Holiday Prep when you have Chronic Pain

Prepare For The Holidays
Can you hear the icy tinkle of sleigh bells on a passing sleigh or perhaps flying overhead? 
Ready or not, here they come. The holidays is upon us

Sleigh Ride https://youtu.be/kXXUXgaMtDY

Ignoring them won’t keep them from arriving but early preparation can make them more enjoyable and more than survivable. 
We have to adapt to survive and to enjoy our traditional celebrations. When you live a compromised life due to chronic disease and/or pain, the rules change. 

I think our values also change. We have to learn to sort, choose and prioritize as we decide what matters most. It’s different for each of us.

I used to be a “last minute” kind of person 

Now the only way it’s last minute is if I happened to forget something or someone haha

I was thinking today, we’d discuss some of the creative efforts required by the holiday season and try to find ways to approach them differently than we have in the healthy days of the past.

Cleaning

Yuck high dust low dust 

What a pain when you have limited mobility 
This is definitely one of those chores we can divide into smaller projects and can perform days before the actual event, whether it’s Easter ,Thanksgiving, Christmas or Kwanza Hanukkah. 

First of all we have to decide if we’re going to host an event or holiday. 
If we are, most of us want the house to be a bit cleaner than usual. 

The holidays are to be fun and enjoyed not dreaded and tolerated 

If you have family from out of town staying with you. 

Sheets can be changed on beds quite early, floors can be vacuumed and shut the door doors to keep the room clean. 
I stopped using fancy dishes for now 
But if your into that

Dishes, silverware and special tablecloths and napkins can be washed early . If you have one that needs ironing, take it to the dry cleaners instead. 
Who needs the aggravation 

Clutter can be swept into a closet to make surfaces look cleaner; I used to love nic nacks now not so much
I like fresh flowers or plants can cheer up any room. Candlelight is also a nice touch and hides dust haha
Cooking & Baking 

I used to be a baking machine. But seems like 

Now the machine is broken

Sometimes, I think I did it for the sake of Tradition 
Christmas cookies, were not not only fun to eat but enjoyable to make 
But my family lives in Florida and I just don’t see the point or the hassle for my husband and I 
Next year when we live in Florida, I may give it a whirl but not go full blast and overboard 

When life deals us the blow of chronic pain, we need to gear back our expectations and do less. 

There are recipes, such as cookies and breads which can be baked ahead by several weeks and frozen. It certainly cuts down on the last minute stress and fatigue. Remember, this is the season to be happy and jolly.

Embrace anything and everything that makes life easierand cuts down on the strain to a tired, aching body. 

Know yourself and what you can do and do just that. 
Your family and loved ones want what is best for you and if they don’t, it’s time they learned compassion. 
Maybe that would make the perfect gift for some self-centered, foolish friend or relative. “I give you the gift of empathy and compassion this year.”

As far as those big, festive holiday meals we all love, maybe it’s time for the kids to help out a bit more. 

Spreading the responsibilities makes it easier for everyone. Vegetables such as squash bakes, sweet potatoes, etc can be prepared a couple of days before the event and refrigerated. 

There are some wonderful veggie casseroles and some you can buy already made. 
And don’t forget the vegans in the family. 

There are hundreds of salads which can also be made ahead. Some of the marinated salads are even better after a few days. 

The main thing is realize we are not who we used to be but our feelings, those we love and the meaning of the holidays has not changed. 
We can and must adapt 

Shopping 

When my family was local I shopped off and on all year long. No, that’s not a virtue, it’s was a necessity. 
It helps the budget to buy it gradually and is also expedient. If I see something I think someone would like I buy it then. It might not be there later. 
I love Christmas shopping but it is a chore at times. That’s why I do so much shopping online. 

For many of us it’s easier to shop online and have a gift shipped to the recipient. Many of us are not up to the old carry, juggle and drop into a chair at the end of the day method of gift giving. 

So With a chronic illness or pain have less money due to disability so adjust your expectations of giving and try to remember what really matters to those we love. 

A gift doesn’t have to cost a great deal to be appreciated. 
It just has to enjoyed, cherished and used. There are so many wonderful items of gifts you can ship direct

There are so many wonderful books for adults and children as well as gift certificates in stores or online. 
That way each person can get what they want.
I have met so many that dread the holidays, either because of pain, or disability or loneliness reach out to them
All it takes is a phone call to let them know you care. 

In the end you can only do what you can do. 

 

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