Fighting Parkinson’s, and reducing your holiday stress

I know, you are thinking, “What do Fighting Parkinson’s and reducing holiday stress have in common?” Being perfect. If you can give up the notion that everything has to be perfect, including yourself, then you can be recovering from your Parkinson’s and reducing your holiday stress at the same time.

You find yourself, your Adrenaline-driven-over-thinking-perfectionist self, wanting everything to be perfect. You have the correct answers, you can solve all of the problems facing you, and others, on a daily basis, and you have a sense that if you think about things long enough, you will figure out all of the answers. I had this behavior previously, and part of my recovery was letting go of my attachment to being perfect and wanting perfection in all things in life. It was liberating, and necessary, in my recovery.

Since the holidays are filled with stress, let’s take a look at it and see if you can’t let go of some of the stress and have more enjoyable holidays (of course, my not-so-hidden-agenda is helping you reach your cure):

1. My house is not clean enough. You think to yourself, “Susie’s house is so clean you could eat off the floor. Why can’t I ever get my house that clean.” I will venture a guess that Susie never has asked you to eat a meal off of her floor. Do your best and let it go.
2. My children’s behavior is not perfect. All I can say to this is “Thank God.” This decreases their chances of getting Parkinson’s, something I am certain you never would wish upon them.
3. The food is not perfect.
4. The lawn is not perfect.
5. The gifts I bought others may not be perfect.
6. This is a long list of what is not perfect. Feel free to fill in the blank “________ is not perfect.”

Every one of these “is not perfect” examples is another stress factor being added to your life. And, the stress leads to anger and frustration, and the Adrenaline drives the anger and frustration to fear and worry and anxiety. Are you having fun, yet? I did not think so.

What I had to learn in my recovery on this issue is that it is okay to not be perfect. I had to look at myself and say, “I am not perfect.” There, I said it. Can you? I came to realize that what was missing from my list of holiday stress perfections was the people. I was spending so much time wanting every”thing” to be perfect, I completely forgot about the most important “thing”…the people. How sad is that!

For me, Parkinson’s was an awakening. I learned that it is okay to not be perfect or expect perfection in myself. I learned that my family was not expecting perfection from me. I learned that my obsession with my long list of “holiday stress” perfections probably caused stress for Sally and our children each time we prepared for a holiday gathering, so I need to say I am sorry to Sally and Steven and Genevieve and Victoria for what I would imagine were some stressful times being around me at holiday time over the years as we would be preparing for our guests to arrive. There is no stress now at holiday time in our home.

During my recovery, and after my recovery, this awakening has remained a strong force. It is a very important point and I can’t stop writing until I cover it one more time: Expecting perfection in yourself leads to the kind of stress and anger and frustration and fear and worry that helped you get Parkinson’s in the first place and will prevent you from being cured. Why? I have heard from quite a few people that what prevented them from initially starting the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® was that they lacked the confidence in their ability to do each Qigong exercise “perfectly” (their word, not mine).

By having to do everything perfectly, you often find yourself doing nothing…you become paralyzed by your Adrenaline-driven-over-thinking-perfectionism. You become paralyzed in your Parkinson’s. You become paralyzed in your life. If you can let go of the attachment to perfectionism, it will go a long way to releasing the paralysis that stops you from “doing” and recovering.

So, be kind to yourself this holiday season. Instead of worrying about yourself and things being perfect, how about accepting things as they are and enjoy yourself and the people around you. I can tell you from experience, my family and friends prefer me to be cured than to be striving to be perfect. I think your families and friends feel the same way about you.

Plus, sometimes the stress is from past holidays and your life is different now. Stress has just become an old habit at holiday time…let it go.

So, let’s begin reducing our holiday stress together by adopting our Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® holiday-stress-reducing-affirmations:

I choose to not expect myself to be perfect.
I choose to accept that my best is good enough.
I choose to be happy and joyful, opening my heart this holiday season, offering compassion to myself and others.
I choose faith over fear.
I have the power to heal myself, and I am curing myself.
I am worth it!

You are worth it!!!

All my best,


NOTE: Thank you to all of you who have ordered my book Fighting Parkinson’s…and Winning. As a reminder, Amazon ranks books based upon purchases and reviews. Once you have read the book, I would ask that you go to the Amazon page that contains my book, rate the book and give it a review. Also, this will assist others in deciding whether or not they wish to order a book. Click here to go to the Amazon book page, where you can read the wonderful reviews that already have been posted as well as posting a review yourself. I am grateful for those who have posted reviews, and please remember, the more reviews, the more opportunity we have to change the current view of Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s recovery. Together, let’s change the world’s view of Parkinson’s and spread the message of hope.


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19 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and reducing your holiday stress

  1. Zeljko says:

    My best is perfectly enough…

  2. Dave M says:

    Thanks for the timely blog Howard. I use the “I am not perfect, there is no need for me to be perfect, doing my best is good enough “ affirmation while writing cards or wrapping presents….. or typing on the computer.

  3. Lynn McIvor says:

    What a perfect post!!!!
    Seasons greetings to all.

  4. Debbie says:

    Thank you Howard for this great and timely advice. I had to smile when I read what you wrote about ” You have the correct answers, you can solve all of the problems facing you, and others, on a daily basis, and you have a sense that if you think about things long enough, you will figure out all of the answers.
    I am going to just ” Let it Go “, find a nice cozy spot in my heart, and read some more of your remarkable book!!
    I hope all of you have a great week-end enjoying your family and friends or just time to yourself.
    Love and Blessings

  5. Tery and Werni says:

    Great again, Howard!!
    Thanks, yes, we’ll have less people, very close and kind friends around, without stress. That’s now our holiday time to enjoy👍😉less perfect, but cosy and romantic!!

  6. Tony says:

    This is such a powerful post and indeed the number one reason why I believe people get Parkinson’s. It is the reason why I got it. I strived to be perfect in every sense of the word from my hair, my body, my face, the way I performed, my attitude, my charisma, I put all of that ahead of my soul. Once I found my soul, I lost the Parkinson’s. Your soul is not worried about being perfect. It already is perfect, it doesn’t have to worry about being judged, all it focuses on is love and happiness, and that my friends, is what cured me. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good fight! Love you Howard and the Warriors

    • Bailey says:

      Thank you Tony!

    • Mette says:

      What did you do that made you find your soul, Tony ?
      And Thanks for all the inspiration from everyone and happy holydays for everybody
      Love from Mette

      • Zeljko says:

        I am not Tony, but I believe he did not do anything to find his soul. Soul is always there. He just stop listening his mind and lived from his heart, as Howard said many times. Doing is not the case here. Being (feeling) is.

  7. Christiane from Germany says:

    Merry Christmas to all of you!!

  8. Marie says:

    Learning to love and accept myself in my imperfection was a huge step in my journey to healing too. Sending love and best wishes to our community of wonderfully and beautifully imperfect beings.

  9. Bailey says:

    Howard, that’s a “perfect” post for me today! I am giving myself the gift of a gloriously imperfect holiday season which I am happy to share with all my fellow buds on the blog – BlogBuds! May we all drop our urge to make things perfect in favor of recognizing the perfection that already exists!

  10. Pippa says:

    Yes, I’m finding that the need for perfection brings on agitation which is linked to tremors and tightness, so when I begin to feel agitated, I give myself a soothing hug and tell myself that every thing is ok, and I can relax. Christmas and this holiday time is a good time to let go of expectations. Happy season to everyone 💛

  11. Veronica Urquhart says:

    Thank you Howard for the timely reminder. I am guilty of trying to be perfect which can be such a burden if we let it. It makes it even more challenging when your partner is a perfectionist. I have to keep telling myself ‘it’s okay’. I don’t have to take on other people’s perfection. I am sure a lot of it comes from our childhood. Letting it go as you say is a must. Thank you Howard. Sending love to all our warriors for a holy and joyful session.

    Veronica 🌱🌺🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

  12. Leontina says:

    Eu va salut cu drag pretenii mei .nu am mai postat de mult fiind ocupata cu reducerea de pastile care este o actiuni foarte grea.Eu atunci cand nu pot face ceva din cauza rigiditatii imi spun ca las pe mai tirzu cand o sa fie mai bine si nu ma agit,ori caut o alta cale de a rezolva problema De exemplu ma simt fara echilibru nu ma hazardez sa plec singura la plimbare ,si atunci stau pe un fotoliu si incep sa ma gandesc la ce multe lucruri mai pot face,manac, ma imbrac ,vorbesc,familia ma ajuta ,mintea este ma mai oboseste cu dialoguri stresant esi inepuizabile. Am reusit sa fac o detasare intre durerile corpului si pacea in suflet,dupa multa vreme de lupta interioara.Cand incep durerile din cauza lipsei de medicamente ii spun corpului*descurcate singur cu forta de vindecare pe care a pus-o in celulele tale Creatorul,eu nu sunt acolo,*si asa incet eu am liniste in interior si usor cedeaza si durerea ca un cersetor la care nu-i dai multumesc pentru ca ma suportati. Cu multa deagoste Leo


    I will greet my dear friends. I have not posted much since I have been busy with reducing the pills which is a very hard action. I cannot do something because of the stiffness I tell myself it will be better and I do want to move around or I’m looking for another way to solve the problem. For example, I feel unbalanced, I do not hesitate to go alone to walk, and then sit on an armchair and start thinking about what many things I can do, I’m dressing, talking, my family is helping me, my mind is ok. I cannot get tired of stressful inexhaustible stories with stressful dialogues. I have managed to take a break between the body’s pains and peace in the soul, after a long time of inner struggle. When I start pains because of the lack of medication, I tell the body “alone with the healing power it put into your cells The Creator, I’m not there, and so slowly I’m quiet inside and it’s easy to give up the pain like a beggar to whom you do not give her anything. Thank you for bearing me.” With a lot of love, Leo

    • Tom says:

      Leo, thanks for your description of just how it is…I, too, have cut back on my meds. mulzu mesc! Don’t know if that’s correct; Thanks.
      I visited your beautiful country in ’71.
      A rich, healthy Peace to all!

      • Leontina says:

        buna Tom in ce zona ai fost in Romania,eu sunt din Ardeal aici sunt munti cu paduri si un aer foarte curat e frumos si putin salbatic,referitor la pastile pana in luna august am ajuns sa iau 6 madopar de 250 pe zi si faceam distonie m-am internat in spital si dupa ce am venit acasa am inceput sa reduc dozele asa cum a zis Howard si acum iau doar 4 insa ma lupt mult cu depresia care ma agita in interior,sper ca inving depresia prin rugaciune ,si mai da tu sfaturi ce a functionat la tine .tank you CRACIUN FERICIT PENTRU TOTI DE AICI

        Good Tom, in what area you were in Romania, I am from Transylvania here are mountains with forests and a very clean air is beautiful and a little wild, about pills until August I got to take 6 madopar of 250 a day and I was doing dystonia I was hospitalized and after I came home I started to reduce the doses and now I only take 4 but I struggle much with the depression that shakes me inside, I hope to beat the depression through prayer, and you give it too advice that has worked for you. Thank you. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL HERE

  13. Beth of CA says:

    May the spirit of this peaceful Christmas season touch your heart and bring you joy. Have a blessed Christmas to all!

    Luv, Beth

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