How Do You Prepare For the Holiday In 3 Steps With Little Energy?
With rheumatoid arthritis (RA) I’ve learned to keep things simple. I prepare for the holiday by setting priorities so I can preserve my energy. Although my symptoms are well controlled, I will never have the energy level I had prior to my diagnosis. I’ve also learned to keep the stress level low, so I do what I think is important and forget about the rest. Enjoying my family is the goal!
This year our son will come home for Thanksgiving. He will be here for about a week. My strategy involves preparing his room in advance, having healthy food around in addition to the Thanksgiving dinner and maximizing the decorating so a little bit will go a long way. There you have my 3 steps!
- Preparing his room. When we found out our son was going to be able to travel to spend the holiday with us right after Halloween, I cleaned his bedroom the following week. I was able to check off my first step. That gave me a sense of accomplishment. Managing stress is key to preventing an arthritic flare.
- Plan healthy meals and snacks. The Thanksgiving dinner is traditional around our house and it is a healthy one. Turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes and a variety of fruit and vegetable side dishes. I make enough to have leftovers through the weekend, so that takes care of half the time we are together. And what is so great is that my family loves the leftovers! I will make steel cut oatmeal in advance to have for reheating and store in the refrigerator. I will have fruit and berries washed and ready in the refrigerator, as well. Sliced almonds and walnuts from the pantry can top the oatmeal. I’ve learned eating well with whole foods and limiting sugar is important to prevent a flare. I have a sense of responsibility to provide my family with tasty nutritional food. That is a result of my diagnosis.
- Maximize my decorating. I don’t have the energy to decorate the house like I used to, so I put together a centerpiece of autumn leaves, bittersweet and a garland of nuts the beginning of October that will take us through the Thanksgiving holiday. I also decorated the fireplace mantel and placed a few pumpkins in the foyer. That’s it! I lit the centerpiece and mantel with twinkle lights to make it more festive. They also serve to help light up the space, which is good with my eyesight!
Family time is so necessary for our well-being. I have to keep it simple when planning and preparing for our time together so I don’t get stressed out. That is a good motto to live by for all of us, but it is essential when you have RA or any chronic disease.
It really is about creating a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t challenge our bodies in a negative way, but enables us to capitalize on the positives that bring us happiness, contentment and the best opportunity for our bodies to help itself. I work at it everyday because I have found there is no greater motivation than to simply feel well. Not perfect, but well! Prepare for the holiday with joy!
And that is using Arthritis Wisdom!
Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!
photo credit: James Besser of Unsplash