Don’t Let Endometriosis Ruin your Holiday Season

The holidays can be the most magical time of year. Getting together with family. Enjoying good food. Seeing the town all decorated with lights. That’s how the Lifetime and Hallmark movies make it out to be at least.

The reality that is if you’re living with a chronic illness, like endometriosis, the holidays can throw you into a flare or at least heighten the social challenges of managing your health.

This year I’ve decided to take a different, more intentional approach to the holidays. I want to be able to enjoy them, but not at the expense of my health. I want to feel just as good in the middle of the holiday season as I do in the middle of the summer. It might seem far-fetched, but I think with the right plan it place, it’s doable.

Want to join me? Here’s the plan that I have in mind and I’d love to know your plan or tips for surviving the holidays.

Set realistic expectations

It all starts with setting proper expectations of the holidays. If my expectations look anything close to a made-for-TV movie or a page out of a Ralph Lauren catalogue, I’m setting myself up for some major stress and disappointment.

I love the saying that expectations are disappointments (or resentments) waiting to happen. I have to decide what is most important to me during the holiday this year. I often like to take the approach of thinking about what has to happen during this period of time in order to feel successful or happy.

What I care most about during the holidays are the activities. I like the idea of planning a cookie baking afternoon with my niece and nephew or taking a drive to Longwood Gardens to see the trees all lit up. I want to “see” and experience the holidays. I also love attending Christmas Eve service at my church. For me, that is what the whole season builds up to.

Prioritize

Gone are the days when I wanted to do and have it all – AND take advantage of every sale. I would spend hours hunting down the best deal in the mall. Now I want to minimize my time in the shopping centers. If it can be purchased online and mailed to my front door, it’s a done deal. This is not only a big time saver, it’s a massive energy saver. Knowing that stress can trigger flares in chronic illness and/or increase the intensity of existing symptoms, finding opportunities to save time and energy is a good thing.

So, with this in mind, I need to prioritize these three events on the calendar – cookie baking, drive to Longwood Gardens, and Christmas Eve service. As long as they happen, anything else is icing on the cake. It can lift a lot of pressure off you and the season. It also better positions me to say no to other things that might not be as important to me, and will be an “energy suck”.

So, this is step one – set realistic expectations. What are the most important things for you to do/have/see this holiday season?

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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