Health Uncategorized

Surviving The Holidays with Chronic Illness

Regardless of your religion, family situation, or personal life, December through New Year’s tends to be a stressful and busy time of year – even if the only stress you feel is caught from the stress of others around you! When you have chronic illness and/or chronic pain, this can mean disaster for your health. Here are my tips for surviving the holidays while you’re dealing with chronic pain or illness.

Dealing with Chronic Pain: Holidays

DON’T stubbornly tell yourself, “Well, I’m determined to do X, so I’m just going to do it! Screw you, body!” Trust me. That unfortunately doesn’t work, and it really just hurts you in the short term and long term.

DO think of your body and its abilities like a bank account and budget it (remember spoon theory?). You only have so many spoons in your drawer. Really want to go to one event? Try to save your spoons that day so you can go. But …

DON’T beat yourself if you’re still unable to. You’re doing your best!

DO find comfortable outfits for your events. It can mean the difference between enjoying it and being miserable.

DON’T overschedule yourself. Just don’t do it.

DO make sure you’re still able to do the self-care that’s necessary. For example, I have to do yoga and go for a walk every day. Without it, my pain can rise even higher.

What do you do that helps or hurts you during the holidays?

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  • Reply Kenji is Here

    I'm still trying to figure this all out. Had a crazy booked weekend and I've been paying for it for two days now.. still learning.

    December 8, 2014 at 4:07 pm
  • Reply Helene in Between

    I would think keeping yourself in check is the most important! hope you're doing okay!

    December 8, 2014 at 5:06 pm
  • Reply Suburban prep

    Even during the holidays there are things that are out of your control (ie a death in the family and a young child undergoing a very serious heart surgery). the best thing to do is not put the pressure on yourself to create the idealistic scene of what the holiday should be or as you think you remember from your childhood. Make the holidays your own.
    I love to be able to sleep late, I make sure that I am drinking enough water and I also take supplements. Every once in a while I will take an ibuprofen but not much more than that. Try not to over indulge with the sugar as it can turn on you.

    December 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm
  • Reply Kati Rose

    I recently got diagnosed with a thyroid disorder and it's biggest toll has been heavy exhaustion. This holiday season is so busy and hectic and I've really had to learn to prioritize and pick what's most important to me. I can't do everything like I used to and I have to take time for myself. Glad to hear you're keeping yourself mobile with yoga and daily walks to keep the pain down! It would be hard to enjoy the holiday season with too much pain!

    December 8, 2014 at 7:04 pm
  • Reply Amanda Lynn

    Great dos and donts! I make this huge list for myself and then realize I can't do it at all and just end up on the couch! And I wear comfort clothing all the time because others don't feel my leg pain or know I am not wearing any socks because its way too hot!

    December 9, 2014 at 2:51 am
  • Reply Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah?

    Not over-scheduling is key! It is hard not to get down on myself because I have to turn down a lot of invitations–it's just the timing of my Botox shots this year–but I know that getting upset only contributes to my pain!

    December 9, 2014 at 9:44 pm
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