...

Thanks goodness I haven't had a fatigue disaster such as yours in a long while. Don't think I had any specific strategies then or now. However, just ran across a very interesting book. I haven't read it yet, but just a brief look makes me think it may have some answers: "How to live well with chronic pain and illness." The author, Toni Bernhard, has a chronic illness herself.

Unknown said...

I don't have any other strategies for getting over an energy melt down, but I've had some luck with preemptive resting. The day or two before traveling or a big get together I'll stay in bed, napping, listening to music and light internetting. It seems to help a bit