7 Tips for Surviving the Holidays With Lupus
The holidays can be fun, but they can also be stressful. While we all are getting so excited about seeing loved ones and hosting events, there can be real fears that can and will bubble up inside of us. There may be fears of missing out, getting sick or not being able to reach expectations put on us by family members or friends. The anxiety can be high, the worry can be off the charts and the depression may increase.
It’s important as we battle lupus to take it one step at a time. To not become overwhelmed and to not overdo it. If you already find yourself in a crazed frenzy of the holidays, it’s time to take your life and “holiday sanity” back.
Below are some helpful tips that may help you in finding your calm in the midst of the holiday storm.
1. Remember, you don’t have to look at the whole forest. You don’t even have to look at a whole tree. Focus on the branch, the leaf, the bark. Breaking things down into smaller, manageable tasks is a great way to get started.
2. Make a realistic list. Divide it between urgent tasks that must get done, stuff that can wait a few days, and things that you should do, but that can be done at any time.
3. Setting a time limit with a built in reward can be a great motivator. For example, put the dishes away while the tea kettle boils. Do a small task, like writing a thank you note, as you can while you wait for food to finish cooking.
4. Ask for help – reach out. Ask others for help. It can be scary, but more often than not, people are grateful to help. People like to feel useful.
5. Take a deep breath. Take another. Drink some water and open the blinds. Put on fun music. Making your environment welcoming will help get you moving and ready to start the day.
6. Say no. This one is so hard for so many people, especially lupus warriors. If you feel yourself getting stretched thin, or there’s absolutely no way you can do one more thing, you can say no. Remember you are not responsible for another person’s bad time management. You don’t have to be a “yes” man or woman to try and please others.
7. Pace yourself and rest. This is hard especially for lupus warriors who may be feeling better and have some energy. Warriors tend to overdo it and then have to pay for it later on. I know many are excited, but it’s important to pace yourself and rest before you overdo it and end up in a bad flare.
Having lupus is challenging and when the holidays roll around it can be overwhelming and difficult to handle. The main thing to stay holiday flare free is to make it a collaborative effort. Don’t think you have to do it all yourself or make an extravagant party that will take you months to recover from. Let your need for perfection go. Remember, your first priority needs to involve doing what you can to protect your health. Don’t stress out and overwork yourself and you will have a nice holiday season.
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