With all the fun things during the holidays also comes holiday stress for many people if you live with autoimmune disease holiday stress can be a trigger for a flare-up of your symptoms. Maybe you are like myself and your flare-ups do not hit you until after the holidays, I have experienced over the years a good holiday plan can prevent your symptoms from becoming as severe. Start your shopping early before the big crowds hit the shops is a great stress reducer, the majority of people experience stress from doing their holiday shopping. Many people with autoimmune are naturally more anxious with all the things they need and want to do to be ready for holidays. Starting right after Halloween will give you a good early start to begin preparing for the next few months.
Alone On The Holidays
My family are all scattered throughout the state of Pennsylvania, with family being farther apart today compared to the past many times people are forced to spend the holidays alone. My family gets together Christmas Eve at my parents home, I must drive 40 minutes one way which is a bit stressful for me with my autoimmune diseases. Christmas day I spend alone with my dog, I have learned acknowledging my feelings during this time helps me a great deal to cope with the situation. I have no close friends to hang out with where I live, being realistic about the situation and planning for Christmas Day is a very important part of my holiday stress management plan.
Many people with autoimmune diseases live on a very strict budget due to medical expenses, planning a realistic gift buying budget will prevent you from stressing out after the holidays. Focus on gifts which fit your budget and will be appreciated by your loved one’s, it is not healthy for you to go all out to give everyone on your Christmas list their dream gifts. Your loved ones will love you and appreciate you with whatever you can afford to give them, my grown up sons prefer gift cards which takes so much stress off of me trying to figure out a gift for them within my budget. My mother adores those gift baskets available on the holidays, I make my own gift baskets with her favorite things which she seems to love more than anything I could give her from the store.
The Holiday Treats
The most challenging and sometimes depressing is the temptation of all the yummy holiday food and treats we are not allowed, many of us with autoimmune diseases have no choice than to stick to a very strict diet. Even on the holidays cheating will only pay us back with flare ups and inflammation, I am one of those people who must stick to my anti-inflammatory diet plan or pay the price. Just the scent of those holiday baked goods is enough to drive you crazy, for us to prevent suffering after the holidays we must find a way to resist the food we cannot eat. Sadly, at my parent’s home on Christmas Eve there is almost nothing I can eat, the way I solve this problem is I eat before I leave for my parents place. I also take a tray of food I am able to eat to my parents home with me, at least this way I know if the temptation to eat becomes too strong I have the food tray I brought myself.
Sticking To Your Routine
Despite you might have a very full schedule visiting friends and family, you must make the time to stick your health routine. I usually shorten my health routine during busy times, I still do my yoga and meditation every day. Maybe you will need to get up a little earlier and do your yoga or whatever exercise you are into at the beginning of your day, I find this is a great way to start my day. On days I am feeling pretty perky in the morning I will do my yoga before starting my day, this gets your exercise out of the way and the rest of our day can be for holiday fun. With autoimmune disease skipping your health routine is opening yourself up for a major flare up, this summer I got busy and lazy and got off my routine. When fall arrived I was paying the price, slacking off will catch up with you so be smart and shorten your routine but do not skip it completely especially during the holidays. You need your health routine to manage your stress during the holidays, this will keep you more positive and able to cope with any flare ups you might experience.
Making Time For YOU
Even during the holidays you need to make time for yourself, to stay healthy you need alone time to recharge your batteries and treat yourself special with a little pampering. Alone time is a great time to use your therapy techniques to manage your health and stress, music therapy is one of my favorites and fits in very well with the holidays. Listening to holiday music is a great alone time activity, sipping on your favorite anti-inflammatory herbal tea is a winning combination. Taking short walks is great if the cold is not a problem for you, art therapy is another good one to use during your alone time. The popular adult coloring books are a great way to relax, again sipping on your favorite anti-inflammatory beverages is a good combination. Whatever relaxes you and recharges your batteries is a good choice, having a good relaxation technique plan will help you cope during the holidays.
I must admit I am never anxious for the holidays to arrive, it is very physically and emotionally exhausting time for me. I get through the holidays well enough, for me it is the post holidays which gives me the blues. By the time the holidays are over I am just so exhausted, I have learned by doing the things I have shared with you I do get through the holidays in much better condition then in the past. Many people experience stress, anxiety and depression after the holidays, I think it is even more dramatic for people who are single and alone on the holidays. Best ways to cope is to fill your schedule with a good balance of rest and play when possible, sometimes we have no choice then to push ourselves to get through the holidays.
Increase Your Anti-Inflammatory Foods & Beverages
Accept Your Feelings
Accept The Holidays For What They Were Positive Or Not So Positive
DO NOT ISOLATE
What Is On My Mind Today
What was on my mind today was to publish an article to help others get through the holidays with less flare-ups and depression, oddly as excited and happy as children are during the holidays many of us adults experience just the opposite. Starting now with planning your strategy for the holidays will prepare you for a nicer holiday, living with autoimmune disease the holidays are more stressful and exhausting for many of us. Especially for the single person this is often a very emotional time of the year, it is not just because we are alone but people do not realize when you are single all the preparation for the holidays is all up to you. We do not have a partner or children to share the preparation with, being single and alone with autoimmune diseases is a very challenging time during the holidays.