5 Tips for Surviving the Holidays

November 16, 2015 | Posted in: Chronic Illness and anxiety, Chronic illness and relationships, chronic illness; support

For most people the holidays mean gathering with family and friends, sharing treasured family traditions, loosening the belt buckle to allow for a second helping of grandma’s legendary turkey and dressing and maybe talking some smack while watching the game. But for those of us who battle illness, the holidays look more like not being able to meet expectations, exhaustion, increased demand, an onslaught of germs and lots of guilt. We can very easily find ourselves counting down the days until it’s over, instead of the days until it arrives.

So how do we survive, or better yet enjoy the holiday season? Click To Tweet
  • Know your limits and communicate them. You want to be able to enjoy the holidays as much as possible, which means you don’t want to be miserably exhausted the entire time. If you need to schedule in a nap or skip going to cousin Bob’s house this year, say so. Better to really enjoy a few events then miserably attend them all.
  • Do what matters. We can’t make everyone happy all the time, so let’s not kill ourselves trying. If you know you want to attend the kiddo’s play which means you need to save up your energy and skip the office Christmas party, so be it. Do what matters.
  • Let yourself off the hook. You didn’t choose this, and you didn’t do this to anyone else. So you slept through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade instead of having hot cocoa and exchanging warm and fuzzy holiday thoughts. It’s okay. The prognosis is good. Everyone will survive.
  • Be thankful and present. I know how hard this is. You might be exhausted and in pain. You might not want to be where you are. You might want to be in your bed. This may require intentional thinking and focusing on all that is right in your world, the people in it who love you, this moment and all that’s right with it. Don’t rush in hopes of a pain-free day tomorrow­ — just enjoy a day with family today. We don’t know what tomorrow holds.
  • Make memories. Do something you wouldn’t normally do. Laugh. And let the holidays be a bright spot, a memory that you look back on and replay with joy in your mind on the hard days.

 Your turn. What are your tips for surviving the holidays?

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  1. Brooke
    November 18, 2015

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    making time for what truly matters – great advice for any time of year

  2. Stacey Philpot
    November 18, 2015

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    So true, Brooke!

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