The holiday season can be the busiest, most stressful, yet most joyful time of year for many Americans. Unfortunately, the exhaustion and overwhelming feelings that go along with the season, for some, don’t start on Thanksgiving won’t go away after New Years Day. These are people suffering with Fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder causing muscle pain and weakness along with poor sleep and fatigue.
To alleviate the stress and fatigue associated with holiday shopping, cooking, family visits, and work it is important to maintain a healthy diet. Putting a strong emphasis on staying active and eating right will help keep your immune system strong and your mind at ease. If symptoms such as fatigue and muscle tenderness have been with you for months before or after the holidays and you continue to feel unrested, achy and weak you may suffer from more than just the holiday blues.
Fibromyalgia affects many women aged 20-60 and can be brought on by physical or mental stress, among other things. The importance of a healthy diet and exercise for Fibromyalgia sufferers is critical and even more so during the holidays when this time is notorious for weight gain and laziness. Although the condition is not preventable, alleviating the widespread pain is the most important fight.
When suffering with Fibromyalgia, put yourself first this holiday season. The added stress is something that can only aggravate the symptoms, leaving you suffering during a time that should be spent with the ones you love. Tips for a stress free holiday apply doubly to those with Fibromyalgia and a local Connecticut newspaper, The Wilton Villager, presents a list to help:
• Make a "game plan" - How much time will you need to shop, bake and fulfill family and social obligations? Be realistic when you budget your time and allow for any last-minute emergencies that might pop up.
• No" is an answer - Don't feel obligated to attend every function you are invited to. It's only an invitation, not a mandate for your appearance.
• Set a budget - With uncertain economic times, this is a critical step in avoiding additional stress. Make a list of "who, what and how much" -- and stick to it to avoid impulse purchases.
• Be flexible - As family situations change through time, it's okay to tweak those holiday traditions accordingly. The kids may now be grown with families of their own so it might now be harder to get everyone together -- the world won't end if you do things differently.
• Be realistic - Life is full of surprises and the holidays are no different. […] -- take a deep breath and try not to stress. Nobody is perfect.
• Show some willpower -- Just as you set a budget, you must also decide when and how much you will stray from your normal eating habits. Don't overindulge[…].
This holiday season is a time for you to celebrate all the joys in your life and should not be overshadowed by your fight with Fibromyalgia. Take early preparations and don’t spread yourself too thin. The holidays come every year and you should not have to suffer through them.