By Barb Cole Smith
Support Group Leader,
Kalamazoo, MI ET Support Group
Holiday time is fast approaching. As I sit here contemplating the stress of the added responsibilities and work involved with Christmas time, and how that will increase my tremor level, I realize how much more productive I could be if I planned ahead. This leaves me more time to enjoy my family and friends, and the pleasure we could all have by being together, and less time to think about myself.
I could start by acknowledging that I brought some of this on myself and then think about how I can deal with things less stressfully. Rather than buying numerous gifts for all, buying just one gift, with a gift card attached might even be more appreciated. How much time could be saved!
Perhaps even a theme, with a different restaurant gift card for everyone. My hubby and I could enjoy dining out at the selected restaurants, after a busy day, to avoid meal preparation that evening. Meal preparation and eating brings up so many unpleasant things. I have discovered that since I need so much help with preparation, selecting one-dish meals or things that could be heated easily have seemed to be the best answer. Using bowls with rounded edges instead of plates, and eating with heavy soup spoons help a lot. What should I do when I get an invitation to dinner at a friend’s home and worry that something might be served that I simply can’t get to my mouth? I suggest that we meet at a local restaurant where I can select my meal. Always explaining why. ET is nothing to be ashamed of but merely my way of life.
In preparing for this date, I try and make sure I am well rested and am in a good frame of mind. Using relaxation techniques could be different for all of us. Mine seem to center around music, either listening to it or playing the piano. It’s amazing what a difference this makes.
In thinking about the next few weeks, I promise to not spend my time thinking about myself but thinking about those who mean so much to me and how I can show my appreciation to them. Most importantly, I hope to seek out and help some less fortunate than myself. I truly feel that I won’t be thinking so much about my tremors but soaking in the warmth I get from helping others.