It’s the busiest time of the year. The pressure to make everything perfect – for ourselves and for others – can quickly put those of us coping with chronic illness into overwhelm. You can avoid triggering a debilitating flare by remembering the best Christmas gift for your fibromyalgia. And that’s self-care.
Treat, Not Indulge
The eggnog, alcohol, wheat, and sugar that seems to go with the territory at Christmastime can really do a number on your body’s ability to weather the extra stress. But rather than avoid all the goodies altogether – except those that cause you serious problems, and you know which those are – limit the damage by permitting yourself a little taste treat. Just one shortbread cookie, not seven. Maybe a small glass of eggnog, with or without rum, and not a big tumbler. Or two. It’s important to feel like you’re able to participate in the festivities along with your family and friends. Sometimes a little taste of something spectacular can feel like a Christmas gift for your fibromyalgia all by itself. But it’s also important to be able to get to tomorrow without the huge setback of an indulgence-triggered flareup.
Protect Your Sleep Time
Whether its partying and revelry or just the kids up late, giggling and excited for Santa, find a way to stick to your sleep hygiene regime. It’s hard enough to get a decent (I didn’t say good) night’s sleep without letting the sounds of the season, as it were, interrupt your flow. If you’ve established a sleep routine that involves a 9 p.m. bath, and 9:30 in bed, do your best to stick to it. The people who love you and want to spend quality time with you tomorrow and the day after that will thank you as well.
Live in Your PJs
My favourite! Over the holidays it’s okay to declare that it’s never too early to put on your pyjamas and it’s never too late to take them off. Not yet dinner time on the 24th? Pyjama time! For an extra special treat, if your budget allows, splurge on a new set of PJs for yourself that will be ultra comfy and leave you feeling pampered.
Ask For Help
Don’t corner yourself into doing all the cleanup, or all the cooking, or all the anything. Smile, tell people you love them, and ask for help. Let the kids make a game out of all the torn Christmas wrapping – jump and roll in it if they wish – but then they can bag it all and take the bag to the trash.
These few little tricks will help you – and your loved ones – have an enjoyable, manageable Christmas season. Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays!