Because I’ve suffered a chronic illness called dystonia for many years, I’m all too familiar with how difficult the holidays can be for someone with a chronic condition. For that reason, I’m providing four tips for managing your health during the holiday season.
1. Don’t let other people set your agenda. As much as we might like to go out and party into the wee hours, if you’re not up to it, the experience won’t be fun for anyone. Get to know your body and your energy level well enough to be familiar with how far you can push yourself. If this means you have to say no to someone’s invitation, they’ll understand—or should, if they’re a true friend.
2. Do your shopping online. Shopping for presents online is much easier than going through the holiday rigmarole of dashing to the mall, finding parking, picking out a present, and standing in line to pay for it. Do yourself a big favor and order your presents online.
3. Don’t wait until the last minute to get ready for the holidays. Doing things at the last minute makes them all the more stressful. This will only aggravate your chronic condition. With a little foresight, you can pencil in time on your calendar to prepare for the holiday season.
4. Give yourself a break over the holidays. Use the time to review what you’ve done over the past year. The holidays are a good time to reconsider priorities, decide where you want to focus your efforts, and make plans for the future accordingly.
On that note, I’d like to recommend a book I recently read about managing chronic illness. Here’s my video review.