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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

Or are there things you don't normally do, but you really want to do them for the occasion? Maybe you'd like to write something or create a gift for someone special. Maybe you want to paint something. Maybe you've been practicing a special piece on the piano.

If your gut says yes, seriously consider it. Those little jewels of pleasure and accomplishment are hard to come by for the chronic community. If the desire is that strong, sometimes you should go for it. The endorphins released will do you a world of good. You're the only judge as to when to say yes and when to say no.

5) Learn to embrace solitude.

This may seem out of place in a piece about holiday gatherings. But some people with CFS aren't going to be gathering for a holiday. They can't travel to see family. And for some, even if family came to them, the neurological chaos it triggers is too heavy a cost. Some can't handle the noise and visual commotion of a celebration. They may love the idea of it but their bodies can't handle the reality. And so they are alone.

6) Do you know someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Would you like to do something, but you're not sure what to do? Ask them what they're sensitive to, what they can tolerate, what they'd like. Sometimes there isn't anything you can do. But being asked by someone who cares is a great gift to someone who hasn't gotten too many requests in awhile.

7) Will someone with CFS be at your gathering?

Try to have a quiet place they can retreat to. Let them know it's for them. Not for them and the napping baby. It must have a door that closes and a place to sit or lie down, where they can be alone as long as they need to. Better yet, tell them well in advance. They'll be grateful for your thoughtfulness. And knowing they have a haven may be the deciding factor in whether or not they'll come out.

8) Do you know someone with CFS who can't have company?

Write them a letter. Send a card or an email. Send them photographs or a CD of their favorite music. Let them know you're thinking about them. You may be the only person who tells them this.

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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