Linking Hidradenitis Suppurativa to a ‘festive event’ certainly may seem strange. However, managing long term conditions through such holidays can be a challenge. To add to the worry of hidradenitis suppurativa, there’s COVID-19, a whole heap of stress in itself!
We can’t deny that just cooking a big dinner can be hot and hard work at the best of times. But add in the chronic fatigue that can often accompanies a flare up of HS. Along with family commitments you can easily see why the Christmas ‘holiday’ can be even more challenging!
For me, stress is one of my biggest triggers – I get stressed and my HS gets worse, more painful, and this then becomes a vicious cycle of stress-pain-HS. So, Christmas can be stressful but here are a few tips that might help you sail through the festive season with slightly less stress.
Start planning early.
Think about your commitments over the next two weeks – not just have I got enough shopping, but have I got enough painkillers and dressings.
Allow time for yourself to rest and relax – if going for a Boxing day walk is too much, then plan something else instead – a good film, a nice bath, whatever suits you, but be honest with people and tell them that a walk is too much for you if it is.
Watch the alcohol
Too much alcohol can make you feel that you can do lots at the time. However, you might pay for it afterwards and then it might stop you enjoying things you had planned.
Be kind to yourself
I’m not a fan of that phrase but at Christmas I know I need to listen to my body and practice good self-care so that I can properly enjoy the days spent with my loved ones – don’t let Hidradenitis ruin your day!
So in short planning is the name of the game, this will help you to enjoy the time you have off and make sure that it is indeed a happy Christmas. I know these tips work because I’ve tried them myself – HS has often got in the way of social events for me, but I’m determined not to let it ruin my Christmas!
This year, it is important to prioritise yourself and your loved ones. Hidradenitis suppurativa may get in the way, and covid-19 may ruin some of our plans, but we can still make the most of the holidays and enjoy ourselves.
Seasons greetings to you all. Have a safe and happy holiday.
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About the Author
Clare Knighton is a Peer support worker from Worcester, England. Clare lives with HS and has done so for the past ten years. She is passionate about helping others to talk more openly about the condition and about improving our mental wellbeing.