Friday, 21 December 2012

Surviving the Holidays

Surviving the Holidays

By Karen Lee Richards

Editor's Note: When she wrote this article, Karen Lee Richards was Vice President of the National Fibromyalgia Association and Executive Editor of its magazine, Fibromyalgia AWARE. The article is reprinted from the Sept.-Dec. 2002 issue of the magazine, with permission of NFA.

Does the thought of another holiday season fill you with joyful anticipation or overwhelm you with fear and dread? The average person considers the holidays at least somewhat stressful. For people with fibromyalgia, who are already struggling to cope with daily life in general, the added demands and stresses of the holidays can trigger a flare of fibromyalgia symptoms. While you may not be able to totally avoid all stress, you can reduce your stress level significantly by giving yourself a G.I.F.T.

G - Guilt Must Go

Guilt is born when you fail to live up to your own expectations for yourself. Year after year you are bombarded with a "magical mythical model" of the idyllic holiday scene - complete with family, friends, food and festivities, encompassed in a spirit of peace and goodwill for all. If this is the holiday image you are trying to achieve, it is time for a reality check. The fact is, you have a chronic pain illness which limits what and how much you can do. It's time to stop blaming yourself because you can't provide the elaborate holiday festivities you once did or because you can't do everything you think your family expects you to do. It's time to remember what the holidays are really about - expressing your love and thankfulness for family and friends. There are many ways to express those feelings without damaging your body in the process.

Decide right now that you will refuse to accept any feelings of guilt because of what you cannot do. Instead, focus your attention on what you can do. Then gather that old guilt up into a big ball, kick it out, and lock the door behind it!

Read the rest  HERE

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Fibro TV:How to Stay Sane When in Pain During The Holidays

I found this lovely post on Twitter from the fabulous Fibro TV:

Holiday stress can make this Jolly time of year overwhelming!
It is that time of year again! The time of year we are supposed to cook, clean, spend money, and expected to remember this is the happiest time of the year and put a smile on our face! (Do you sense the sarcasm in my voice?) The Holidays are a challenge for a healthy person,  but for someone with a Chronic Medical Condition the challenge can be overwhelming. There are ways to insure YOU enjoy the Holiday because YOU deserve that and sometimes that means YOU saying “NO!”  All you type A personaities that want to please everyone I know it is hard to say “NO” But this year YOU are going to be in control and YOU are going to enjoy the Holidays just like everyone else.

How To Enjoy The Holidays And Not Feel Overwhelmed When You Feel Like You Have Been Hit With A Giant Snow Ball!

1) Know your limits and have realistic expectations for yourself.
If you have a Chronic Condition like fibromyalgia, CFIDS/ME, MS, Arthritis, or Lupus, you can not expect to cook for 50 people and not have a flare up afterwards. If you can, have a family member have the event. If this is impossible you can have family members bring side dishes or by some pre-made side dishes at the grocery store so you do not have  to prepare everything yourself.  Also have a place you can get away from everyone for a few minutes and have some peace and quiet. You will be surprised how refreshed you feel when you take a few minutes for yourself away from it all!

Read the rest here: HERE

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.
 If you are attentive, you will see it.
 Be Grateful.
 Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

For a moment today I almost forgot to let the earth rise up and embrace me.
I almost forgot the joyous feel of the Earth beneath my feet.