Can Christmas Day be perfect when you’re quarantined sick in bed?


Photo on 12-19-2015 at 1.08 PM
The view from my bedroom at the Ashram.

Two years ago at Yasodhara Ashram in the Kootenay Mountains of Western Canada I had the perfect Christmas. A walk alone on the beach followed by a beautiful brunch with my good friends, a gift exchange, helping cook Christmas dinner and then after dinner time alone reading books. It was the perfect balance of time alone, time in nature and time with people I loved.

So this year, when I flew across the country to Yasodhara Ashram, I imagined it would be exactly the same. Well, not exactly the same of course, but pretty much the same: beautiful food, beautiful people and time in nature.

So when I got sick 2 days before Christmas, I was upset. I woke up at 3 am with my throat on fire. Tired, achey, very hot then very cold.

The flu.

My initial feeling was one of guilt. Guilt for not helping with the preparations for Christmas, all the snow shoveling that needed to be done, the dishes. But then I surrendered. I was sure that if I fully rested for the whole day I would be healed and ready to help on Christmas eve and spend Christmas day as I wished.

Because the Ashram is a small community that eats together, studys together, works together and prays together, contagion is a large concern. Several winters we’ve had a virus that sweeps through the community and many people get sick. I knew I would be quarantined with meals brought to me until I was well again, so was hoping to heal quickly.

When I woke up on the 24th still sick, I was furious. My visit to the Ashram was quite short and I was set to leave on the 26th. And I was spending my last few days alone in bed when I flown across the country to visit both the people and the beautiful grounds?! I was angry, then I was sad, and then let go and rested. Then awoke angry and sad again. I told myself I would be well in time for Christmas. It would be a Christmas miracle.

Friends came to visit me bringing tinctures and vitamin C and chocolate truffles and Christmas lights to put up in my room. It was so sweet and also made me sad each time that I couldn’t be celebrating with everyone else.

When I woke up Christmas day achey and tired again, I was a little bit teary-eyed but also prepared for it. I must need more alone time. My Christmas gift this year was somehow quietness, spaciousness and peacefulness. The bedroom I was in had lots of windows and a beautiful view. The light was streaming in. This was Christmas.

I coloured in my new mandala colouring book, I called my family, I slept, I drank eggnog, I wrote the first draft of an article for a new blog I had been asked to write for. I decided to change my flight. And the light streamed in.

Once I accepted it as it was, the day was perfect.  I enjoyed my own company and the quiet beauty.

The fall had been busy with travel for work, a challenging break-up and moving apartments. I hadn’t really realized it but I was exhausted. I needed to rest and sleep and to read and to write.

I hadn’t realized it,
but I was exhausted.

The sickness continued, Dec 26th, 27th and on the 28th I was finally able to emerge. I was able to change my flight to January 5th.   I was able to help and celebrate New Years with the community that I love.

On January 1st, I tried to give myself a tarot reading for the new year. Pulled some cards but then couldn’t find the book that interpreted the meaning.  I gave up and pulled one card from a deck that had a cross on the back.

Jesus said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourself and rest awhile.”

Mark 6:31

I can see now that my daily life in Toronto is full of doing, doing, doing. Working, commuting, volunteering, socializing. So in 2016 I am going to bring more balance in my life.

Jesus said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourself and rest awhile.”

In 2016, I am going to prioritize rest.


Author: Bryn Bamber

Career Coach Bryn Bamber helps people like you find a career that’s aligned with your goals. Her Burnout to Brilliance program teaches you how to make small shifts that will free up tons of energy for the things you really love. Start today with your FREE Checklist: Decrease Stress and Get an Hour of Your Day Back! Get it here - Learn more about Bryn & the Burnout to Brilliance program at

5 thoughts on “Can Christmas Day be perfect when you’re quarantined sick in bed?”

  1. Thanks for this insightful reflection, Bryn. I love how Divine Mother continues to provide just what you need. AND, thank you for the beautiful mandala & your kind words. The mandala is going up on my wall… perhaps it will serve as a reminder to me to rest when I need it too. Thanks for being you! Love & Light for the coming year, Terry

    1. Aww, Terry, thanks for the kind words. Glad you like the mandala :).

      And thank you so much for checking in on me, bringing me my meals and telling me that everyone was thinking of me, when I was sick!

      Love and Light to you as well. Happy new year!


    1. Hi Anna,

      Hmm… yes, it can be so tricky to accept sometimes…

      Thanks for your kind words. And for your amazing Hidden Language class last night!

      See you soon,

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