Dealing With The Challenges of Holidays When You Are Chronically Ill

Christmas, a very joyful period of the year for some of us, and for others more difficult...


It often touches deeper themes in ourselves, regardless of whether we have a warm circle of family and friends around us. For some of us, it is a time of reflection and honest conversations with family members. Some of us feel the pressure of social obligations and expectations and are challenged to feel that they are worthy of their own space. It is a time where eating healthy might seem impossible, see it as a self-forgiveness practice and allow yourself to enjoy all the different foods.


Whatever Christmas awakes in you, I'm asking everyone who has moments that they feel alone, left out, different, the difficult one, strange compared to healthy friends and family members, to zoom out. I want to remind you, you are part of a bigger community as well. This community are we, all men and women who endure(d) chronic illness or who are working with the leftovers of chronic illness. I know everyone is going through big shifts on all levels, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.


We, coaches, retrainers, FB monitors, Ashok and even people from the administrative and PR side of the programme, we are all connected, like a field. And because we don’t see each other live in person, doesn’t mean we are not part of it. For everyone who feels in ways left out, isolated, different, your sense of being part of something, might start here again. I’m proud to be part of a community that knows the depths of both sadness and happiness, who says yes to this transformational process. We are not weak or strange at all!!


So when it is Christmas, I’m asking you to consciously send a wish, a positive intention, a laughter or a warm heart to this field we all form. So the one of us who do not feel surrounded by family or friends know they are surrounded by our love and care. You only have to say ‘yes’ to receiving. In this unspoken, unseen way, we can be there for each other.

I wish you well.


Paulien Elzinga

Languages: Dutch and English

As a coach, Paulien has adopted the Amygdala Retraining Program and is a Gupta coach since 2013. She manages her practice, in which she supports clients with chronic fatigue and stress regulation issues. She guides people who are highly sensitive, helping them to navigate their inner and outer world, regaining their power and ability to find inner safety and security.

She experienced Lyme disease, EBV, chronic fatigue syndrome, among other health issues, from an early age, and used the program as part of her recovery.

Her coaching mainly centers around the Gupta Amygdala Retraining program, but she also incorporates knowledge from her background in Social Psychology (MSc, Utrecht University), NLP, Meditation and Mindfulness, Healing Touch (Biofield therapy/energy healing), and her studies into Transpersonal Psychology. She has drawn a lot of inspiration from the work of Caroline Myss, who had a major impact on her intuitive development, which she sees as a fundamental step into her healing as at some point in life it is required to put our trust and faith back into ourselves.

As a coach, she is known for her gentle and compassionate nature and her clear insights into rather complex situations.

Paulien works from the Netherlands (Haarlem) and France (Lyon), offering sessions mainly through Skype. You can contact her for a free introduction call.

Website in english:

Skype: liefcoaching

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