4 Tips for Surviving the Holidays with Fibromyalgia
Lets face it – the holidays are a time of both excitement and exhaustion. I love the season and the feelings of warmth it inspires, but for many (myself included) it can be exhausting – both physically and emotionally. For those of us already dealing with a shortage of energy, careful planning is critical to get us through the holidays alive.
For me, there are four keys to surviving the holidays. Though there are probably endless tactics for fibromyalgia sufferers to survive the holidays, these four have worked well for me:
Don’t Neglect Nutrition
The holidays are a time of treats, snacks and desserts. It can be all too easy to skip meals because we’ve been snacking away on our favorite holiday snacks all day. Unfortunately, this only contributes to exhaustion. As we fill up on unhealthy foods, our bodies miss out on the vitamins and nutrients they usually get from healthier meals. Devoid of the nutrients it needs to stay fueled – our bodies enter into a more weakened state.
Limit your snacking as much as possible and make sure not to neglect or skip meals. Additionally, taking vitamin or nutritional supplements can help get your body the nutrients it needs. A few key supplements to include are magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 – among others.
Find Healthy Energy Boosters
Nutrition is a great start to increasing energy levels, but for most of us an extra boost is required. For me, energy boosters like Fibrolief’s Energy Optimizer help give me a sustained lift throughout the day. One of the key ingredients, D-ribose, is a natural sugar produced by the body that has been used to improve the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Speaking of the potential for d-ribose to help fibromyalgia sufferers increase energy levels, Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum notes in his book From Fatigued to Fantastic that patients showed, on average, a 45% increase in energy levels after just a few weeks of taking d-ribose.
Other potential energy boosters are smoothies or juices, which can be customized to include energy boosting ingredients. Not sure where to start? Try one of these energy-boosting recipes:
Eliminate Unnecessary Activities
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. For me, one of the biggest traps is holiday shopping. Sure, it’s thrilling to go out and score deals – but it’s also stressful and physically taxing. For many with fibromyalgia, it’s simply not an option. Fortunately, technology has made it easier to do holiday shopping without leaving the home. I do the majority of my shopping online and am able to get nearly all the same deals offered in stores – all without having to even get out of bed.
Whether it’s shopping or some other holiday related activity, know your limits and discipline yourself to stay within those limits. The extra stress that comes with the holidays often means our bodies will hit their breaking points sooner than they normally do, so be extra cautious and take it as easy as possible.
Take Time To Plan
This may sound trivial, but for me it has paid huge dividends. One of the reasons the holidays take such a big toll on my energy levels is because there are a flurry of things to do and my mind is simply unable to keep track of all of them. This leads to feelings of stress and anxiety – which take their toll on both body and mind. To counteract this, I’ve made planning a part of my life. Simply writing down the things I have going on or need to do helps keep me grounded and allows that blizzard of thoughts in my mind to slow to a small trickle of snow.
You may plan however you see fit, but something that has worked for me is to take an hour or two every Sunday to sit down, gather my thoughts, and make a plan for the week. Feeling in control of the week ahead rejuvenates my spirit and gets me off to a fresh and positive start.
Having a strategy to improve energy levels is important regardless of the time of year, but certainly having one for the holiday season can make a world of difference. Whether it’s nutrition, natural energy sources, limiting activities or planning ahead – making the effort to take care of yourself will pay dividends. What things have helped you deal with the extra stress and fatigue during the holiday?