Tips To Help You Through the Holidays

Tips To Help You Through the Holidays

If you are anything like me, you absolutely LOVE the holiday season. Well, that was until endometriosis decided to take over your life. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the holidays and join in on as much festivities as I can, but having a chronic illness does make it a bit harder to enjoy these days.

Exhaustion and stress kick in and start to take a toll on me. Will I be able to bake my cookies for everyone in the family? Will grandma remember the reason I seem to have put on weight is because of my endometriosis bloat? Is it possible for me to get out and go Christmas shopping for everyone in my life?

Here are a few things I have learned these last few holiday seasons, that have helped me get through the holiday in one piece!

Make a pamphlet to bring to holiday get togethers

Some may find this silly, but honestly, it is super helpful. Make a pamphlet to bring with you during all your holiday get togethers. Include what endometriosis is, some symptoms, statistics or anything other you think may be important for your family/friends to know about your illness. This helps answer questions right away, give reminders to those who may have forgot what it is you are dealing with, and may even educate someone who had no idea.

The pamphlet does not have to be long, beautiful, or even all that creative. As long as you have a few important bullet points on there. You can even print out a couple copies to leave around. I found this helped with questions/concerns, and allowed me to be less stressed about heading to holiday get togethers. I had all the answers I needed right on this pamphlet and could simply just hand it over.

Do your shopping online

I know this one is pretty common even for those without a chronic illness, but I wanted to include it anyways. Online shopping has helped me become less stressed when worrying about how or when I was going to get everyone their presents. Having a chronic illness means you never know what each day will bring. Trying to plan a day to head out and go shopping when you do not know how you will be feeling is stressful. Especially if the thought of going out in public with lots of people sends your anxiety to another level! There is nothing wrong with shopping online and many times, they offer great deals and sales.

Take a step back from traditions

Ok, this does not mean you have to forfeit every family tradition you have. However, some traditions can be time consuming and exhausting. Each year, I bake thousands of cookies to give out to family and friends. About two years ago, it became too much for me. Instead of completely stopping the tradition I decided to scale back how many cookies I would make. I picked a few I knew were favorites and stuck to only those. Same goes for you. If you have a family tradition you love, but find exhausting, find a way to sale it back. Even better, why not start making new traditions? Ones you find you can handle better.

Organization is key

This one comes easy to me. I have always been an OCD, list-making, everything in order kind of girl. But if that isn’t you, chronic illness plus not being organized can cause your head to spin. Lists are my everything. Whether you use an app or paper and pencil, write down those who needs gifts, what it is you want to buy them, food that may need to be bought and prepped, cards, decorations- everything that you usually like to do for the holidays. Go back and decide what on the list is important, what you can do away with this year, and what you can pass on for someone else to do.

I don’t know about you but my chronic illness causes major brain fog. If I do not have it written down somewhere, I usually forget. Having a list to look back at is extremely helpful for those who suffer with brain fog.

Try a cleanse a few days before the holidays

A few days before Thanksgiving, I felt irritable, bloated, and tired. I was run down and upset that I would not look nice for Thanksgiving. I decided to prepare with a cleanse. No, I didn’t have to buy anything special and I certainly didn’t starve myself.  Instead, the week before Thanksgiving I stuck to a simple diet. My diet included, chicken broth, Jell-o, pudding, strawberries, oatmeal, almonds, bananas and yogurt. All dairy-free and gluten-free. By the end of the week, I was feeling less bloated and much better.

Plan your outfit accordingly

Since my diagnosis, I do not think I have worn a pair of jeans in years. Actually, to be honest, I do not think I have worn anything tight-fitting in years. Preparing an outfit for the holidays can be stressful because you want to look nice and also be comfortable. What I have learned? Black leggings with a long, dressy shirt, and pair of cute boots ALWAYS gets the job done! I am comfortable and still look nice.

Rest

Find time to rest. It’s so important for chronic illness sufferers to remember this. You are important and so is taking care of YOU. Your list of things that need to be done will be there when you get back to it. Pace yourself and breathe.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Endometriosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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