Sunday, December 19, 2021

Weekly Inspiration: Chronic Illness Holiday Tips and Support (and Fun!)

You may have noticed I haven't been writing many blog posts lately--I have been seriously overwhelmed. Besides the usual holiday craziness this time of year, we had a family funeral in Buffalo (an 8-hour drive each way) the week before Thanksgiving, our Thanksgiving trip to Rochester (another 8 hours each way), plus a feature article due to an editor in December, and today, a book signing at a wonderful indie bookstore two hours' away at the beach. That was actually a lot of fun today, and I made some new connections, met other people with chronic illnesses (and sold a few books), but it's just been super busy for me. We did manage to get our tree up last week! So, I've had very little time for blogging.

Then I realized I don't have to write anything new because there are so many wonderful holiday-themed posts out there, written by other bloggers! So, here's a great collection of blog posts, including some excellent advice and helpful tips for managing (and enjoying) the holiday season ... and some laughs and fun, too! These are all from others with chronic illness whose blogs and other writings I enjoy. I hope you do, too!

First, my own article (and a chapter in my book), Managing Family Relationships--Holidays and Beyond. I often find this to be the most challenging aspect of the season for me and the practices I outline in this article have helped me. I hope they help you, too.


Toni Bernhard, a good friend of mine who got ME/CFS about the same time that I did, has written three outstanding books on living with chronic illness (check out my reviews in my 5 Inspiring Books post) and writes a regular column, Turning Straw into Gold, about living with chronic illness for Psychology Today. In this column, Surviving the Holidays When You're Chronically Ill, Toni offers several excellent tips for managing the holiday season, including family, gifts, cooking, expectations, and more. As usual, Toni is incredibly insightful and ... well, brilliant! In fact, my husband and I just took one of her tips to heart this weekend, dumped our plans for a huge turkey dinner for Christmas and opted for something much simpler with a lot less work--we are both less stressed now and actually looking forward to the day!


Over at Navigating the Storms: Thriving in the Midst of Disabilities blog, she has a helpful holiday post, Let's Use Planning to Make a Beautiful Christmas! She provides step-by-step ideas for planning ahead to manage the season even with limitations, so you and your family can still enjoy the holidays together, with less stress and fatigue.


Sheryl at A Chronic Voice blog has put together a comprehensive post, 3 Important Holiday Checklists for Those with Chronic Illness (and Their Supporters) that is chock-full of great advice! Sheryl has checklists for pre-holiday preparation, self-care during the holidays, and what your supporters can do to help, all focused on those of us living with limitations who may struggle during this hectic time of year. This post is loaded with great tips and advice.


On the blog My Medical Musings: A Life of Love, Laughter, Faith and Hope, she has a wonderful new holiday post, Have Yourself a Merry Little "Chronic" Christmas. This thoughtful and insightful post includes plenty of practical tips and helpful advice, but it is also kind and supportive, offering emotional support to those of us who probably can't do all that we want to but who still want to enjoy the holidays.

And, now for some fun! Rebecca at Strength and Sunshine blog has a recipe for Peppermint Bark Popcorn ... and it's gluten-free and can be made vegan! It uses only 5 ingredients, takes just 10 minutes to make, and looks delicious. Sounds like the perfect treat for many of us with chronic illness. (Note that many brands of chocolate chips contain dairy. We love Enjoy Life brand of dairy-free chocolate chips.) Mmmm ... we might have to try this one--perfect for a holiday movie night!


Finally, with all the holiday stress, you might need a few laughs! Miss Diagnoses: Life with Multiple Ailments has a fun post full of cartoons about If Santa Had Brain Fog. She's a talented cartoonist and has come up with a whole series of funny vignettes about poor Santa dealing with the effects of brain fog as he makes his rounds. Check it out and enjoy some Ho-Ho-Ho's for yourself!

I hope you enjoyed these wonderful blog posts and articles as much as I did!

Enjoy the holiday season!

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