It can be difficult to navigate holiday events during the best of times when you’re dealing with a chronic illness. When your energy levels go up and down without warning or your body just randomly says “Okay, we’re done now”. This year means the holidays are probably more stressful than usual with regular routines being disrupted and help that family members might provide gone since we’re sheltering in place.

If you’re finding yourself with a fibro flare (or a flare of any other chronic illness), you’re not alone. There are some things that can help, and this year’s odd circumstances actually can help.

First off, there is no “normal” for the holidays. Do what you want to do and what makes you feel better. If that means having take-out or ordering from a local restaurant instead of cooking a big meal (tip well if you can), then do it. Or scale down your celebrations, maybe doing something different like making homemade pizza or having a baked potato bar, something that’s easier on you and easy for your family. Whatever works for you.

Two, it’s a holiday, give yourself permission to relax. Do something you like. Take some time for yourself. Relax.

And thirdly, be gentle with yourself. Even if you’re not feeling up to doing what you think you should be doing or used to do, it’s okay. You’ll get through this. Treat yourself the way you’d treat a good friend. Hopefully soon, the fibro flare will ease.

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