Educating Loved Ones about Your Health During the Holidays
Posted Dec 19 2012 6:04pm
Found a fabulous blog today with some lovely holiday coping articles. This one addresses the challenges that we often face in explaining our health limitations to family members. Check it out. Very sage advice here!
Published on December 13, 2012 by Toni Bernhard, J.D. in Turning Straw Into Gold
Chronic health problems pose a challenge to relationships any time of year. Most people don’t understand the debilitating effects, physical and mental, of unrelenting pain and illness—unless they experience it themselves or are the caregiver for someone who is experiencing it. During the rest of the year, many of us have learned to limit interactions with others in order to manage our symptoms.
But when the holidays arrive, if we’re not careful, we can find ourselves suddenly thrust into the middle of a lively and chaotic social scene where we’re expected to participate in a range of activities, often for days on end. As a result, this time of year can be a recipe for double disaster—the increase in activity exacerbates our physical symptoms, while coping with sadness, frustration, and maybe even guilt about our physical limitations gives rise to emotional pain.
No wonder many of us with health problems dread the holiday season.
We can do a lot to minimize the negative effects of the holidays on our health by being sure that loved ones know about our limitations. If you’re one of the many people with chronic health problems who don’t look sick, the burden is on you to make your condition “visible.” If you don’t take this pre-emptive action, people’s expectations of you may be way out of line with what you can handle.
Here are some suggestions for helping loved ones understand what your life is like so that all of you can better enjoy this time of year:
Read the suggestions and rest of the article here!