How to do the holidays in chronic Illness – make plans or cancel them?


The holidays are almost upon us and if you are fighting for your life in chronic illness, it is just one more thing to do that you don’t have the energy for.

Well, news flash is – don’t then.

Or, do, that is entirely up to you. You get to chose. You don’t have to be guilted into holiday plans that exhaust you. You don’t have to stay at Aunt Bess’s house that has smelly cats or mold. You don’t have to pretend to eat cousin Sheila’s famous pie that will make you sick.

You are fighting for your life and your life matters. That is much to be thankful for and all you can handle on your plate right now.

If you are not in the mood and can’t handle it, don’t worry about having to explain yourself or be polite. People will just have to get over it. You don’t have the energy for traditions you normally do, skip this year. Everything will be okay.

Simplify things. Keep it just a small group who get you and understand. Don’t host. Let someone else do that for you. If someone offers to cook for you, let them. Don’t worry about offending them with your list of things you can eat and can’t. Be specific. Your health is worth speaking up for.

I know, this is easier said than done. Really, people who love you will love you no matter what.

Also, if you are not sure what you can handle, then make plans and see what happens. If you have been in a holding pattern of health and getting stir crazy, then do it. The worst that can happen is that you have to cancel or tone down the festivities last minute. I found it better to make plans if I thought I might have energy than to not make them at all. I wanted to start living again, but didn’t know how much.

So, make some plans. Go visit a friend. Listen to a concert. Go see some Christmas lights. Maybe you will make all those things, maybe you will only make it 30 min to some and not any to others. Its okay.

At some point you just have to dive in. Accept the season you are in is unpredictable at best but you still want to enjoy the holidays and get a piece of your life back.

Then try where you can, be reasonable, be honest, be thankful and be glad.

You can do this new season. You are creating your new normal one day at a time. No promises, no guarantees, but do some living just the way only you can.

Blessings and healing,

Janice Fairbairn – The Lyme Evangelist
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