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Living With a Chronic Illness During Christmas (in Times of COVID)

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The world has been turned upside down and given a good shake and it has affected everyone around the globe — but have you ever stopped to wonder what it must be like for someone living with chronic illness?

All of the issues so many are facing right now have typically been multiplied for someone who has been fighting with their own body for years.

How many of these words were triggers for you? I am willing to bet many of you have been affected and do not live with chronic illness.

Sit with that for a moment. 

Those emotions you are now feeling are some of the emotions and issues people who are chronically ill deal with on a daily basis.

If you were to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has been struggling with chronic illness, the holidays right now probably look something like this:

My family has had to sacrifice more because of my health. I feel guilty because my health makes me more at risk

My family/friends do not seem to understand or care that I am higher risk and still expect me to risk exposure because they are doing it.

I have numerous health issues that need to be dealt with but do not want to risk further exposure by going to hang out in a crowded waiting room.

I always feel sick after the holidays due to food allergies and stress.

I cannot go out and shop because of the risk of exposure.

I feel like I am being continually blamed and judged.

I just don’t have the energy to do all the things.

I wish I could participate in outdoor activities but the cold causes severe nerve pain.

What are three things you can do to make the holidays easier for someone with chronic illness?

  1. Understand we need to be mindful of our health more than ever. Stress weakens the immune system, our bodies are already weakened and stressed. Please be mindful.
  2. Know we want to be with our families just as much as the next person, however, our health is a priority and we are high risk. This means we will not be able to attends holiday events.
  3. If you are giving gifts, please keep in mind any dietary restrictions, i.e. things that will cause further inflammation in the body.

During the holidays be thankful for all that you have in your life and look forward to a new year full of an abundance of health and blessings.

Photo by Ander Burdain on Unsplash

Originally published: December 21, 2020
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