I have a confession to make, I’m always uneasy around this time of year. I know for some people there is excitement that builds up until Christmas or the New Year, and I love that people have that. Somewhere along the line I seem to have lost some of my excitement.
You see Christmas means wrapping gifts and sometimes lupus just say nope not happening. Sometimes lupus says no to going out and shopping. And lupus tends to be a home body, avoiding gatherings and parties as if they were the plague.
Inevitably my need to be “normal” (is anyone really normal?) kicks in especially hard during this time. I need to find the right gifts, spend time with friends and loved ones, carry out some philanthropy work and ensure everything is just right. In other words I have a bit of a tendency to overdo things and try to push through on fumes. Not smart for anyone, but really not smart for someone with a chronic illness like lupus.
Now each year I tell myself that I will actual set a realistic pace and not overextend myself. I somehow fall short of this, but there are things I do to help keep myself in check.
I don’t wrap presents any more. Arthritis in my hands made this task much harder and longer than necessary. Now I use gift bags, especially cloth ones because among my group of friends I know they tend to incorporate them into every day life after the holidays. So not only do my friends receive a gift, but also a “wrapping paper” that they can reuse as they see fit.
Shopping is certainly easier thanks to the Internet. If you are uncomfortable shopping online, or what you are looking for isn’t online, see if you can’t ask others help you to pick up the item. My friends get a kick out of helping with present errands, they spend the time wondering who the gift is for! 😉
If you were planning on making cookies or hosting a party consider changing things up a little. Have a potluck, most people will want to bring soeming anyone and what better way to show you care about someone than sharing food with them? As for the baking, turn it into a baking party and have friends come and help. The added bonus is you will know exactly what to do with all those extra cookies! 😊
This time of year, with all the gatherings, it is important to make sure you get enough rest regardless of whether or not you have a chronic illness. If you do have a chronic illness it is important to rest so you can enjoy the time with loved ones and friends. It is so important to take that time to care for yourself. And just as important is to remember things don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be able to enjoy yourself and remember that while you may have a chronic illness, you also have support and love!
Please help me grow is list whether you have a chronic illness or have just found short cuts to make things work for you. I would love to hear how you make this time of year a little easier rather than overloaded.