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Embracing the Holidays with Chronic Illness

Dec 21, 2023
Chronic Illness Resilience

With Christmas nearing, the pressure is mounting. The desire to sleep in most mornings has kicked in. My ever-expanding to-do list is a constant worry.

There's a fear of letting others down, a scenario perhaps too familiar for many of us.

Yet, in trying to meet everyone's expectations, I realise I'm neglecting the most important person: myself.


This is a common challenge for many living with chronic illness during this festive season. Failing to prioritise my wellbeing could mean not just missing out on festive joy but also starting 2024 feeling drained in every way.


Chronic Illness Mindset Reminder


Will chronic illness change our holiday experiences? Undoubtedly.

But like any other time of year, the key to living well with chronic illness is to constantly shift your mindset. You need to be actively involved in challenging how you think about and experience all aspects of your life, including end-of-year festivities.


Is the end of year feeling like a pressure cooker for you? Are you finding it difficult to prioritise your health when you are so often reminded as to how your illness has made festivities feel a little less festive?


This process is made so much easier if you keep reminding yourself of what’s important to you.

That becomes your motivation. That helps you to not be focused on what you can no longer do because of chronic illness, but to instead be open to doing things differently.  Even becoming excited by what new experiences and opportunities that may be part of your future.


If you haven't done so yet, take a moment now to pause and write down what truly matters in your life. (Need help? This blog might be just what you need Overcoming Chronic Illness Frustration This Holiday Season)


Once you identify these priorities, navigating the holiday season – and life in general – becomes much simpler. It's all about gaining clarity on what's essential.





Hurdle2Hope® Roadmap: Build Your Resilience


The good news is, Step 3 of the Hurdle2Hope® Roadmap, 'Building Your Resilience,' is designed to alleviate pressure and bring joy into all facets of life, not just during the holiday season.


With practice, you'll find yourself adapting to life with chronic illness in a more proactive and positive manner. This involves continually evolving and prioritising your wellbeing while being open to new experiences.


Remember, the cornerstone of building resilience is maintaining an open mind. It’s about a constant re-evaluation of your perspectives and approaches to life with chronic illness. This mindset is key to fostering personal growth and unlocking experiences beyond your current expectations.



The 2 Steps to Help You Build Your Resilience


Living with chronic illness might mean you can't always do everything you wish, but how you respond can transform your experience.

It's about choosing momentum over stagnation. Creativity over frustration.


To Embrace This Holiday Season, Consider These Two Steps


1. Define Your Goals: Be clear about what is important to you. This holiday season, I prioritise relationships with family and friends.

What is most important to you during this festive time?


2. Be Flexible in Your Plans: Remaining open to changing your plans can lead to enjoyable and new opportunities. For example, I now prefer quieter café meet-ups over busy Christmas parties. Having the convenience of close-by parking, the comfort of sitting down, and the availability of food I can digest makes this the perfect catch-up.

Take a moment to reflect on your priorities and think about how you can adjust your plans to better align with what's truly important to you.


Building your resilience is more than just a concept; it's an active, conscious decision to be prepared to pivot. To have an open mind. Knowing what truly matters in your life, and saying don’t be stuck on the detail of how to get there. Do things differently. Be flexible.


NOTE: For more guidance on these activities, download the "Dealing with Holiday Season STRESS: It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3!" Guide".



Final thoughts

This blog emphasises building resilience while living with chronic illness during the holidays.

Simply defining clear goals and maintaining flexibility in plans will help you embrace the festivities and maintain your wellbeing.