I have tried over the past 25 years to reserve Christmas and New Year's Day weeks as a vacation of sorts. It has been, many years, a time for serious considerations, pre-planning and catching up on end-of-year work. When I was doing academic style editing, it was also a time during which graduate students were doing the same, and I finally resorted to not reading email and turning off my business telephone in order to carve out my time. (This year, I should be doing that, because I am unbelievably behind on financial record keeping. But I'm not.)
On the last day of November, shortly after Thanksgiving gathering and birthday dinner, I contracted bronchitis, again, which laid me flat for the better part of three weeks. I am near the end of my second week of not taking any more medications, and I'm doing well, aside from a persistent cough and profound fatigue. My next task is to figure out how much and how long I can exercise to get back on track, again.
I am, however, finding tensions vanishing. I'm finally out from under an underlying stress I might not have been aware of for a long time. Eliminating my volunteer work, as much as I hated doing so, has been the final (so far) transition from external pressures that I have needed for so long but could not reach.
I needed to relax. Surely I can learn how to do so also in the midst of chaos and rioting! If I have to depend on nothing's irritating me, these quiet spaces will be transitory.