Top 5 Tips for a Less Stressful Christmas For Those With Illness or Disability
It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the holidays also bring stress to pretty much every person who has reached adulthood. This is especially true for those who have to factor in chronic illness or disability into their planning process. There are numerous things that everyone has to consider when the Christmas period draws closer, but these are often ten fold for those with disabilities. Is shopping for gifts going to be possible? Do you have the medication to last the Christmas period? So with that in mind here are 5 top tips for lessening the Christmas Stress this year.
1.Touch Screen Gloves
If you have poor circulation, or a condition that is aggravated by the cold such as arthritis, raynoids, or fibromyalgia, then you probably know the pain of taking your gloves on and off all the time to touch a screen. For these people this pain is not metaphorical but physical. Cold weather often aggravates many pain related conditions and keeping warm is essential to keeping pain free. Luckily in this technological day and age you can now get gloves that allow you to use your phone without taking the gloves off.
2.Calming Safe Place
For most people the festive lights, sounds, smells and excitement is all part of the Christmas joy. For those with autism, sensory processing disorders or a learning disability it can be very stressful. Many people with mental health problems or with learning disabilities find the sensory bomb that is Christmas overwhelming, as it can cause sensory overload for them. Having a calming quiet place where they can go and seek comfort is important. Most people will typically make this place their bedroom. You can control lighting, the smells, the noises, and this level of sensory control is calming.
3.Planning Your Shopping
Many people with disabilities find it difficult to physically go shopping on the high streets. With the high streets and shopping centres being filled with intense crowds, bright lights and blaring Christmas music at this time of year shopping close to Christmas is stressful for the best of us. This can cause difficulties for those who may suffer from anxiety or sensory processing disorder, whilst inaccessible shops and navigating throngs of people cause problems for those with mobility issues. One way around this is to do as much shopping online as you can. Even if you want or need to go out to do some of it, you can research online to figure out where the best places to go and at what times are. Doing a bit of preparation such as figuring out which stores have a dedicated Disabled Cash Desk so that you don’t have to queue up in tight spaces, and have a lower desk that you can actually reach, helps reduce the stress of shopping. You can also figure out when the quietest times to go will be.
4.Check Your Medication
Remember to check that you have enough medication to last you through the Christmas period. Christmas day this year is a Tuesday, meaning that pharmacies and chemists will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday as well as the weekends. Further more they will likely be extremely busy on the days either side of Christmas. Planning ahead means you won’t end up running short or having to join long queues of people to get it sorted when you could be at home enjoying the holidays.
5.Go For Great, Not Perfect
Perfection is something that most of us strive for at this time of year. We want everything from the Christmas dinner, to the decorations, to the presents to be perfect as if we are trying to make every year the ‘best Christmas ever’. This adds an enormous amount of stress onto ourselves and can prevent us from actually being able to enjoy the holidays at all. Wearing yourself out trying to create the ‘perfect’ holiday only increases the likelihood of burnout, which isn’t how anyone wants to spend their Christmas. Pacing yourself and knowing your limitations allows you to enjoy the holiday without crashing from overexerting yourself.