By Emily Carroll
The holidays are upon us and everyone is freaking out! The tinsel is flying, the lords are leaping and the lights are being thrown all over the house. Let’s be honest — it feels like pure lunacy. Thankfully there are a few tips that can help in getting through the tougher parts of the season.
#1 Checking it once, checking it twice.
Lists are your best friend when it comes to organization and feeling secure in knowing you have accomplished everything you needed to accomplish. There are so many possibilities to organizing your lists. For instance, organize by having various categories and create many subcategories such as spouse, parents, siblings, school functions, fundraising clubs etc.
Under each category, write down specifically what you intend to get them or a deadline a task needs to be completed by. That way, when you are done with the entire category you can mentally “check out” that entire area of your life. Kind of like when you are crossing off the last item on the grocery list and you that big “sigh” of relief comes off your shoulders.
#2 Calendar your events, tasks.
Being able to look at your calendar on Sunday night and see exactly how many spoons you will need to get through the upcoming week can save your sanity and body from exhaustion. Personally, I schedule no more than two big events per day and like to schedule them in the mornings when I know my energy level is at the highest. This way, I can go home that evening and know my tasks are done and it is now time to rest for the next day.
Not only does overloading our schedule result in pushing ourselves too far, but it can mean a really bad flare up a week later, which might result in days off of work or months depending on what Lupus chooses to attack at that time. Day planners work well for the visual learners while others may enjoy the calendar apps you can purchase for $1.99 on iTunes or Google Play Store. Either way, they will make your life easier because they help put structure to your days, which in turn allows for you to insert much needed “me” time.
#3 Can someone please turn the music down?
Social hour is exhausting. It can be so difficult to feel well enough to truly enjoy the company of others. Sometimes I just need to sit down and breathe for a few minutes before rejoining the party. All of the smiling is making my face twitch!
How do you do this in a house full of people wearing ugly sweaters? Simple. Step out back where no one cares to be or hang with the dog. Take a few minutes to regain your train of thought and let go of the annoyances and pain that may be simmering that day.
Always remember, if you need to leave, then leave! Those who truly care will understand and still be around. In fact, some may even call you the next day asking if there is anything they can do for you.
#4 Decline the Invite.
You know you don’t have to make it to every single ugly sweater party or bring the entire school cupcakes, right? It is okay to decline invitations and they don’t need a reason why! Sure others may ask why you cannot make it, just reply that you already have plans that day. The ones that matter in your life will fully understand.
#5 Slumber like a bear in winter.
Most importantly, do not forget to rest. As Lupies, we cannot function normally without proper rest. What others consider “resting” is like getting the crumbs left in the chip bag – totally pointless. Some days I just need to lie down for 30 minutes and read a book. Other days I need to sleep for three hours, it all depends on the amount of physical strain I put my body through and what it decides to tolerate.
Flying may be on your travel schedule this year, too. Maybe some of you flare up from flying on airplanes or even just the stress of getting through security and not having them make you pull out your entire bag of pills! Which brings me to my final reminder.
#6 Refills, Refills, Refills.
You open your pill bottle and you have a few pills left, refill time. You call the pharmacy and you’re out of refills! Most doctors offices have random holiday breaks. Maybe the nurse that refills your medications decided to take an extra few days off of work which leaves you without your medication. Make sure to have your medications requested and filled at least a week prior to traveling.
Knowing your well being is taken care of, in the case of needing a steroid burst on that six hour flight to visit your parents on the other side of the country, you can treat your symptoms as needed. Not only will thousands of other patients be calling their refill requests in at the last minute, but medications are delivered by truck and no one can predict the unfortunate winter weather that can pop up.
With these tips you will get through the holiday season and be able to make the most of it. There will be hiccups but you will be prepared as long as you stick to what you know your body can handle. Hang tough my fellow Lupies and have an amazing holiday season!
Interior photos by Photo by Duffy Brook and Chris Abney on Unsplash