Perhaps some of you are. But if you are more inclined to utter an “Oh, no!’ instead of an “Amen!”, I understand completely. We’re never fully ready, are we? And if we have chronic pain or are struggling with an illness or two (or more), the thought of the extra activity at this time can be more of a stressor than a sunny proposition.
After years of grappling with health issues and holiday cheer, here are some things that I’ve found helpful:
1. Plan as much as you can, but leave room for the unexpected (flares, doctor’s appointments, fatigue – and naps!)
2. Believe that you do not have to do it all (attend all the parties, make all the food, serve at all the religious services, visit all the relatives) and adjust your activities according to your health condition
3. Communicate clearly with others about what you can and cannot do – and ask for help with things that are beyond you reach (including decorating, baking, etc.0
4. Maintain your health regimen. I know, I know – this is so hard to do. But you’ll be happier for it come January, and you just might set yourself up for extra energy and strength during the holiday season, too!
5. Get creative – Adapt your abilities to the occasion so that you don’t have to miss out on events you truly want to participate in.
6. Set a budget. Do this before Black Friday and revisit what you’ve set time and again throughout the gift-giving frenzy that can otherwise sweep you away.
7. Give time. If you are financially limited, give gifts of time, attention, or other intangibles that can mean so very much (visit with friends you haven’t spoken with in a long time, volunteer at church, offer to get the mail for a neighbor away on vacation)
8. Prepare for travel. It’s hard to travel these days, but doubly or triple-y so for those of us with health issues. Make an extra effort to plan for your trip and don’t hesitate to find out about help (wheelchairs, special seating, etc.) available in aiports, train or bus stations, and other venues.
4. Stay close to the Lord – this season is, after all, based on faith and spirit. Keep God center and invite gifts of wisdom, comfort, and peace.
Blessings for the day!