Driving research of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS),
Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia and Long COVID.

Happy Holidays + 7 Holiday Tips for Coping with Chronic Illness!

A pine cone and holly on a snow covered tree branch with the text, "Happy Holidays from your OMF family!"

 

As the year draws to a close, we want to take a moment to reflect on the progress we’ve made together and express our heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you. Your support, whether through donations, fundraising, or sharing our mission, has been invaluable in our quest to understand and conquer ME/CFS and Long COVID.

The holiday season is a time for hope, and at OMFCanada (OMFCA), hope is what drives us every day. Hope for better diagnostics, hope for effective treatments, and ultimately, hope for cures. We are inspired by the strength and resilience of the patient community and are committed to transforming that hope into reality.


At OMFCA, we also understand that the holidays can be a difficult time for those struggling with the challenges of chronic illness. The following seven tips for the holidays are shared by Sarah, (@Lowenergylounge), a talented creator and person with ME/CFS.

 

7 Holiday Tips:

1. Plan strategically: To conserve energy and avoid overexertion during the holiday season, schedule rest breaks and select smaller, more manageable, events/activities that align with your energy levels.

2. Set clear expectations: Communicate openly with friends and family about the possibility of last-minute cancellations or early departures based on your health. Managing expectations ensures understanding and reduces potential stress on the day-of. *Bonus Tip: To prevent unintentional overexertion, designate someone to help you gracefully leave an event at a predetermined time.

3. Share the load: Resist the urge to do everything yourself! Delegate tasks, share responsibilities, and save energy by simplifying your to-do list.

4. Create a quiet space: Have a designated quiet area at gatherings where you can retreat when you need a moment of rest.

5. Navigate food sensitivities: Communicate dietary restrictions to hosts in advance and consider bringing a dish to share that you know you can enjoy, ensuring a delicious and safe holiday experience for everyone.

6. Empower yourself: Discussing your health, especially with a frequently misunderstood condition, can be stressful. But you don’t owe anyone an explanation. During the holidays, keep in mind that YOU decide whether to discuss your health. Think in advance about how much you’re comfortable sharing, and how you can set boundaries that prioritize your comfort if the subject comes up.


7. Be kind to your mind: Your chronic illness won’t be taking time off for the holidays, so don’t treat yourself as if it is. Embrace self-compassion, acknowledge limitations, and focus on cherishing moments of engagement. You’ve got this! And if some days you don’t, that’s perfectly okay too.

As this year ends, we at Open Medicine Foundation are filled with gratitude for your support and inspired by your resilience. Our work continues, driven by the shared goal of understanding and conquering ME/CFS and Long COVID. We’re committed to research, education, and community engagement, paving the way for a brighter future.

This holiday season, remember to pace yourself and hold on to the hope.

Warmest wishes for a healthier New Year ahead,

Open Medicine Foundation Team 

 

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