When you have a chronic illness the importance of a support system all year round is vital, but during those mad months, we call the holidays everything can kick into high gear.
It’s important to really ask for help around this time if you need it. Are you hosting? Traveling? Have a packed calendar of parties or gatherings? Have small children? You’re going to need some help and that’s ok. Your support system can help you come up with ideas, take things off your plate or even lay down that tough love by saying, “I don’t think this is a good idea.” That outsider perspective is one of the many ways a support system can come in handy.
For some of us in colder climates, our chronic illnesses tend to make it harder to get around when the temperature drops. Even logistically Ice and snow or cold rain can be tricky to navigate. Ask if someone on your team can shovel your walkway or driveway. See if you can carpool to events or offer to let people stay overnight at your place so they don’t have to drive all the way home after dropping you off. You can also provide snacks for the road or as a thank you when you’re back home. It’ll make you feel good to do something nice for the people who have your back.
The holidays can also be a little isolating. Many of us with chronic illnesses suffer from fear of missing out when we can’t attend every function or help as much as we’d like. This is where online support systems are invaluable. The internet never sleeps and reaching out to online friends is a way to stay connected and feel validated.
Sometimes it can seem like a struggle to keep up or maintain the expectations we put on ourselves to deliver “the best holiday season ever.” But it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as perfect. The “best holiday season” we can give to our loved ones is one where we take care of ourselves and let them help us.