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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: 10 Ways To Make Thanksgiving Easier

By HERWriter
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome related image Photo: Getty Images

If you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, regular days are exhausting, holidays are like a beating. Well, look out. There's one coming right at us.

How do you get through, and maybe even enjoy, Thanksgiving?

1. Know your limits.
If you know full well that you must rest every two hours, or nap every afternoon, this is no time to ignore it.

Between now and Thanksgiving (and this pertains to Christmas in spades) maybe have a rest every hour. Don't just nap in the afternoon, lay down in the morning and the evening.

2. Stick to essentials.
Sure it would be nice to invite everyone to Thanksgiving dinner. But if it would crash you until well after New Year's, set your sights on something less draining. Maybe you love to cook, but defer that for now. You may yet cook for them one day. Just not this week.

Pick one or two people you miss the most, and invite them to visit for an hour. If that's too long, ask them to stop by for twenty minutes. Good friends will understand. Good friends who miss you will jump at the chance of even a glimpse of you.

And don't feed them. Your job is to expend as little energy as possible so you're conscious when they arrive.

3. Be sensitive to yourself.
A lot of us have some type of dysautonomia, that is to say our body systems don't always work together well. We may have sudden dizziness or heart palpitations or vertigo. Some days we're unable to move. Or to think. We don't know why. We just try to roll with it.

With a holiday on the horizon, those tricky body systems are under extra strain. Doesn't matter if you don't normally have to lay down in a dark room to get the ringing out of your ears and the buzzing out of your head.

Don't want to look like a wimp by excusing yourself to collapse for awhile? Too bad. You know the price you'll pay if you don't. Lay down, rest up, and maybe be able to come back and join the fun.

4. Listen to your gut.
Are there things you'd like to do but you have a gnawing feeling they'll tip you into a crash? Heed the gnawing.

Add a Comment6 Comments


I expect there are other things that are more of a priority. Like breathing, and not having sound pierce your ears, not being worn out and having your brain becoming fractured ... Not having a crash due to the exertion of having company ... The essentials must be met, and it sounds like you've got your priorities good and straight.

I wish you well, and hope for healing for you.

Thanks for writing about your thoughts.

December 7, 2010 - 3:21pm
EmpowHER Guest

Things like having celebrations or going to other people's houses for something like this are pretty much over for me, at least for now. I can't imagine spending my precious energy on them.

December 7, 2010 - 3:05pm


Your post underscores some of the reality of what I was writing about. Thanks for helping to give a fuller picture of what it's like for many who are chronically ill.

I hope you have a restful and pleasant night.

November 25, 2010 - 7:43pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am actually by myself away from my family
but it's ok because I know that this is what my
body needs right now - quiet relaxation.
When I feel stronger, I know my family will be there
for me.

November 25, 2010 - 3:30pm

Thanks, Anonymous.

Glad to know I'm hitting the mark. :)

I hope you're able to enjoy a peaceful but satisfying Thanksgiving.

November 25, 2010 - 1:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

Jody did it again.
In her clear sensible way, she is expressing what all of us stricken with this illness feel.
thank you!

November 25, 2010 - 1:03pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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