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 have to give up the requirement that everything has to be perfect, including yourself. Imagine that, you are not perfect.

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 the 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,


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

  1. Zeljko says:

    Brilliant Howard! We can control very little, so why not accept things as they are. We lose every time we do not accept what is.

  2. Paul says:

    It’s always such a pleasure to read your thoughts and post.
    You offer some amazing 😉 insights and I’m grateful

  3. Jan - UK says:

    Thank you Howard — Merry Christmas xx

  4. Marie says:

    Wishing everyone a stress-free holiday season!

  5. Chris Meyer says:

    Embracing our imperfections and letting them go.

    An important key for unlocking the trauma of daily life.

    Thanks a lot, Howard.

    A relaxing and joyful, if imperfect, holiday season to all.

    – Chris

  6. Trish Jones says:

    You’re so right! Imperfection is a blessing. I’m sure that our friends and family would agree and breathe a sigh of relief that they can also be imperfect and RELAX! around us.
    Do you know what follows? ENJOYMENT and love begin to flow.
    So YA’LL. Have a Great time being real and Happy Holidays!

    Love Trish

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