Preparing for the holiday season

Get tips that may help you make the most of the holidays

By Above MS Contributors

Success

This has been added to your Favorites

For some people, the holidays may be “the most wonderful time of the year.” You may look forward to family get-togethers, themed parties, or gift swaps. For others, the holidays may bring feelings of anxiety, stress, or loneliness. Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) may also bring its own challenges.

Whether you are spending the holidays with friends and family, or apart from loved ones, it's important to try to be flexible and take things as they come. Find different ways to approach old traditions or create new ones, including celebrating virtually, joining an online MS support group, or giving back to others.

Overall, the holidays can be a busy time of year. Below, hear more about how our contributors have found ways to make celebrating the holidays a little easier for them.

Put your needs first

During the holiday season, it’s important to make time for yourself. This time of the year can be especially busy for me, so I need to listen to what my body is telling me.

“Don’t feel guilty about putting yourself first. Keep
doing the activities that you love, and keep up with your
own wellness routine.”
—Rebecca J.

Sometimes, you’ll have to decline an invitation to a New Year’s Eve gathering or ask another family member to take on the Thanksgiving dinner you traditionally host. For me, it was about understanding my limits and practicing self-care to help me feel grounded and relaxed.

Share responsibilities

Dividing responsibilities has helped me a lot, from buying presents and picking up groceries to food prep. My family has found ways to share tasks so that the burden doesn’t fall on one person.

“You have to determine what must be done and
what’s unnecessary.”
—Meredith O.

We create documents that everyone can access online to figure out what people can help out with. I’ll admit, there have been times when I’ve been told I was signing up for too much and had to take things off my list. With these assignments, I have learned to spend my energy on things that are most important to me and my family.

Take shortcuts

Cutting corners isn’t always a bad thing. Some holiday traditions may require more physical or mental strength compared to others. For me, this is making homemade meals. In the past, I would work hard to make a perfect feast for my family because I thought it was expected. Surprisingly, my family enjoys a holiday meal prepared by a restaurant or grocery store just as much!

“Sharing my struggles with my family showed me how much they care and support me.”
—Stephanie L.

While homemade meals are terrific, you shouldn’t feel like you have to make everything on your list at the expense of your health. It may be helpful to have a meeting with your family to set expectations. In my family, we discovered that we were spending our energy on the wrong things. We found what we could change to have a more relaxing and connected holiday season.

Remember, the holidays can mean something different to everyone, and your experience with MS is unique to you. No matter what the holiday season may bring each year, it’s important to find a silver lining, practice gratitude, and keep your MS health needs in mind as you prepare to spread good cheer.

EXPLORE OTHER TOPICS

JOIN ABOVE MS

Sign up to stay connected with others in the MS community

From Biogen

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Daily life with MS

4 ways to help avoid holiday stress

From Gina F.

Daily life with MS

A care partner’s perspective

From James T.

JOIN LIVE MS EVENTS & WEBINARS

Learn about MS and connect with others. Check out in-person and online events.

From Biogen

Daily life with MS

A day in the life of MS

From Julie D.

Daily life with MS

Accessorizing while living with MS

From Gina F.

Daily life with MS

Defining my limits

From Robyn F.

Daily life with MS

Fashion tips for people living with MS

From Gina F.

Daily life with MS

Importance of support groups

From Ann Marie J.

Daily life with MS

Living a fulfilling life with MS

From Charlie “Justice” B.

DAILY LIFE WITH MS

Modifying routines with MS

From Kellie T.

Daily life with MS

Using technology to your advantage

From Biogen

Daily life with MS

6 tips for getting a good night’s rest

From Biogen

Daily life with MS

Tips for going to events & gatherings

From Jessica T.

Daily life with MS

Your care partner & you

From Biogen