7 Ways To Take Care Of Yourself During The Holidays

Content via Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

The holidays are upon us, which along with the cheer, can bring a lot of stress. “Already, you might be noticing differences in your mood, body and safety,” shares Nurse Linda. “Sometimes a reminder of taking care of yourself is necessary in the season of giving.”

Tips to maximize your happiness this holiday season:

  • Choose less-stress events. There’s a risk of burnout and overstimulation around the holidays, so choose events that are accessible and/or with people you love. Be sure to plan ahead to foresee any complications with transport or maneuvering at the event itself, but stick to events that will bring you joy.
  • Get enough sleep. Give yourself the best chance to manage the buzz, excitement and stress the holidays bring.
  • Stick to critical routines. “Time at a holiday party can easily slip by without moving our bodies or adjusting seating,” Nurse Linda shares. “A few extra drinks and drinks with alcohol will offset catheterization times.” Try setting alarms or have someone help you stay on track.
  • Wash your hands. “We have a certain amount of immunity to bacteria and viruses within our normal exposure patterns. However, with visits and outings to different places [during the holidays], exposures will be different,” explains Nurse Linda.
  • Enjoy food and drinks within reason. Lots of sugar and carbs can wreak havoc on your bladder and intestines. “They can be difficult to resist but think of just one taste as opposed to a plateful,” Nurse Linda advises.
  • Mind the weather. Whether you have snow or sun, be aware of temperature changes, rain, ice or other situations and be prepared for the weather. “Don’t miss the holiday fun due to a rain storm,” Nurse Linda explains. “Those who live in snowy areas know to watch out and keep extremities warm to avoid frost bite.”
  • Watch out for decorations! Keep yourself, your equipment, and the display intact by being aware of your environment. “Especially, in homes, power cords could be laying out where you could easily stumble or roll into trouble,” Nurse Linda explains. “Obstructions of decorations or equipment can hamper your movements so be sure to leave yourself enough room to slip thought tight spots.”

Keep in mind that no matter what you do, some activities might “bring forward thoughts about our differences in abilities,” Nurse Linda explains. “Sometimes, the happiest of events can lead us to feeling sad. There is so much we would like to do but find it a challenge.” No matter what you do (or don’t do) this holiday season, know that if you find yourself feeling blue, you are not alone.

“Feeling sad at the holidays is not unusual. Sticking with supportive friends and family that will include us fully is a good start. We, also, need to be supportive of our friends and family who might also be having difficulty at the holidays.”

If you need a boost, don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re feeling great these holidays, don’t be afraid to give a phone call to someone who might be struggling.

Lastly, there’s always room to improve. “Think about your festivities last year and what you might do differently to keep yourself safe,” advises Nurse Linda. Do the holidays on your terms and keep yourself healthy and at peace.

Share this post with someone managing holiday stress this season!

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