This post is part of the Five Minute Friday blog link-up. Where I join up with a community of writers and bloggers of all ages and stages who gather around a single-word prompt to free-write, unscripted, unedited, for five minutes. This week’s word prompt is {{Maintain}} 

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year, but they can also be stressful and overwhelming, especially for people with chronic illness. The extra social engagements, travel, and changes in routine can take a toll on your physical and mental health. 

Here are some tips to help you maintain yourself through the holidays with chronic illness 

  1. Plan ahead: The more you can plan ahead, the less stressed you will be. Make a list of all the events and activities you want to attend, and then prioritize them. Decide which ones are most important to you and which ones you can skip. 
  2. Set boundaries: It’s okay to say no to invitations, even if they come from loved ones. Don’t feel obligated to do everything. It’s important to listen to your body and rest when you need to. 
  3. Pace yourself: Don’t try to do too much in one day. Take breaks throughout the day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. And don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to others. 
  4. Take care of yourself: Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating, take your medications and being mobile if you can. Even a little bit of activity can help reduce stress and improve your energy levels. 
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: If you need help with cooking, cleaning, or shopping, ask your friends and family for help. They’re usually more than happy to help. 
  6. Delegate tasks: If you’re hosting a holiday gathering, don’t try to do everything yourself. Ask family and friends to help with cooking, cleaning, and other tasks. 
  7. Be flexible: Things don’t always go according to plan, especially during the holidays. If something unexpected comes up, be flexible and don’t let it stress you out. 
  8. Set realistic expectations: Don’t try to do too much in one day. Take breaks when you need them, and don’t be afraid to say no to commitments. 

Here are some other tips that may be helpful 

  1. Adapt your holiday traditions: If there are certain traditions that you’re not able to take part in due to your chronic illness, don’t be afraid to adapt them. For example, if you can’t bake cookies for the holidays, you could buy them from a local bakery or make a no-bake dessert instead. 
  2. Find holiday activities that are accessible to you: There are many holiday activities that don’t require a lot of physical exertion. For example, you could go to a holiday concert, watch a holiday movie, or visit a local holiday market. 
  3. Be kind to yourself: The holidays can be a difficult time for people with chronic illness. It’s important to be patient with yourself and to allow yourself to rest when you need to. 

Remember, you are not alone. Many people with chronic illness struggle to maintain balance during the holidays. But by following these tips, you can enjoy the holiday season without sacrificing your health. 

(More than 5 minutes…) 

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  1. excellent tips. I find my mom and mom-in-law exercising more of them as they mature through life. FMF11 And I’m sure I will in time as well. 🙂

  2. Those are wonderful tips for everyone! Thanks, Paula.

  3. Very practical and helpful tips! I’ve found that I need to pace myself better as I get older and deal with limits to my energy! Visiting from FMF#13

  4. Good tips. We’ve simplified a lot over the years. I also try to get the bulk of my Christmas shopping done by the week after Thanksgiving. One of the biggest struggles for me is getting the house clean before my son comes to visit–not just for him, but we have all the family here a lot then. (I often say it’s not cleaning that’s a problem–it’s getting it all done at one time. 🙂 ) I have an acquaintance who has a house cleaning business. I’ve been thinking of asking my husband if we could look into her prices and maybe schedule her for that time.

    1. Hey that cleaning service sounds like a great idea.

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