We all know that dealing with chronic illness can be stressful on its own but throw in holidays with family and friends visiting, getting a large dinner on the table, finishing up last-minute shopping or preparations, and that stress can more than double and result in a terrible flare up!
With just a few days to go until Easter and all the hectic and stressful moments that come with any holiday, I wanted to take a few moments to share my top tips for surviving Easter, or any holiday, when you are dealing with Endo.
- Pace Yourself: This is extremely important as pacing yourself is the best thing you can do every day, not just on the holidays. As we all know, if we push our bodies too hard we are going to pay for it afterward.
- Receive Help: This can be difficult, I know. I hate feeling like I have to ask for help but there is absolutely no shame is asking the ones you love for assistance now and then. Prepping for the holidays can be a huge challenge and getting everyone involved will certainly lighten your load and add to the memories you make as well.
- Take Breaks: Be sure to take frequent breaks. One way to do this is to set a timer for fifteen or twenty-minute intervals and when the timer goes off take a short break to recover, take your medications, or anything else you may need to do for a satisfying mini-break. Once you feel rested repeat the process until all of your tasks are completed. Keep in mind, however, all of our bodies tolerate activity levels differently. If you feel you need a longer break or use a shorter work interval, that it completely okay, the point is to keep going until all your tasks are completed.
- Stay Hydrated: In the past, this has been difficult for me and I always wound up doing too much and not drinking any water at all! Now I keep a half-gallon jug of water nearby at all times, not only in order to have it handy but also to remind myself to hydrate. I find that when I am dehydrated my flare-ups are ten times worse, so this is a simple measure that pays off in the long run.
- Eat (Somewhat) Nutritious: Just as important as keeping hydrated is trying to eat somewhat nutritiously over the holiday. It can be difficult with all the salty goodness, sweet treats, and delicious dinners that pop up around the holidays but try and get some good nutrients into your body as well. If you can keep the treats in moderation you will keep your tummy and your body happy too.
- Take Care of Yourself: You are the most important person to take care of! Holidays are notorious for bringing the worst out in people and between the stress of hosting a celebration, getting everyone together under one roof, and completing all of the tasks to make it a memorable occasion, the stress can completely take over! Remember everyone and everything has to come second to you taking care of yourself. Try to reduce your stress, be sure to take all the medications you need, rest as much as you can and avoid any negativity if it is possible.
- Enjoy the Holiday: This might seem obvious, but I often forget that it is a holiday and a time to celebrate and enjoy life. There are many times that this can be difficult, I absolutely understand that, but do try to find moments of joy in the holiday. If at all possible find a spot to sit and just take a breath and find some peace. It is important to try and find these moments, or our illnesses can completely take us over.
- Once it's over, rest: Once all the eggs have been found, the chocolate bunnies and delicious dinners devoured, and it's all over for another year, sit down. Seriously, sit down and reflect on how well you did and the memories that you made. After everyone has gone home be sure to take the rest of the night off and do something nice for yourself. Have a relaxing bath, a steaming cup of tea, or pick up a book to enjoy under your favorite blanket. Just do something for you.
Take care of yourselves, be sure to not over-do-it, and most importantly, have fun!
Happy Easter my Endo Sisters, I truly hope you have a pain-free holiday!