The holidays can be a stressful enough time without adding disease management into the mix. To alleviate the stress, we have put together a list of 4 suggestions to help you cope with your disease, and have a more enjoyable, less stressful time during this holiday season.
1. Educate Friends & Family: A lot of stress around the holidays centers around friends and family not understanding your needs. Communicating how you feel and how your illness impacts your ability to participate in events can be helpful in gaining the support and understanding of those around you.
Send a casual email, expressing how excited you are to see everyone and celebrate, and that you want to provide some information to help them understand your disease better. Provide links to medical resources that discuss symptoms and lifestyle management, and perhaps even to a blog post by someone else with your condition. This information can help family and friends to be more flexible to your needs during this time.
2. Have a Plan for Social Gatherings: It’s easy to feel obligated to exceed your limitations during the holidays. Parties require a lot of socializing and can be draining, however, it can be equally stressful turning down invitations and feeling as though you are disappointing others. You can help avoid these situations by mapping out your plan of action far in advance, and discussing your needs with the host in an open way.
Before you RSVP, decide on how much time you are able to socialize before you need a break, or how long you will be able to stay. Open lines of communication can prevent hurt feelings, and eliminate the stress of the unknown for you and the host.
3. Stay Adherent to your Medications: This is the most important in making sure you manage your disease. Medication non-adherence is a serious issue for patients that can have a significant impact on their health and well being. The holidays are a time when you might forget your medication because of so many other things going. Fortunately, Avella has developed a variety of solutions to address key factors that contribute to non-adherence, along with extensive counseling to patients in order to identify and overcome any barriers to adherence. We have also designed a mobile app to make it easy to request prescription refills and receive important information and reminders.
4. Be Kind to Yourself: This time of year brings about a lot of extra stress and socializing, and you may need to take extra care to balance this. Be sure you are eating healthy and getting enough sleep. Carve out time to try meditating for stress reduction, and take calming mineral baths. Achieving a balance can allow you to enjoy the holidays while being mindful of your health.
If you're looking for general information about your disease, including education, treatment options and support, we invite you to access our list of patient resources. In addition, if you’re already an Avella patient, download our enhanced mobile app, or login to your patient portal to help you keep all of your doctor and medication information secure and organized online.