Top Tips for Thanksgiving With Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is not a great condition to have at any time, but it’s especially frustrating when the holidays roll around. The stress of Thanksgiving festivities can bring on flare ups, and as if that’s not enough, the tempting foods that aggravate fibro are beckoning to you from the Thanksgiving table.
Whether you are going to see family out of town or you will be the one hosting the event, you need to plan things so that your stress and fatigue are minimized.
Hosting Thanksgiving Made Easy
Cooking for a large crowd can wear anyone out, especially if you suffer from fibromyalgia. Follow these tips to make the holiday more pleasurable for you:
First, see if someone else can take over hosting Thanksgiving dinner. If not, purchase a complete holiday meal from a food merchant or grocery store. It can be very affordable, breaking down to as little as $6 per person, depending on how many guests you have.
Recruit family members to bring dishes in potluck fashion. Or, if you can afford it, you may consider hiring a caterer to prepare the Thanksgiving meal in your home.
If you’re cooking yourself, spread out the food preparation and cooking over a few days, so you don’t have to do it all at once. This can be more doable for you and you can take rest breaks as needed.
Don't forget to ask for help if you need it. If you cannot tackle the housework, hire a maid to come in. If this is not feasible, the family can live with a little dust! Assign clean-up duties for several members to help with so you are not left with a disaster.
Dress comfortably for the environment so you are not too hot or too cold. Dressing in layers will help keep you comfortable, as you can take off layers as needed.
Don’t feel guilty if you need to get away to a quiet part of the house to relax.
Cut corners, like buying the pie crust already made. Other time- and energy-saving tricks include buying pre-made cranberry sauce or frozen bread to bake. If there is someone who thinks something has to be done a certain way and you’re not up to it, they can be responsible for it!
Use paper plates; this may not go over well with some people but it is a great way for keeping clean-up less of a hassle.
Traveling to see family can be just as much stress as hosting, with the traffic on the roads and rushing to get to your destination. Here are some ideas for holiday travel:
- Call ahead and let your host know you will need a break once you arrive to their home. They need to know you will not be able to jump right into helping out when you get there.
- Take extra medications and supplements with you to have on hand. This is helpful in case you end up staying longer than you had planned.
- If you are traveling a long way try to leave a day early. It is best to have at least one day of rest before the holiday festivities.
- Contribute without having to do too much work by offering to supply a centerpiece or help out financially to provide food or dessert for the Thanksgiving feast. This way you avoid wearing yourself out, but you have helped out in an alternative way.