a Christmas tree decorated in ornaments showing a clock, two hearts, and no cookies

What We're Doing Differently This Christmas

We’re taking our own advice and slowing down this Christmas and New Year. As for a lot of people, 2020 has been a pretty crazy year. 2018 and 2019 were pretty crazy too, and they included an apartment destroying flood, violent neighbors, a car write-off, and a brief and ultimately terminal fight with cancer in our immediate family.

The holidays are rarely relaxing

Although the holiday seasons have not been quite so drama-filled, they are still busy. Like a lot of people, our families live in different places and they don’t really know each other very well, so each family has their own celebrations. In previous years, this meant driving back and forth across the south of England on a whistle stop tour of family members, dinners, and present giving. It’s always festive and fun, but by no means relaxing. We often get to the end of the Christmas period feeling exhausted and like it just passed us by in the blink of an eye.

How holiday stress can lead to endo flares

This tour of different houses also makes it harder for my partner to maintain an endo-friendly diet, and throws other endo management strategies, such as regular bedtimes and supplements, out the window. This often adds up to a particularly bad period of endo pain for her around the holidays.

This year is different

Well, this year we’re doing things differently. My partner is due to start her period on Christmas day, and those days leading up to it will be vital in managing the worst of her endo symptoms.

More on this topic

So this year, we’re slowing down and spending Christmas together. We’re still going to see our families before and probably after Christmas, but for a couple of days before and after, we’re going to slow down and enjoy it.

This means we’ll be able to rest as much as she needs to, we’ll be able to make an endo-friendly Christmas dinner and buy endo-friendly treats (and not be tempted by all the sugary goodness of the holidays!). And for the first time in our relationship, we’ll be able to spend Christmas eve, day and Boxing day together.

Taking time to rest

Having this time to rest a recuperate is important for my health and well-being. But more importantly, it allows my partner to feel stronger and manage her endo better. Stress has an effect on pain levels, hormonal imbalances, blood sugar levels – very real effects on the body that have real world consequences for people with endometriosis. Sometimes taking some time out, as we learned back in October on our trip to Scotland, is just as important as putting in place strict symptom management and pain reduction techniques. Sometimes it’s just better to do nothing.

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