Surviving The Holidays With Fibromyalgai
The thought of the upcoming holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanza, or Hanuka, can become a thought of dread in those who have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Shopping, decorating, cooking, and other preparations that are common during the holiday season can make a Fibromyalgai sufferer become overwhelmed because of the lack of energy that they have for all of those tasks. However, the holidays shouldn’t bring about feelings of dread or thoughts of tasks being too overwhelming. With a little bit of advanced planning and prioritization these times can become enjoyable. Below are a few suggestions for not only surviving the upcoming holidays but also being able to enjoy them as well.
- Plan Ahead – everyone has heard the tips for Fibromyalgai sufferers about planning ahead. The holiday season is no different. A game plan is a must for those who suffer from the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, especially during the holiday season. Making lists, being detailed and attempting to stick to schedules can be lifesavers when it comes to planning ahead. Being realistic about the things that need to be accomplished versus the things that a person wants to accomplish are also important to differentiate between. The holiday season along with the decorations, shopping, baking, wrapping of presents, assembling of toys, and stuffing of stockings can overwhelm the Fibromyalgai sufferer is too much is bitten off. Taking small tasks and breaking up the things that need to be done over a set period of time allows for the Fibromyalgia sufferer to be more realistic about the goals they are trying to accomplish. Advanced planning, especially for those Fibromyalgai sufferers who just love the holidays can begin in the weeks and even months before these holidays in order to help cut down on what must be done on the actual day of the holiday.
- Prioritize – Once the advanced planning has taken place then prioritization must come into play. The things that are the most important should be at the top of the list and the things that aren’t as important should be at the bottom. Understanding that bad days, symptoms exacerbation, or even worse Fibro Flare ups can occur and being able to cut a few things from the list in order to prioritize those that are most important is vital to survival of the holidays for the Fibromyalgai sufferer.
- Pace Yourself – daily pacing is a lifestyle adaptation that should be practiced regularly, however during times of increased stressed, such as during the holiday season, attention should be given even more to the act of pacing. Pacing and prioritization go hand in hand, if the day is not going as planned and pacing is needed then prioritizing what’s most important and cutting out the things, tasks, or responsibilities that aren’t as important can make or break how survival will go.
- Simplify – Gone are the years of extravagant party planning, hosting of events, and participation in stressful holiday traditions. The overall health of the Fibromyalgai sufferer should always be a consideration and learning to simplify life and enjoy the small things becomes much more important after a diagnosis of Fibromyalgai. Often times the holiday season can become busy just for the sake of busyness; however this should never be the case for someone who is suffering from Fibromyalgai.
- Delegation – If there are traditions that just cannot be given up, such as the extravagant holiday dinners, then ask for help and delegate. One example of continuing with the tradition of the extravagant holiday dinner would be to ask for everyone who attends to bring a dish, so that the responsibilities do not fall on one individual person.
- Listen to your Body – anyone who has Fibromyalgai will know their symptoms and will usually be able to recognize when those symptoms are flaring. Do not ignore these signs that overdoing it is taking place. Just as individuals are told to listen to their symptoms and bodies for treatment on normal days this is even more vital for the holiday
season. If symptoms begin to flare then re-evaluation of the lists, schedules, and priorities should take place so that proper care can be given and treatment of the symptoms can occur.
- Rest – lastly it is important that the Fibromyalgai sufferer should schedule in periods of rest and downtime during the holiday season. Survival of the holiday season for those who suffer from Fibromyalgai symptoms will always include periods of rest and downtime so that further enjoyment of the holiday can be achieved.