Five Tips for Staying Flare Free Over the Holidays

file0001777998948bIt’s that time of year, the Holidays. We always end up trying to figure out how to not end up in a flare. So, I asked some of my chronically-ill friends what they do or what best practices they would share with others.

Avoid people

It seems a little anti-social doesn’t it for such a social time but it is great advice. Try to avoid large crowds. I know we’re already after one of the major shopping days here in the US but you can still get caught up in the crowds.
One way to avoid the crowds is to go shopping at off peak shopping times. I try to go during the hours most people are at work. If I go during the weekend I try to find stores that are often not the more popular, large named stores. I rarely go to the mall in my day to day I usually only go to go to the movies. So, for me to go during this time of year I must be after something I can only get at the mall.
Another way to avoid the crowds – do what you can online. These days there are a lot of deals online and you can even order your groceries online and pick them up from the store or have them delivered. I know of one store locally that is using this service.

Adjust your menu

I know there is so much good food that you love to prepare and share with everyone but it can be really hard on your body. To make things easier you can select menu items you can prepare completely ahead of time and reheat later. You can also do all your prep work days ahead so you just have to put things together the day of. Another option is to find recipes for slow cooked meals and prepare smaller amounts of your traditional dishes. Take advantage of your family and have them bring part of the meal to you if they don’t already. Finally, you can check with your local supermarket catering department and see what holiday meals they are preparing and you won’t have to do it at all.

Know your limits

One of the things I have found to be very helpful in identifying my limits is a pedometer! I can be moving right along and suddenly seem to “hit a wall” and I’m down. So I check my pedometer and I can see how many steps I took that day or the day before that would cause me to be down that day. It used to be gauged by the number of times I got in and out of the truck – I could get in and out of the truck to run errands 3-4 times and I would be done for the day and possibly part of the next day. We don’t have a truck anymore but the pedometer does just as well.

One thing at a time

If you are overwhelmed with housework, getting the house decorated, or even snow removal take your time and do a little bit here and there and it will get done. We get a lot of snow at our house so if it is going to accumulate we go and do some and then do it again a few hours later and keep going like that so we have a break and it isn’t too heavy for us to move. I use my time shoveling almost meditatively and use music (surprise!) to dance my way through it.

Practice self-care

We all know family and friends visiting (or you visiting them) are part of the holidays. Try to carve out a space just for you. A friend of ours just had her family visit and she took a much needed “time out” and went into her room for a while. It was a safe space where she could rest, cry, read, or do whatever she needed to recharge herself. Take the time and space for you whether it is going to the gym, coloring, crafting, meditating, and sleeping whatever it is that brings you peace.

Those are five ideas that will hopefully help you out this season. Feel free to share with us some of your own solutions!

Written by Heather Stewart – Team Captain of The Rockin’ Weebles

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