How to Make It Through the Holidays When You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

Article written by Irina Demina

The holiday season is a time of joy, love, and celebration. However, for those living with rheumatoid arthritis, the festivities can sometimes be overshadowed by pain and discomfort. The physical demands of shopping, wrapping gifts, cooking, and attending social events can take a toll on your body. But with some careful planning and a few helpful tips, you can navigate the holiday season and enjoy this special time with friends and family.

Cool senior couple with christmas hat
Source: Image by freepik from Freepik

Infuse the holiday season with magic rather than stress, despite your rheumatoid arthritis. Embrace the spirit of joy and love without letting the pain dampen your spirits. Transform the physical demands into enjoyable activities by planning ahead and pacing yourself.

Simplify shopping with online options, delegate tasks and make time for rest. The art of balance is key, allowing you to savor the festive meals, unwrap the joy of gifts, and twirl in the dance of social events. Remember, the holiday season is not about perfecting the traditions but cherishing the moments with loved ones.

With these tips, you can sprinkle holiday cheer on your arthritis and celebrate the season with warmth in your heart and a smile on your face.

Some helpful tips

Firstly, it's important to listen to your body. If you're feeling fatigued, take the time to rest and recharge. Prioritize activities that are most important to you and don't feel obliged to attend every event if it's causing you stress or discomfort. Maintain a healthy diet and ensure you stay hydrated.

Regular exercise can also help manage your symptoms and boost your mood. And remember, it's okay to ask for help when you need it. In essence, it's about embracing self-care as a lifestyle. Always heed the signals your body communicates.

If you're enveloped by a wave of fatigue, grant yourself the permission to pause, rest, and rejuvenate. Arrange your schedule in a way that the activities you value the most take precedence. Let go of the pressure to be omnipresent, especially if it's causing anxiety or unease.

Cultivate a nourishing diet and stay adequately hydrated to keep your body functioning optimally. Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine, not only to manage any physical symptoms but also to uplift your spirit. Most importantly, never hesitate to reach out for support when you need it. There's strength in acknowledging our needs and seeking help.

Gift wrapping without pain

Gift wrapping can be a challenge when dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. Opt for gift bags or boxes instead of wrapping paper, which can be difficult to manipulate. Use pre-tied bows or ribbon dispensers to avoid the fine motor skills required for tying bows. If you enjoy adding a personal touch to your gifts, consider using decorative stickers or stamps instead of writing out tags by hand.

Transforming the task of gift wrapping into an enjoyable activity with rheumatoid arthritis doesn't have to be an uphill battle. Rather than wrestling with tricky wrapping paper, opt for gift bags or boxes - a simpler and equally charming alternative.

Make use of pre-tied bows or user-friendly ribbon dispensers, sidestepping the intricate motor skills often needed for bow-tying. For those who revel in adding a unique personal touch to their gifts, decorative stickers or stamps serve as an excellent substitute for hand-written tags.

With these tips, gift wrapping can be a pleasure, not a chore, regardless of arthritis.

Remember self-care

Amidst the holiday hustle and bustle, it's crucial to prioritize self-care. This might mean scheduling time for relaxation, like taking a warm bath or reading a book, or maintaining your regular exercise routine. It's also important to get plenty of sleep, as lack of rest can exacerbate your symptoms.

And don't forget to continue taking your medication as prescribed, even if your routine is disrupted by holiday activities. In the whirlwind of holiday festivities, remember that your well-being takes precedence. Steal away moments for tranquility, be it through a calming bath or getting lost in a riveting book.

Stick to your exercise routine, a powerful antidote to holiday stress. Prioritize restful sleep, for a sleep-deprived mind can amplify stress. And even amidst the holiday cheer, honor your health by adhering to your medication schedule.

After all, true holiday spirit begins with taking care of yourself.

Shopping suggestions

When it comes to holiday shopping, planning is key. Make a list of the items you need and plan your shopping trips at times when the stores are less crowded.

Consider shopping online to avoid the physical stress of walking around malls or standing in line. If you do need to shop in person, use a shopping cart for support and to carry your items.

When it comes to holiday shopping, planning is the golden key to a stress-free, joy-filled season. Imagine a detailed list of the items you need, acting as a compass guiding you through the labyrinth of holiday deals. Try to plan your shopping adventures during off-peak hours, when stores are less of a bustling hive.

Ever thought about swapping that physical stress for the convenience of shopping online? It's like having your own personal mall at your fingertips, minus the long lines. Should you choose the in-person shopping experience, view your shopping cart as a trusty sidekick, there to lend support and carry your treasures.

In the magic of the holiday season, let's transform shopping from a chore into a festive adventure.

Planning for a party

If you're hosting a holiday party, remember that you don't have to do everything yourself. Ask for help with preparations and consider hiring a cleaning service to help with post-party cleanup.

If cooking is challenging, think about ordering catering or asking guests to bring a dish to share. And most importantly, make time to sit down, relax, and enjoy the festivities.

Remember, if you're the host of a holiday party, you don't have to shoulder all the responsibilities alone. Delegate tasks, involve others in the preparation, and consider the option of a professional cleaning service for the post-party aftermath. If the idea of preparing all the food intimidates you, contemplate opting for a catering service or propose a potluck-style gathering. But above all, don't forget to carve out moments during the party to be present, unwind, and revel in the joyous celebration.

After all, the essence of these festivities lies not in the perfection of arrangements, but in the shared laughter, warmth, and memories created.

Cards and gifts

Sending holiday cards and gifts can be a joyful tradition, but it can also be physically demanding. Make it easier on yourself by shopping for gifts online and having them delivered directly to the recipient. Consider using digital cards or a card-sending service that will write and mail cards for you.

And remember, the most important gift you can give is your presence, not presents. Enjoy the warmth of the holiday spirit without the stress.

Embrace modern conveniences like online shopping to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones and have them delivered right to their doorstep. For a personal touch, consider digital cards or employ a card-sending service that will pen down your heartfelt messages and send them on your behalf. But, amid the frenzy of festivities, never forget that your precious time and presence are the most cherished gifts one could ever receive. Unwrap the joy of the season without pressure and rejoice in the love and companionship that truly define the holiday spirit.

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