For many, the holiday season is filled with joy, but for those living with a chronic illness, it can be difficult to enjoy. The hustle and bustle of preparing for the holidays and the pressure to keep up with family traditions can lead to feelings of guilt and overwhelm. However, it’s important to remember that letting go of holiday guilt is easier said than done. It requires understanding your illness and taking time to plan ahead. Here are three simple rules you can use to help you manage guilt while still celebrating the season.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee-drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone. I am not a medical professional, and nothing stated in this article should be mistaken for medical advice…
Accept the Season of Your Chronic Life
Living with a chronic illness means that some years you may feel better than others. This is especially true during the holidays; don’t let this fact add to your holiday guilt! Instead, accept and adapt your chronic illness needs into your festive plans whenever possible. For instance, if you have limited energy levels this year due to your chronic illness, consider hosting smaller gatherings or even virtual get-togethers so that you don’t become too overwhelmed or exhausted by the festivities.
Give What You Can Instead of What You Want
It can be easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit and give more than you are financially or physically able to share. So, establish both spending and financial limits for yourself before going to any celebrations or gatherings. This will also help you stick to your budget so that you don’t find yourself in financial trouble after the holidays have passed.
Embrace New Traditions or Allow for Flexibility
If certain activities are no longer an option due to your health condition, try something new! This could mean trying out a different family activity or modifying an existing tradition by making it easier on your body or mind. Regardless of whether it’s old or new, remember that adapting to new traditions is part of accepting life with a chronic illness – and that doesn’t make them any less special!
How To Let Go Of Holiday Guilt Journal Prompt
Letting go of the guilt associated with practicing patience with a chronic illness can be hard, especially when it comes to holidays. While it may not feel possible to replicate the same traditions you had with your family in the past, you don’t have to completely abandon them either. Your cherished memories and shared joys from holidays past should not be forgotten or kept locked away.
Embrace what was possible this year and then reimagine traditions for future seasons. Get creative! Maybe try out a new holiday activity each year or hang onto treasured old ones in slightly different ways that fit everyone involved. Giving yourself something to look ahead to next year is also an excellent way to stay optimistic during difficult times.
Final Thoughts On Letting Go of Holiday Guilt
As long as we follow these simple rules, we can release ourselves from holiday guilt while still enjoying our traditions and celebrating responsibly despite our chronic illnesses. Remember – let go of what didn’t happen this holiday season and delight in what did! It is possible for us to accept our current lives without feeling guilty about what we cannot change about our circumstances during this festive time of year. Here’s wishing all those who are living with chronic illnesses a happy holiday season!
New to journaling?
Not sure where to start?
Check out my Printable Chronic Illness Life Journal!