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Surviving the Holidays with Endo And Other Chronic Illness

We are officially on a week’s countdown until the mad rush begins for Christmas. These days I almost feel like Thanksgiving gets left out on the holiday value scale. Its like the day to pig out and rest up for the busiest shopping day of the year – Black Friday. Are you one of those crazies that gets up at the crack of down (or never goes to sleep) to score a good deal?

Does the same mad rush feeling plague you the entire month of December? I think the holidays can be draining on the healthiest person there is but for us spoonies, the fatigue can be devastating! So how can we get through the holidays  and actually ENJOY them?

I’ve asked myself this question a lot over the past few weeks. We bought our first home this year and with Abby coming to an age where she actually recognizes some things about Christmas, we let our families know that we are staying home this year (no travel!) but they know where we live and are welcome to join us. Well, of course, this means I am hosting Christmas for the first time ever so my sanity has already been in question. So as I have tried to wrap my head around holiday survival tactics, here is what I have come up with so far:

1- Plan ahead. Seems simple enough right? But it can be so extremely important! Thanks to fibro fog, I have become a list maker. I need them to survive (even though sometimes I end of forgetting them – duh!). So I have come across these wonderful holiday organizational helpers that have been a true blessing! The first one is the Christmas Planner from Tip Junkie which includes pages for party planning, gift planning for friends and family, and even a place to jot down memories! I love the simplicity of this planner but if you are looking for the motherload of Christmas lists and checklists, look no further than Organized Christmas! They have everything you need to stay organized and keep your sanity (and hopefully some spoons too!)

2- Be sure to have medicines refilled before pharmacies close of the holidays. I live in a small town with a small town pharmacy that tends to close for the holidays which is a great thing for the employees but not so great for a spoonie who is out of meds! If you are traveling for the holidays, be sure to plan (and count) ahead to be sure that you have enough medication for your traveling with a little extra to spare in case of emergency. If you don’t want to lug around extra pill bottles, at least check to see if you are able to refill your prescriptions at other locations (such as another CVS location if that is who you use). Its a bummer to open up your meds to see that you’ve got 1 pill left on Christmas Eve!

3- Schedule time to rest. Even if it means skipping out on a party. The holidays is definitely the best time of year to be a social butterfly and often times, friends and family almost expect it from you! Growing up my family was scattered so we had 3 to 4 different places we needed to be on Christmas Day and it can be extremely exhausting and suck the joy right out of the day. So give a gift to yourself and take time to rest so that you can truly enjoy the holiday.

4- Eat healthy. This is a reminder for me right here! As a spoonie, our bodies can easily become deprived of important nutrients and at this time of year with sweets and other delicious fattiness around every corner its hard to take the time to make healthy choices! Especially at church potlucks or office parties (where healthy options are scarce). So it is very important to travel with healthy snacks or even pack healthy sides when attending a party! I’ve recently learned to never count on there being at least one gluten-free food at a function so make your food allergies a priority and plan ahead for that as well.

5- Communicate with friends & family. Let them know how super excited you are to spend the holidays with them but also make them aware of your limitations. Of course, having a chronic illness doesn’t necessarily mean spending the holidays tied to the couch but if not planned wisely it may end up that way. Decide what things are priorities (such as which family functions or parties you most want to attend) and then schedule downtime around it. By including your friends and family in the planning, it shows that you value the time you have with them and want to make the most of it!

What tips would you add to the list?

<hugs and painfree wishes>


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This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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