5 Ways to Make the Holidays Easier When You’re a Spoonie


The holidays can be an exhausting time, since there’s so much to do and prepare, and it seems like everyone you’ve ever spoken to must catch up with you before December 31. It’s especially harder for those with chronic illnesses and fatigue; we already have limited energy without the stress the holiday season brings. It can be pretty tough for those with mental illnesses, too. The constant buzz of people, the darkness and noise can be overwhelming for me. So I’m sharing my tips for how to make December as easy as possible:

1. Take time for yourself.

It’s important to carve time out for yourself, so you don’t get too exhausted or overwhelmed. Take some time to do something you enjoy, like reading a book or even give yourself some time to take a short nap if you need to. Remember that FOMO isn’t as important as your health.

2. Leave the bigger tasks to others.

I know it’s easy to feel guilty, but there’s nothing wrong with leaving the bigger things, such as putting the tree up and cooking for a family of 10, to someone else. You can always do the smaller things, such as putting baubles on the tree or setting the table, but don’t feel guilty. Nobody wants to make this harder for you, so don’t put those pressures on yourself.

3. You don’t have to go to every holiday party.

I know it might seem bad to cancel on someone, but the truth is that if they care about you, they’ll still want to see you in January. You don’t have to accept every invitation or go to every single party or relative’s house in the space of 25 days.

4. Treat yourself.

Give yourself incentives to do things. For example, if you go to grandma’s, you can have a bubble bath when you get home. Buy yourself little gifts, such as a bath bomb, a book or even create a snack or treats box for yourself when you need a little pick-me-up.

5. Talk to someone.

If you can, let someone know your concerns. If you have a partner or family member you trust, let them know you’re worried about getting exhausted or overwhelmed and work out a way to communicate this when you’re in a busy environment. You could also talk to a friend online who doesn’t mind checking in with you every so often. But please remember that you’re not alone in this.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Follow this journey on Happy Little Syllables.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or illness during the holiday season, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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