The holidays are my favorite time of the year. The weather has turned and I’m no longer sweating the extra heat (literally). Grocery stores are stocked to the ceiling with cans of green beans, cranberry sauce, and other Thanksgiving staples. Red and green lights start to go up indicating Christmas is near. Plus, people are just nicer.
All this hustle and bustle and potsies just don’t have any hustle or bustle in them. I get it, I do. Let’s talk about some ways that you can get through the holidays when you have a chronic illness. Here’s my tips:
1. Take your time decorating. I tend to start decorating immediately after Halloween, but that doesn’t mean I’ll have it all done in November. When I feel like I’m well stocked on “spoons” I start to get out the boxes. Take it day by day and don’t feel rushed. Put out decorations when you have the energy.
2. Set a firm departure time. Great advice for any family gathering during the holidays. I set a time when I need to depart and I stick to it. I know aunt Ida has more to say to me, and I would love to chat with her, but my health takes precedence to her small talk. I can always give her a call later.
3. Order your baked goods. I love to bake, but my POTS doesn't like it when I do. I also love good food so I don't want to compromise this time of year. I actually have a friend who owns a small baking business. I always order a couple of my favorites from her (she delivers too! - get you a friend like that!). Just make sure you order ahead of time as bakeries can get inundated last minute.
4. Sneak a nap. Yep, I’m guilty! I find a quiet spot where no one will miss me. The basement couch, a spare bedroom… There are endless possibilities. Even 15-20 minutes can help recharge you.
5. Plan a recovery day. My schedule gets crazy busy. Between all the different sides of family and my friendsgiving get togethers the holiday season is hectic. I try to get an idea of all the gatherings ahead of time so that I can plan recovery days where possible.
6. Online shopping. This may be a given seeing how we are in a post covid world and shopping online is easier than it ever was. I buy most of my gifts online. I use a grocery delivery service too.
7. Say no. And mean it. Saying no is so hard for some people. I find myself feeling guilty when I have to say no to someone I love. I know my body and I know it’s necessary for me to decline invitations or requests sometimes. Especially during the holidays.
8. Hydrate. Potsies have to hydrate and do it effectively to keep symptoms at bay. Salt alone will not produce the results you want. Make sure you keep NormaLyte on hand so that you can hydrate more effectively.