How To Stay Healthy During the Holidays Even with Chronic Illness

Photo by Honey Fangs

How to avoid or at least minimize weight gain

Whether you are eating out or at a family members house, try to choose the healthiest options to make the meal fit into your normal diet. Steer clear of deep fried, pastry-based dishes or those with creamy or cheesy sauces. If you are having dessert, keep the portion small and choose more fruit-based options.

There is also the 50% Rule to get the best of both worlds. Instead of falling to one extreme or the other, you can take whatever goals you usually follow and cut them by 50% for the holiday season. This pertains to your work-outs and diet.

Also try taking to focus off of food, Avoid overindulging and spend more time conversating and spending quality time with loved ones.

And if needed, there is always Medical Weight Loss that we offer at Qvita Health and Wellness for a safe way to get the help you need for weight loss. 

Healthy Tips:

  1. Wash hands to avoid germ spread
  2. Don’t drink and drive, not even buzzed.
  3. Be smoke-free
  4. Wear seat-belts even in short-distances
  5. Get caught up on your vaccines and preventative screenings such your annual physical exam.
  6. Monitor children closely to avoid burns, falls, drownings or other potential accidents
  7. Practice good fire safety
  8. Cook safely to avoid under cooked foods or cross-contamination

Surviving if you have Chronic Illness

To make the most out of your holiday time, you want to reduce stress in spite of chronic illness. Know what you need and realize just because you can do certain things does not mean you should. You don’t want to end up flaring up from your illnesses that you cannot function for days or weeks after.

  1. Make cooking assignments
  2. Set a hard ending time
  3. Meditate on what you are thankful for
  4. Plan a recovery day into your schedule
  5. Drive 2 cars to holiday parties so you can leave when you need to
  6. Turn your bedroom into an escape room and do not allow guests in it.
  7. Stay on your regular sleep schedule
  8. Practice saying no
  9. Sneak in power naps
  10. Avoid alcohol
  11. Be current with your med refills
  12. Try ordering groceries online
  13. Practice safety to avoid getting the cold or flu.
  14. Give back to charity or donate time 

Set Healthy Boundaries

When you think about getting together with family do you feel stressed about questions you might be asked? Are you anticipating triggers?  If so have a plan in advance. Identify your needs by implementing certain boundaries. Maybe you go to only one family party or you schedule time for yourself on your calendar. This can lead to pushback from family but don’t let this deter you. Stand firm in that you will and not tolerate.

Clearly communicate your boundaries when you talk to family and be specific. For example, if you don’t want to talk about your marriage or love-life, state this clearly early on. Then stay consistent if you want them to respect you. If you let them slide here and there you are setting an example that it is ok. And finally excuse yourself if needed. Hopefully it will not come to this but if you need to leave a conversation all together for the sake of you emotional well-being to do so.


Additional sources: Haliey Bouch, 5 ways to set boundaries; 30 tips for Coping with Chronic Illness During the Holiday Season, Creaky Joints; CDC

Qvita Health and Wellness, Wesley Chapel Florida. Also near Lutz, Tampa, New Tampa, Land O Lakes, and more.

Peggy Demetriou, FNP, APRN-BC Founder and CEO of Qvita Health and Wellness.

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