Christmas is a busy, crazy time of year even to a healthy person. When you add chronic illness to the mix christmas can seem daunting at best.
The key to surviving Christmas is working with your chronic illness not against it. Below I give some of my tips for getting through Christmas.
- Start Christmas shopping early so that you can space it out and not have to get everything in one day. Better yet, do as much of your shopping as possible online. That way you can do it in your own time and in the comfort of your warm house, not chancing the cold weather.
- If you usually do most of the christmas day work, ask for help. Get the whole family to do their bit so that it feels like less work to you.
- Listen to your body. If it tells you to stop, do it. You want to be well enough to enjoy the festivities.
- When putting up decorations make it a family activity. Get everyone in the house involved and give them all tasks. Make it like a game, put Christmas music on and have fun with it together!
- If you need some time alone when the house is full of people, go for a walk. There is evidence that it makes you happier and it is good to get fresh air after being in a stuffy loud house all day. Even if others come with you, there is further for noise to travel outside so it will be quieter and there will be much less stimuli to process.
- Try to go to bed early after busy days. Don’t worry about everyone else, they can look after themselves. Remember you have a chronic illness, you are allowed to do what you need to do to help yourself. Even if you can’t sleep, your bedroom is your own room away from everyone else, so even just lying down or reading a book on there will be much more relaxing than being with everyone when you have had enough and want to rest.
Just remember, Christmas is meant to be a special time for everyone including you. Make sure you look after yourself and put yourself first. Make it your Christmas present to yourself.