Chronic Illness, Pacing and Festive Times/Holidays


My perfectionist/achiever part always wanted me to make holiday times fabulous for my family.


Which I thought I managed for many years; good food (seasonally adjusted), any appropriate decorations around the house, party games, special cakes, friends and family invited round to join us, and us going to friends and family on a different day during the holiday time.

Then I became chronically ill.


By this time my son was living 40 miles away with some of his friends from university. He came here sometimes, I went there sometimes. Either way it was a struggle for me and upsetting for him to see.

So I learnt to prepare in advance as much as possible. Meals were planned, often made in advance and frozen. Any decorations became more minimal and were put up at least a week before he was due. I was still trying to hide from him how ill I was

While he was here I would frequently go to lie down and wait for my fatigue/malaise to pass. He always did a lot of the cooking, clearing up and dog walking when he was at home. But I felt a failure because I couldn’t create my idea of a perfect family time.


That was before I started the Gupta Program.


As I got better, my attitudes changed. I started cooking more casserole type dishes (vague inventions of my own where everything gets chopped up and thrown into the casserole dish then put into the oven on auto-time.) This gave me a break between food prep and food eating.


Between socializing I went to my room to do the Gupta techniques and to meditate, which helped pick me up again.

I stopped trying to make it all ‘perfect’, which actually made it better for all of us as I was relaxed!.


Party games were not included. Sometimes the odd online quiz was!

We limited how many friends came at any one time.


My son and our friends got used to my disappearing to my room, while they entertained each other.

When I visited him I was able to go into a different room away from the company and do my meditation. Or they all went out for a walk while I sat quietly in the house recouping my energy.


While I was chronically ill I found my way (with much help from the Gupta Program) of managing holiday times and festive occasions:

  • stopping any negative thoughts about what a failure I was because I wasn’t ‘perfect’;
  • pacing myself in order to get as much enjoyment as possible for myself and the company I was with;
  • singing to myself my healing song to stop the tensions which made my illness worse;
  • practising eye smiling to lift my heart/spirits away from thoughts of illness;
  • most of all, telling myself that everyone would rather I was relaxed than striving to be a domestic goddess or fascinating guest, and conking out because of it!

These past few years since my full recovery my whole life is more relaxed, and I’m fine with whatever happens at festive/holiday times when visiting or being visited.


Margaret Cory

Having been forced to stop working aged 53 due to CFS, I was later diagnosed with Fibromyalgia as well. (With the added challenges of hypersensitivity to chemicals, smells, various foodstuffs, bright light, noise, etc.)

10 years later I found the Gupta Program and started my recovery. Wanting to pay back some small part of what I owe the Gupta Program I later volunteered to be a moderator in the Facebook Gupta Forum.

2 thoughts on “Chronic Illness, Pacing and Festive Times/Holidays”

  1. Thanks Margaret, what a great article… I struggle with leaving my daughter to entertain herself (there’s just the two of us)…. Can’t seem to relax if there’s someone in the house. Like you, over the years I’ve learnt to be more laid back with Christmas…. This year we are having snacks for Christmas day and going out for a traditional meal on Boxing day. It’s nice to see how you and others have coped and are coping during celebration times. I think you’ve inspired me to start to batch cook again… Just chuck it all into a casserole dish and bung it in the oven. Thanks again Margaret, and Merry Christmas ? to you and yours xx ?

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