Dealing with Disruption of Routine Around the Holidays

I have talked a little bit about the holidays and how this is often a time of year filled with emotions of all kinds. For some, this is the time of year that people look forward to the most. But for others, the holiday season is a time that brings about feelings of sadness and anger. Whatever your feelings are about this time of year, I want to talk about something that impacts all of us and that is the disruption of routine.

Most people have off from work over Christmas and New Years. Schools are on vacation. Stores are closed. Restaurants often have special menus and varied hours. Things are just different. And in a lot of ways and for many people that is a great thing. After all, the break in routine can be a much needed change of pace. Doing the same thing day after day can get quite boring. It is nice to have some time off from work and/or school to spend time with your loved ones and have a little extra time to get some things done that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to accomplish.

However, routine is comforting for a lot of people. It is very comforting for me in fact. It may be dull in a sense but knowing what I need to do each day and how I am going to do it takes the guessing out of it. It takes away some of the unknown and the unpredictability that I have had to live with for so long thanks to ulcerative colitis. I know I am different when I am out of my routine. I feel very unsettled and just out of focus in some ways. Of course, it depends on exactly what about my routine is being disrupted and for how long.

We all get really excited when we have some vacation days looming but we tend to forget that work and school do offer us some distractions. Having things to do and places to be allows our minds and bodies to be occupied with issues that are out of ourselves.

So while the holidays do offer a way to break free for a little bit from work, school, and just the monotonous day to day life we all deal with, the change of routine can also be difficult. I think it is important for everyone to keep this in mind because you may be acting a certain way, or feeling some emotions that you haven’t felt before and it really could just be as simple as you are out of sorts a bit. It is always helpful for me to understand the deep seeded reasons why I am acting, thinking or feeling a certain way and I have attributed various emotions to the disruption of my routine and I took comfort in knowing there was a reason for the way I was feeling.

Enjoy the time off, relax and recharge, but just remember that if you are feeling a little “off,” there IS a reason … so don’t fret!