How often do you truly enjoy the festivities alongside health challenges? Holidays can bring a mixed bag of emotions, and if you have health issues that are impacted by an increase in physical activity, heat or humidity, different food options, or simply all the behind-the-scenes activities that go with the hustle and bustle of picnics, family events, or mini-vacations – you likely struggle over the holidays.
Enjoying the festivities alongside health challenges can be… challenging!
You want to participate fully, have fun and enjoy quality time with loved ones and friends, especially coming off more than a year of lockdown in some areas. But you also don’t want to pay the price afterward.
If you’re heading on vacation, to a picnic, or a fun time in nature, or simply working in your yard, it might be especially tempting to ‘overdo’ it. Below, I share tips to help you navigate this holiday weekend so you can enjoy the festivities with family and friends while taking care of yourself.
“Coming off more than a year of lockdown in some areas, this 4th of July holiday might be your first big holiday weekend in a long time. “
Prepare Ahead to Make the Most of the Holiday:
How you manage your time and energy before your holiday can significantly impact your experience. If you’re staying up late, spending a lot of time preparing, packing or shopping, you might be exhausted when the time for the event arises.
- Rest before an event or activity. Grab a book or just sit and chill. Seriously! This is energy management.
- Take care of all the basics: Focus on good hydration, sleep, nutrition.
- Ask for help. Who can help you with extra chores and/or with regular household tasks? Are there services you can use to help shop, clean or otherwise prepare?
- Plan ahead for a support team or person. If symptoms come on suddenly at the event, who can keep an eye out and know exactly what to do to support you?
- Prioritize your activities and set boundaries. It’s okay to decline an invitation or to attend an event for a shorter period of time if your health is at risk. If you’re hosting a party, enlist help with the cooking, setting up and cleanup.
Enjoy the Holiday Festivities Alongside Health Challenges:
If you follow the tips above, hopefully you’re rested and feeling great when it’s time for the event. Here are 5 ways to maximize your participation and enjoyment during the holiday.
- Work in mini-breaks between activities. The more you put YOU first, the more QUALITY time you can enjoy with loved ones.
- Know your triggers and your limits. This is important. The more you are aware and listen to the signals your body is giving you, the more you will be able to enjoy your holiday activities. Sample risks include too much time in the sun or heat, overdoing it with physical activities, or otherwise overexerting yourself.
- Know when to say no. If you’re experiencing bothersome symptoms, gracefully excuse yourself and then determine if you need to call it a day, or if a short rest or time in air conditioning will be enough to help you go back for more.
- Treat yourself. If you’re on a special diet to support your health, go ahead and treat yourself to special treats if it does not put your health at risk, just choose wisely.
- Continue to take care of all the basics: Keep focusing on good hydration, sleep, nutrition.
Rest and Rejuvenate Afterwards:
This is the time to double up on supporting your needs and to be grateful for the good times you enjoyed. Why? So you can enjoy the festivities alongside health challenges.
- Be kind to you! Dedicate time to rest afterward. Your body needs quality sleep to heal and to function at its best.
- Double up on taking care of all the basics: Pay extra close attention to where you need to most focus your energy as you continue to focus on hydration, sleep, nutrition.
- Savor the memories. Take a few moments to be grateful for the community you shared with others.
- If you find that you ‘overdid’ it, practice self-compassion and make the best of it. Have a family movie night, give yourself a spa day, or simply find a comfy spot and rest.
- Practice gratitude. Send any hosts a thank you card. If you stayed at an Airbnb, take a few moments to write a nice review. Did you get to catch up with a friend or loved one? Send a handwritten card.
Whatever you do this holiday weekend, take time to prepare, be safe, and enjoy the festivities!
Curious as to my passion for enjoying life alongside health challenges, learn more in this post about my ‘two’ lives.