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How to Have Fun Without Jeopardizing Your Health This Holiday Season

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This time of the year is probably the most anticipated period of the year for the majority of people. The holiday season is filled with excitement, celebration and plenty of things to do.

But as someone living with a chronic illness, it is not always like that for me. Sometimes, it feels like I have to be careful of how hard I party so as not to end up in emergency room (ER), and also watching what I eat, despite having lots of foods to go around.

It is difficult to have fun like you want to or like everyone else because you live with a chronic illness. but it doesn’t have to stop you.

Like someone told me, “Your illness can’t stop you, it can only delay you.”

Here are five ways to have fun without falling sick this holiday season:

1. Have a solo dance party.

If you can’t party like them, create your own party. You feel me? You don’t want to go out of your house? Then don’t. You can turn your room into a mini party hall. Order or cook whatever is healthy to you and get ready to party. Play your favorite playlist and dance like no one’s watching. Oh, no one’s actually watching. You can also strip down to your underwear. Let the music take control. Thank me later.

2. Go swimming.

I know some illnesses won’t allow you swim. If your illness is one, then I don’t advise you go swimming — ditch this point and move to number three. Before you swim though, make sure the pool is not crowded to avoid infections. Swimming can also be a source of relaxation and therapy.

3. Attend a show/concert.

The end of the year is usually busy for entertainers and show organizers. Many shows are deliberately fixed to this time of the year. There are lots of award shows, concerts, comedy shows etc. going on in the country. I love entertainment and I always look forward to seeing my favorite artists this time of the year.

If you love entertainment too, here are some safety tips if you wish to attend a show:

  • Make sure it won’t be overcrowded: the popularity of the artists performing will determine whether a show will be overcrowded or not. If it will be, I advise you get a VIP ticket.
  • Have a rescue kit: a rescue kit will consist your medications, a bottle of water, maybe even two, your ID and other things you need that’ll ease pain if any comes.
  • Go with a trusted friend or family member.
  • Get out if you’re feeling uncomfortable.

4. Go sightseeing.

Adventures are fun and you should try it. No better time to tour the world and see beautiful places around the world than the holidays. You will find other tourists, which means you get a chance to make new friends. Here are some traveling and sightseeing tips for you:

  • Be aware of the climate of wherever you’re going and prepare for it.
  • Talk to your doctor about your intentions to travel.
  • Go with a friend or family member.
  • Only engage in activities you can.
  • Be open with people if you are coming with a wheelchair so they can make arrangements.

You can’t travel to another country? I bet there are beautiful or historical places in your country that attracts tourists. You might not be aware, try searching for information.

Visit an old friend or family member.

It is time to reconnect with family and friends you haven’t seen in years or since the year begun. Visit them, send them gifts and make them feel loved again. You can also invite them over to your place if you wish.

Some tips for managing your chronic illness this holiday season:

1. Listen to your body.

You need to listen to your body. I know old friends and family members are going to come around and there will be lots of excitement in the air, but if your body wants to rest, let it rest. Don’t force yourself to please anyone.

2. Watch what you eat.

I hope you know what food to avoid and the ones to embrace. Food can make you even sicker when it doesn’t go well with your body. Also, make sure the meal has been prepared in a clean manner to avoid infections due to our weak immune system.

3. Take plenty of rest.

Rest is never too much for you. Take rest whenever you are tired.

4. Take your medications.

Christmas requires plenty of preparations and celebrations. You might get caught up in the preparation process that you forget your medications. Find something to remind you. perhaps an application on your phone, to take your medications. They are important to keep you going.

I hope these tips help you this season. I also recommend that you get this book by Lene Andersen, Chronic Christmas: Surviving the Holidays with a Chronic Illness.

Getty image by bernardbodo

Originally published: December 14, 2019
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