Giving the Gift of More Energy and Less Pain

Prior to my life with psoriatic arthritis, I used to transform my house to reflect one holiday after another. I had a firm schedule for putting up and taking down the holiday decorations but pain from my chronic conditions created havoc with my decorating schedule. In the beginning, I started reducing the number of holidays that I chose to decorate for. In less than five years, I was reduced to only decorating for Halloween and Christmas and a few more before the only holiday I decorated for was Christmas.

Decorating for the holidays

About 6 years ago, the amount of decorations I put out each year was greatly reduced. My home lacked holiday cheer and my body continued to rebel. Three years ago I decided to try something new. Instead of wearing my body down by putting decorations up and down each year, I figured I would give my body a break and leave my Christmas décor up for an entire year. By not having to put my décor away I started my New Year with more energy. Not having to haul out the boxes in the fall allowed me to enjoy more holiday festivities with friends and family. It was such an awesome experiment that my husband and I agreed to continue it.

The joy of the holiday season...all year

We are now embarking on our fourth year of Christmas. I thought that I would grow sick of looking at poinsettias, snowmen, and Christmas tree after the first year. The funny thing is that it not only doesn’t bother me, I actually enjoy it. If I ever do grow tired of having a decorated tree in my living room, I plan to slide it into our spare room, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Year round Christmas has improved my life. I no longer stress about finding time or energy to decorate and I have more energy to spend time making memories with my loved ones.

It took reaching the stage of my chronic journey in which I no longer cared if others didn’t understand the adjustments I needed to make in order to get by. I expected people to think I was crazy for living in a Christmas wonderland. Surprisingly, not one person has ever said anything negative about it to my face. In fact, those who love Christmas as much as I do are jealous that my husband has no issue living in the house that Santa built.

My question to you

Think about things you could change that would reduce your stress and not increase your pain and fatigue. Can you make adjustments or change how you prepare for the holidays? Most importantly, which tasks or traditions are you willing to change? If you aren’t open to making a change it will only create more chaos in your life. How will you make your holidays more joyful?

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