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To Chronic Illness Warriors Trying to Survive the Holidays

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is less than a month away. I haven’t put up one decoration, and to be honest it has been two years since I last “decked my halls.” Not because I haven’t felt merry or bright, but because I can’t. Yes, you read that correctly. I physically am unable to pull my tree out anymore, put on my beautiful ornaments and hang all my lights and garlands all over my home. And that’s just one part. When the season ends, someone has to take them down and tuck them away for the next year. And my body just won’t allow it.

I could ask for help, but this is the busiest time of year. With Christmas soirees, plays and cantatas, office events, shopping, family functions and well friends decorating their own homes, there is no time. I understand and respect that. But please understand this time of year is very hard on many people with chronic illnesses. We may seem like grinches, but we promise we aren’t. We want to be merry and bright. We want to decorate and bake cookies and do all the great things that come with this season. Our hearts and minds want to enjoy the season. But our bodies, well, that’s a totally different story. Our bodies do what they will on their own terms.

For any warrior trying to survive Christmas and New Year’s, here is some advice: balance. It is one word but means so much. Balance your energy. Balance your time. Balance your diet. And in that balance, make sure you rest! I know we want to be at every party and get gifts for the whole world, but what does that mean if you aren’t well to enjoy it?

Have an amazing holiday season!

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