8 Tips For Christmas Whilst Living With A Functional Neurological Disorder

It’s just over 3 weeks until Christmas Day, and no doubt we are all now trying to get organised with the added uncertainty of the Government’s plans relating to restrictions.

Here are just a handful of tips they may help towards the planning during this festive season.

1. Plan ahead

A large portion of stress can come from the last-minute rush to get everything done. Planning is not straight forward for someone who has a chronic condition as health can be unpredictable, but not waiting until the last minute to do everything should allow enough energy to enjoy the run up to Christmas day.

2. Pace yourself

Fatigue can make you feel like cancelling Christmas altogether, so it’s important to take time out and rest. Take breaks in between tasks such as present wrapping, take a walk outside if you are able to, have a nap – anything to take your mind off the matter in hand and to rest your body. Acknowledge your limitations.

3. Be aware of your triggers

Flashing lights, loud noises, lots of stress … Christmas has it all. Think about things you can do to reduce your exposure to triggers, such as shopping online to avoid the bustle and limiting time spent at gatherings. Try to make time every day for your relaxation techniques and stress busting activities.

4. Don't be afraid to ask for help

It can be difficult enough to manage everyday tasks, so Christmas can bring along a lot more pressure on your time and your health. Sometimes you really do need to be honest with those around you about what you need help with to get through the day. Activities can be made fun when done together.

5. Don't be afraid to say 'no' to things

People may not like your decision, but your health takes priority. You will be the one who will have to manage your symptoms if you overdo things … no one else. You want to be able to enjoy festivities, not just endure them.

6. Cooking made easy

Frozen and already prepared food is much better quality than it used to be. You can get almost everything already chopped and peeled, or even part-cooked, which will save time as well as energy. It’s not ‘cheating’ to make use of these.

7. Coping with loneliness

Talking with others can bring comfort, support and help you to cope. You may not be able to leave your house right now, so online support groups can help you connect with others and make friends. Local community charities will also be planning gatherings and activities to help people connect. You do not have to be alone.

8. Remember what Christmas is all about

It’s so easy to get caught up in the baking, shopping, decorating, etc., but that’s not really what it’s all about. Christmas is about creating memories, enjoying the magic and tradition of the season, and spending time with loved ones and friends – old and new.

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