Hustle and bustle, two words that instantly come to mind when you think of the holiday season. All the stress of the other 11 months of the year packed into about 5 weeks.
When asked what most Fibro folks and others with chronic pain and fatigue think of when they think of the holidays happy thoughts don’t seem to come to mind, instead responses like “exhaustion”, “dread”, “fatigue” are first off our lips. But, we can change that. It’s time to start creating some new holiday traditions.
There are years when I don’t even want to think about the holidays. I’d just as soon skip them as to have to deal with all that comes with them. Other years I feel more inclined to do a bit. But, I’ve found that when I try to force myself to do things because I should, it just adds anxiety and makes me feel worse.
There is no reason that we have to live up to holidays that fit a “tradition” that doesn’t work for us. This idea of running crazily to get all the shopping done, the tree up, cook huge meals, and then from house to house visiting every person in our family that we’ve not seen all year (and those we just saw those last week). Don’t force yourself to move at the pace of the world; heck even the healthy hate that pace. Slow down and let the world move at your pace.
Stop trying to keep up with the world, slow down and let the world move at your pace. Click To Tweet
Let’s think of some new holiday traditions that will allow us to enjoy the holidays rather than face them with dread. Here are a few thoughts to help make the holidays a little easier.
1 . Let someone else do the hosting – Are the consummate host? The one everyone else relies on to put the entire holiday feast together while they sit back and just enjoy the games? It’s time to stop.
Let someone else take over the dirty work. Or, simply offer to host the meal so longer as others provide the food.
Then, instead of using the good china opt for disposable plates and cutlery to make clean up easier. Since, all the serving dishes belong to everyone else they will be leaving when they do!
2 . Go small – Your entire house does not have to be covered wall to wall in sparkle and lights. Opt for a smaller display of Christmas cheer; it’s less to take down later.
Or, (if you can afford to) hire someone else to do the decorating. Then you can sit back and enjoy the cheer without wearing yourself out decorating.
3. Shop ahead – I know you see this advice everywhere and we all say we are going to start shopping in January, but rarely do we do it.
Spreading out the shopping (especially if you have many to shop for) will really decrease your stress, fatigue, and pain heading into the holidays.
At the very least, avoid the post-Thanksgiving craziness and shop online. There is no deal they are offering you in-store that is worth the lost sleep and the stress of crowds.
3. Spread Yourself Thick – Instead of running from family to family over the holidays, pick one place to go.
I know that your mother-in-law might not like that you won’t be there for Christmas, but spreading yourself thin in order to visit every side of the family is only serving to make you miserable.
Pick one place to be each holiday, and rotate if necessary. If everyone doesn’t get to see you during Thanksgiving and Christmas then they’ll hopefully see you at another time during the year (or maybe next year).
4 . Plan ahead – It may be too late to do much about this year (other than cancelling 4 out of 5 of your Christmas stops), but it’s never too early to start planning.
Think about who you might be able to visit during the year to cut down on their insistence that they see you over the holidays. If they’ve seen you throughout the year they may be less likely to be upset when you don’t make it by the holiday gathering.
Think about the holiday that you want to have; what’s best for you and for your family.
Focus on spending time with your immediate family and actually enjoying the holidays; rather than what everyone else in the worlds thinks you should do.
What tips do you have for making the holidays easier? Have you developed new traditions to help you enjoy the holidays despite your illness?#Spoonie What tips do you have for making the holidays easier? Click To Tweet Have you developed new traditions to help you enjoy the holidays despite your illness? #spoonie Click To Tweet
- Handling the Challenges of the Holidays with Chronic Illness: The Ultimate Guide
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- Surviving the Holidays with Chronic Illness
- Entertaining With Fibro: The Holiday Edition