One Mom's Moxie: Helping My Fibromyalgia and Arthritis During the Holidays

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Helping My Fibromyalgia and Arthritis During the Holidays

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The holiday season can be a fun and joyful time of year for so many, it is the time of year when family and friends gather and celebrate each other. I personally love the holiday season but during these couple of months I find myself slowing down more than usual. I have always been open about having Fibromyalgia and Arthritis but as a mom my children do not always understand why I can’t do the same things that some other parents can do. I have come up with some things to help me to keep pushing through each holiday season. Some of my solutions may seem like things you might do on an everyday basis but a lot of people forget to do the things they normally would during the holidays.

The first thing I do when I start to hurt more than usual is to keep a positive outlook throughout the entire holiday season. It is so easy to let your illnesses consume you but you will only be missing out on the festivities and having self-pity party will only make things worse. I know it may sound cliché to say to stay positive but if you keep the self-doubting out of your head then you will be able to celebrate the holidays without as much suffering you may have had in the past holiday seasons. Staying positive and thinking of family will keep you going.

Another solution is to pass on a lot of the goodies. Staying healthy doesn’t just mean eating your vegetables! I know that many of us will receive cookies, breads, candies and other sweets but eating healthier will actually help keep me going without feeling as sluggish. Most of us know that these homemade or store bought goods will help pack on a pound or two but not all goodies have to be sweet. You should make sure when you eat a holiday meal that you are eating to fuel your body. Sometimes I struggle with passing on another helping of candied yams or mashed potatoes, but I have to remind myself that the extra helping now can make things harder on me. I also have a really hard time saying no to the pumpkin pie, cheesecake or chocolate chip cookies. So instead of saying no to them I eat a smaller piece of pie or cheesecake and keep my cookie consumption to a two cookie maximum.

One of my other solutions is to challenge myself to do more. It is so easy to think of the holidays as a time to take a break from life. This is something that can make my Fibromyalgia even more difficult to live with. All I want to do sometimes is curl up in bed and sleep, I always think a good nap will help. Sometimes it does help but other times I will just feel even more tired than I was before. Using the holiday shopping to your advantage is a great way to get more exercise. While walking those aisles try to walk a little faster. Exercising is a good thing for those of us with Fibromyalgia and Arthritis but you still need to check with your doctor with what exercises will work best for you.

My final solution is to enjoy yourself. Don’t overthink things or push yourself too much. The holiday season is a time for family and friends. Do what you can, rest when you need to and make sure to laugh. I hope these things will help you get through the holidays a little easier. If you do give yourself a new challenge make sure to share it on the Hyland’s Holiday Challenge tab on Facebook, you will receive tips, articles and be entered to win weekly giveaways.

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

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