The holidays are a great time to catch up with friends and spend quality time with family. From parties to special dinners to festive family traditions, this time of year is full of joy and excitement. But if the most important people in your life don’t live nearby, you’ll probably be traveling – and when you live with arthritis, that can often mean pain. Continue reading Holiday Travel Can Be a Pain
For some people, the New Year isn’t a fresh start as much as it is a time of sadness.
“The holidays are such a wonderful time with so much to do, and in the New Year that all abruptly comes to an end,” says Margaret Wehrenberg, a psychologist in Naperville, Illinois. “It can have a profound impact on your mood.”
People prone to depression – including many with arthritis – may need a doctor’s help. But if you just feel post-holiday gloom, try these strategies.
Ever left a family holiday gathering churning with tension and swearing that, next year, you’re going somewhere far, far away? These events sometimes ratchet up anxiety and stress, which are not only unpleasant but also can undermine your health and well-being. Take heart. Here, three experts offer different approaches to help you keep the peace and ward off stress.
Whether you’re serving them up in a sauce or stringing them for decorations, cranberries are a cheerful holiday staple. The bright berries are packed with antioxidants and fiber, providing cardiovascular and immune support. The problem is that we normally eat these tart berries in super-sweetened products. But by making your own cranberry treats, like these, you can get the nutritional perks without a sugar overload.
Family gatherings can be occasions to celebrate – or to dread. You look forward to seeing some relatives, but others leave you stressed.
The first step is to take care of yourself, says clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, PhD, a professor at California State University, Los Angeles.
“Protect your time and space,” she says. “Get your own room at a hotel or Airbnb [if you’re traveling]. Explain that you can’t stay up late.” When you’re rested and in control of your arthritis, you can more easily deal with annoyances and enjoy this “most wonderful time of the year.”
Our readers share their do’s and don’ts for holiday decorating!
By Jess Thomson
Knowing that I’m a cookbook author with culinary school cred, people look forward to eating at our home during the holidays, but it brings a certain amount of pressure. My guests expect interesting, delicious home-cooked food. What they often don’t realize is that, as with many people who have arthritis, the combination of December weather and holiday stress usually means my lupus symptoms flare right when I need my body to cooperate. Holding a knife can be downright painful.
So when I’m trying to fit party prep into my schedule, I make a few rules. First, I plan a menu with tasks I can do ahead, so I’m not spending more than about an hour per day in the kitchen in the days before the party. I pick dishes I can complete before friends arrive. I also buy great basic ingredients, like good extra-virgin olive oil, so the flavor comes from the food instead of from a finicky cooking process. Most important, I try to avoid movements that are harsh on my body, like chopping.
Wrapping gifts and baking cookies can be a real challenge with arthritis pain and fatigue. We asked some experts for ways to make these time-honored holiday traditions easier and healthier.
The holidays can be full of fun and good cheer, but it can also usher in extra health risks if you have arthritis. Try these tips to avoid them.