Christmas Decorating
High impact decorating, such as the Christmas tree, decorations in a highly trafficked area, or a centerpiece on the dining table, is the most efficient use of your energy when you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

High Impact Decorating is the Way to Go With RA

Reflecting on years of decorating for Christmas since my rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnosis, I’ve decided sticking with high impact decorating is the way to go when you have a chronic disease situation.  Enjoy the season, but be efficient with your energy.

So what is high impact decorating?  It is decorating that packs the most punch, or is the most visible.  Focusing on the “majors” and allowing yourself to be satisfied with your effort, no matter what that is!

When I shared this concept with my dear friend who is dealing with her own health issue, she shared that years ago when they made a cross-country move she decided she could no longer decorate at Christmastime like she used to.  She described this revelation just the way I was thinking.  High impact decorating.

Here is what it looked like for me this year.

First is the Christmas tree.  I know our family members influence our decisions.  I could be very creative with a broad description of a Christmas tree, but I know my family likes a traditional tree.  So it took me one day to move the tree from storage to the living room.  I had help with this.

The next day I put lights on the tree.  I now string half the number of lights I used to place on the tree.  It is still beautiful.

On the third day I brought six shopping bags of ornaments from storage and decided I would let my body tell me how many to hang.  Through the years we would collect ornaments from where we traveled or special occasions we wanted to remember.  Christmastime is full of memories for me and this is a way I commemorate our family history.  I ended up hanging 4 bags of ornaments this year.  Far more than last year!

Second, I placed a eucalyptus garland on the entryway mirror and the fireplace mantle.  A string of lights went on top the fireplace, but I took a pass on putting lights on the mirror.  It still looks beautiful!

Third is the red runner and two candles on the dining table.  I also have a bowl of oranges to add a punch of color and a quick-to-grab snack!

Forth, I wrapped evergreen garland on the banister and put lights on the garland as a way to keep the space lit to help prevent a fall.

Finally, I purchased 3 poinsettias and placed them in a basket to put on a console in our family room.  They look so festive and pretty.

What used to take me at best two days, now takes a week.  I must be feeling pretty good this year because I decorated more than in past years.  I now am comfortable to decorate to my body’s ability and am satisfied with that.  No pressure to add stress to a time of the year with inherent stressors.

Remember, it is most important to focus on people, not stuff.  We will talk about work-arounds for the years when you just don’t feel up to much holiday preparation in my next post.  The deep inner feeling stuff is where it is really at.

So, stay tuned dear friends!  And enjoy your loved ones!

XXOO Cathy

Photo by Sean Wells on Unsplash

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Arthritis should have the smallest footprint possible on your day-to-day living.  Small things added together make a huge impact.  Here’s to living your best life, even with arthritis!  Cheers!


Cathy from Arthritis Wisdom


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