I’ve not always been chronically ill. In fact This time six years years I was relatively healthy and running around after everyone even then it was difficult dealing with Christmas. I had three children under 10 years old, and a poorly Father-in-law. On January 1st the Christmas holiday was coming to an end and I no longer had a poorly Father-in-law because he hadn’t made it to the New Year and I woke up feeling unwell. I never got better!
Six years is a relatively short time to be chronically ill, it also feels like a life time too long and the thought of spending many more years like this is depressing in itself. The truth is that there are many people who have suffered for years longer. I find that most of my depression comes from the fact that I spent many years on this earth healthy and now it’s difficult to adapt.
Dealing With Christmas
Everyone is different and has different circumstances. Some chronically ill people will have people looking after them, some will have to deal with looking after others while being ill. I’m a bit of both. So, you need to find your own way of coping but I do have some pointers that you might consider.
- Don’t overdo things. It might be Christmas but it is only one day and you still need to pace yourself
- Plan ahead. Do little things that can be done on the run up to Christmas so that there is not so much to do on Christmas day.
- Don’t take too much on. Remember, you are ill and you can only do so much, don’t accept jobs or invitations that you know are going to be difficult.
- Have lots of rest breaks, even healthy people take rest breaks so don’t feel guilty about it
- Don’t feel guilty about anything, it just adds to your stress of being ill if you feel guilty and, most people will be understanding.
- Don’t forgo your diet just because it’s Christmas, remember the things that make your condition worse and leave them be. There are so many alternatives these days, you don’t have to miss out.
- Break traditions and make new ones. If you can no longer manage big family get togethers, then arrange smaller ones, or try something new that you feel you can do.
- Shopping online is your best friend.
There was a time when not getting up at silly o’clock and rushing around all day, cooking cleaning, building lego, putting together toys and so on…until I dropped seemed an impossible feat. Now, I have accepted that actually doing it is an impossible feat and I have to think up alternatives.
There is one last important tip I can give you….Ask For Help! I really find this difficult but most people are happy to help. If they are not willing to help out then you need to rethink who you have in your life.
Merry Christmas to all my readers, I hope you have a relatively pain free and enjoyable Christmas time.