Seasonal Survival : Coping At Christmas Time

It’s official. There’s only 14 days until Christmas, and you’re probably either loving it or hating it. This time of year can come with a lot of stress, responsibilities, pressures and things to do on top of all the usual stuff. It can be an emotional and physically draining time, so it’s extra important to look after yourself when dealing with a chronic/invisible illness at Christmas. Here are just a few basic tips to keep in mind.

Pace Yourself

Listen to your body rather than to expectations, plans and the clock. Get an idea of what needs to be done by all means, but split projects and tasks down into manageable chunks so that you’re not overdoing things and suffering as a result afterwards.

One pitfall many fall into is doing too much because they feel a bit better. If you’re having a half decent health day, you want to do more so you push yourself. This seems logical, but the problem is you often end up paying for in the day(s) after. Take regular rest breaks and try to strike a balance each day by weighing up what you can realistically manage, and what you may suffer for the next day.


This means proper, total rest. No thinking (especially no overthinking) or stressing. No effortful action, which includes reading and writing. Rest is peace from activity for your brain and body. Listen to calming music (Enya, anyone?), meditate, practice mindfulness, take a gloriously bubbly bath, get a massage. Clear your mind and indulge your senses with some scented body lotions, hand creams and candles.

Focus On Fun

Remember the kid you used to be, the kid that’s still there inside you, even if he/she is hibernating? It’s easier said than done, by try to take a step back… It’s easy to see the sense of joy and lack of stress and worries when you look at kids and even pets when they can enjoy the simple, small things. Let your hair down and laugh a little every day because fun and laughter really are the best medications sometimes.

Schedule Enjoyment

As part of the above, make time to do the things you want to do. Say yes to some “me” time that makes you laugh, smile or simply relaxes you. Crosswords, cinema, coffee with a friend, board games, snuggling up with Netflix or a good book.

Fresh Air & Exercise

Never underestimate the power of a little walking, even if your Facebook feed is filled with people mapping their 20 mile early morning run or masochistic spin sessions at the gym. A little exercise can improve your physical health, mental health and mood. It’s also good for a break to get some perspective and clear your mind of the clutter.


Don’t try to take on everything by yourself. If you start to feel overwhelmed, you’ll end up in a cycle of stress, illness and burnout. Try to delegate where you can, ask for help and prioritise (because despite how you may feel, some things can wait until another day).

Get Organised

If your memory is anything like mine these days, reminders are essential. I keep the sticky note factory in business. To-do lists in bullet point format are also really handy for keeping on top of things.

Make a list, prioritising what needs to be done that day, and what ‘could’ be done; don’t worry if you don’t get everything ticked off, those less important or urgent things can wait. It can be hard to prioritise when you feel time pressure, but looking at a calendar and working out what could be done and when should help.

Lists and reminders will give you a degree of control and focus back, help stop things from being forgotten, and hopefully quell a little anxiety on the run-up to Christmas.

Streamline & Focus

We all know how quickly Christmas seems to come and go. Christmas also has a way of making many of us feel lonely, like we’re missing out, or sad when we reflect on the past year and our futures. It additionally puts a lot of pressure on expectations, what we ‘should’ be doing at this time of year. Then there’s pressure on gifting, finances, and being a good host or guest when we may not feel up to it.  Look at the bigger picture. Remove the unnecessary baggage, stress and expectations. What’s important to you? What matters in your life? How do you want your Christmas to be?

Keep On Top Of Your Health

Don’t let medication, healthy habits and appointments slide. If you may be in need of a new or repeat prescription, check it now and get it ordered. If you’ve got a niggling health concern or are still waiting on test results or appointments, make those calls to chase things up and get checked out. It’s better to get these things sorted now rather than leave them until the last minute or spend Christmas wondering and worrying about them.

Anticipate Potential Problems

Think ahead and consider the possible pitfalls on the run-up to Christmas/New Year. This allows you to prepare yourself with some just-in-case solutions and gives you back a sense of control. However, still go forward with a positive and hopeful mindset, hoping for the best for the upcoming weeks.

Talk It Out

Whether it’s emotional, financial or anything else big or small that’s affecting you, please reach out and talk if you need or want to. Online support groups, friends, family, your GP, Samaritans… Just know that you’re not alone.

Caz  ♥




  1. December 11, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    happy time and family Christmas I wish you !!!!! stress frei !!!!!!!!!(*L*)

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 15, 2017 / 9:39 am

      Aw thank you! Wishing you the best for stress-free, happy, healthy Christmas holidays too! 🙂

      • December 15, 2017 / 1:01 pm

        ?Thank you very much, your answer has pleased me very much, you too and your family. a healthy and happy christmas holiday?

      • December 15, 2017 / 1:04 pm

        ?Thank you very much, your answer has pleased me very much, you too and your family. a healthy and happy christmas holiday.

  2. December 11, 2017 / 11:37 pm

    Excellent advice for all seasons 🙂

  3. December 11, 2017 / 11:54 pm

    This is a great post Caz! Thanks so much for sharing some great tips, not only for those of us who live with chronic illness, but for anyone.

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 14, 2017 / 4:55 pm

      Thanks Terri – I’m glad you liked the post and hope some of the tips can be used to make your Christmas season a little more manageable and enjoyable 🙂

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 15, 2017 / 9:39 am

      If only we could learn to take our own advice… Wishing you a lovely Christmas holiday that’s as stress-free as possible my lovely! x

  4. December 12, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    Great advice here 😀 You can’t enjoy Christmas if you’re too stressed.

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 14, 2017 / 4:55 pm

      Yep, stress is a sure-fire killer of enjoyment! x

  5. December 12, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    This holiday season, I’m trying to practice hiding under a heating blanket ;):) BUT seems everything, and one keeps trying to drag me out hahaha 😉

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 14, 2017 / 4:57 pm

      I think hiding under a heated blanket like a great plan – though perhaps you need a fortress to keep you away from those trying to ruin your hibernation!! 🙂

  6. December 13, 2017 / 12:11 am

    Great post with lots of good points for everyone. It can be stressful which takes the fun out of it. Scheduling fun is very good

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 13, 2017 / 6:41 am

      I’m glad you liked the post, and I definitely think we all need to schedule a little fun! Thanks for reading & stopping by to comment 🙂

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 13, 2017 / 6:42 am

      I’m glad you found it useful – thanks for reading! x

  7. December 13, 2017 / 10:10 pm

    These are such fab tips, Caz! I find a brisk walk really helps when I’m feeling a bit sluggish or down in the dumps – there’s something about a bit of fresh air that really lifts my mood. I’m another person who keeps those sticky-note manufacturers in business – you can’t beat a good ol’ Post-it note reminder 🙂

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 14, 2017 / 4:57 pm

      Good to hear you’re a fellow sticky-note supporter! 🙂

  8. December 13, 2017 / 11:28 pm

    Such a good list Caz, and lots of things that I definitely need to remind myself to do. It is so easy just to ‘keep going’, it is easy to lose sight of the need to keep on top of caring for yourself. And great idea for scheduling fun in 🙂 xx

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 14, 2017 / 5:00 pm

      I totally agree; sometimes I think we all need reminders about pacing and caring for yourself, then another reminder about the reminder…! xx

  9. December 14, 2017 / 10:44 pm

    excellent post – wishing you & yours peace & joy 🙂

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 15, 2017 / 9:41 am

      Thank you – I hope you have a lovely, healthy, happy & stress-free (if possible!) Christmas holiday 🙂

  10. December 14, 2017 / 11:47 pm

    These are great. And really, it is a great coping at ANY TIME kind of list. 🙂

  11. December 15, 2017 / 4:27 am

    Awesome advice! Taking care of yourself during all the hustle and bustle of Christmas is crucial! <3

  12. The Daisy Pages
    December 15, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    I love this’s so important to take time out and to really look after yourself, especially in the holiday season when things can sometimes get out of hand x

  13. December 16, 2017 / 3:19 am

    i love this. thank you for your words. be kind to yourself, and i will hold your words close to my heart. they are so true. ?

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 16, 2017 / 3:41 pm

      Definitely keep hold of those words, they’re important. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, and I’m glad you liked the post. I’ve started following you so I can read more about your journey too 🙂
      Take care xx

      • December 16, 2017 / 3:49 pm

        thank you friend. much love and appreciation ?

  14. December 16, 2017 / 5:28 am

    I nominated you for the Unique Blogger Award.

  15. December 16, 2017 / 7:55 am

    Delegate for sure. I’m the worst possible perfectionist and always think I can do it better, esp. when it comes to my kid. Deep down, I know I’m wrong. That’s why I’m often exhausted.

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 16, 2017 / 8:37 am

      That sounds quite normal, you want to do your best and you keep pushing yourself even when you’re getting burnt out. I guess in the long run it’s not helpful for you, or your kid when you’re worn out, but knowing perfectionism isn’t helpful doesn’t make it any easier to turn it off or delegate a little more. Worth thinking about though… perhaps another NY resolution? 🙂

  16. December 16, 2017 / 7:59 am

    Great tips and advice here, relevant for all seasons.

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 16, 2017 / 8:35 am

      Thank you, I’m glad you found it relevant 🙂

  17. Emma (Not Just Tired)
    December 16, 2017 / 10:21 am

    Really great tips. So important to pace yourself and rest at this time of year. Agree it’s important to have fun too though and keep things lighthearted! Wishing you a very happy Christmas xx

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 16, 2017 / 3:40 pm

      Definitely – now we just need to take our own advice! Thank you for taking the time to comment Emma – Merry Christmas to you too! 🙂 x

  18. December 17, 2017 / 1:12 pm

    As much as you give solid advice that is good for those who have others to catch them if they fall. I am totally and completely alone and will be for the holidays with my cat Sid. My husband passed away in August and no this will not be a jolly time and I cannot make it jolly. What I will do is reason with myself as I usually do to keep the sanity, watch Christmas movies, remember to feed my self and I have provided some packages for myself to open on Christmas eve. I cannot do better than that and I have a feeling that from now on I will look upon Christmas as a time of blessings and Christ’s birthday and not a time of ho, ho, ho and such joy because the rest of my life I will be on my own so I am just saying that not all advice works for everyone and certainly not for someone like me who is facing a complete and different life in the New Year. Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas.

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 17, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Rasma, thank you for taking the time to write this. I am sorry if that’s the impression I gave, and I’m the first to say that advice/suggestions/opinions never apply to everyone. We are all incredibly different, as are our situations. You have obviously been through some incredibly tough times, and I’m incredibly sorry for your loss and the loneliness, the sadness you will obviously feel. I find many days where waking up, being a part of the world, is incredibly difficult. Finding fun, as per the post, is therefore often something unimaginable. These suggestions are just ‘generalised’ ones, and I in no way meant to cause upset. I do hope that you can find some comfort in your memories, and in the blessings of your life that can be hard to spot when feeling so alone. Please take care. Caz x

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 18, 2017 / 6:20 am

      Thank you! 🙂

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