Surviving the festive season is something we can all struggle to do. After more than 10 Christmases being ill, I’ve made all the stupid mistakes and paid the price. So, this is my way of coping with the brilliance that is Christmas and New Year.
To make it easier I will split it into subsections of planning, surviving and randoms.
I like to get ahead of the game and buy presents when I see them; it helps me feel more prepared, especially if I’m not in the best of health. I also spoil the magic by asking people what they want. Everyone wins, I have an easy buy and they love the gift.
Work out your outfits and if you want, arrange people to help you with anything you need. One year I worked out my outfits and promptly forgot what made up the outfit and for which days. So maybe write it down or tell someone. I find on the day I can’t choose so this way, wastes less energy.
Be prepared to delegate. I know in an ideal world, I want to do every step in preparing for Christmas. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get help wrapping presents or use fancy boxes and bows. Ask someone to pick up gifts when they are in town.
Work out what you ‘need’ to attend and what is optional. So, maybe ‘you need’ to be there for present opening and photos, which might mean you, have lunch upstairs or a nap in the afternoon. Work it out ahead of time so there can’t be any misunderstandings. Doing it this way might not make it feel like Christmas, but it might help you recover better. Plus everyone then knows whats happening and that should cut down on questioning.
Accept that you are going to miss some things. That isn’t the best feeling in the world but prioritising might help make sure you don’t miss out on your favourite festivities.
Don’t sit and suffer when you have gone past tired. I hate to be impolite or make people sad I’m not around all the time. I’ve learnt that I need to take the rest breaks in order to allow me to be a part of things later on. Think about it, Christmas is at least a week of family and activity. It’s a marathon, it is more than fine to take an hour breather.
If you wake up and it’s a bad day, don’t try to push through it, you’ll just make it worse in the end of it. Take it slow and if it’s a no go then go back to bed. Christmases feel ever so important but they are an annual event, you can always count on next year being there.
Don’t be uncomfortable because it takes energy. That covers sitting on hard chairs to wearing restrictive clothing. Life is too short be comfy.
in is from personal experience, try not to overindulge too badly (ironic I know.) I find my M.E/CFS suffers for it, my energy dwindles and I don’t feel my best.
Keep somewhere in your sanctuary, where you can escape the hustle and bustle. It will make resting easier and more effective. Earphones and music would be helpful to control what you can hear at that time. Also if you are super organised have an emergency pack with any medications, snacks, etc that will make you as comfortable as possible.
I hope my experience will make your Christmas more enjoyable. Remember that Christmas is a time to spend with loved ones, so make the most of it. You do need to protect yourself, but sometimes you just have to accept that the time celebrating is worth a dip in health. I find this to be the ultimate balance, how do you protect yourself but continue to be a part of life as an active participant. You’ll get there and if all else fails, hot chocolate and candy canes are acceptable snacks. So have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let me know what tips you would share, I’d love to hear from you.