The holidays are here and coming jingling along with them are all of the joy and stress of family gatherings; the I-have-no-idea-what-gift-to-buy- gift buying and the financial worries that follow right behind them, the insecurities of the I-am-no-freaking-Martha Stewart-meal-planning-woes, the fighting of the-me-first-you-last-voracious-crowds-everywhere-nuttiness, the physical and emotional demands of decorating and hanging the no-doubt-tangled lights-even-though-I-was-so-careful-wraping-them-up-last-year-woes (with, of course, one mystery bulb out, causing total string blackout), the welcome-or unwelcome house guests, followed up with the fun-filled-holiday-time-travel stress (making you wish you could actually time travel.)
All of this can, understandably, lead to that little thing called 'holiday stress'. Because stress can be a trigger for lupus, worsen flares, and has been linked to increased intensity in pain, stress avoidance is a must for everyone, especially lupus sufferers. Ok, we cannot avoid stress outright, because it is ever present in our daily lives, it is just hugely amplified during the holiday season. Our aim is learning to utilize techniques that minimize the negative impact of stress on our bodies and finding ways to deal with the unavoidable stress with which we are faced. This article from the Hospital for Special Surgery is a great guide for how to deal with and even avoid some of the stress that comes from the holiday crazies. It is filled with tips and advice we think you will find helpful this holiday season and for the ones to come.