Thursday, December 21, 2023

Holiday Tips, Support, and Fun for the Chronically Ill

During this busy season, I am sharing here a wide range of holiday tips, support, and ideas for fun from past posts and past years, to help you through this coming week of Christmas and New Year's celebrations.

[I haven't been posting much here recently because I am still stuck in this awful relapse that began in mid-October. I've spent months with constant flu-like aches, lying on the couch, so my life has been very limited. I've realized that yeast overgrowth/candida is still at the root of this latest relapse, so I am on an extremely strict diet now: pretty much just meat, fish, and seafood, plus some cruciferous vegetables. I'm feeling better, my energy is better (thanks to working all year on normalizing thyroid function), but I still have thrush on my tongue and flu-like aches. Fingers crossed this clears up by Sunday so I can enjoy Christmas with my family!]

First up, the part of the holidays I struggle with the most (and many of you, too, from your posts and comments) is family relationships, which can be challenging when you're chronically ill. Those challenges multiply with the stresses and expectations of the holiday season. That's why I wrote Managing Family Relationships - Holidays and Beyond, which is excerpted from my book. This article/chapter provides practical tips to help you not only manage relationships but even enjoy the holiday season, in your own way and within your own limits.

Two years ago, I collected Chronic Illness Tips and Support (and Fun!) from other chronic illness bloggers and writers. Check out that round-up of support, practical advice, and some time-out fun, too. There is a lot of collective wisdom in the large chronic illness community!

And here is another round-up from other chronic illness bloggers: Chronically Ill Holiday Gifts and Tips, with some great posts from other bloggers about coping, planning and preparation, gift ideas, and support.

 I posted two Gift Guides here on my own blog this month: Chronic Illness Holiday Gift Guide ( I got some of these for my step-mom who's dealing with chronic pain) and Gifts Created by and for Spoonies. It might be too late to buy gifts for others, but you can put your new gift cards to good use! 

Finally, when you just need to take a break from all the activity and people and noise, check out Movies and TV for the Holidays (or Not!), my own collection for the season. I included some of my favorite holiday movies, old and new, and some outstanding, uplifting non-holiday movies and TV shows, if you just need to escape for a bit. And I will add one more holiday movie to that list - I just started watching Last Christmas, and it is just what I needed: a fun, uplifting seasonal romcom. Re-reading this list reminds me of how great these films and shows were!

OK, that's it for me until after Christmas. I still have a few more decorations to put up, cooking to do (just a little this year), and a few more gifts to wrap. I'm trying to pace myself!

How are you doing this holiday season?

Do you have any tips or favorite holiday movies and TV shows?

Please share in the comments.

Enjoy the holiday season, in whatever way you can!

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