Lupus and Holiday Stress
- Attitude of Gratitude: When you wake up in the morning, no matter how overwhelmed you may be feeling by holiday stress, say these words to yourself “I CHOOSE JOY.” Then, try making a mental list of 5 things you are thankful for. Author M. J. Ryan, who wrote the book 365 Health and Happiness Boosters explains, “If you only focus on what’s wrong, you will not experience joy. You will experience discouragement, depression, and low self-esteem. But when you focus on what’s right about a situation—the exact same situation—you’re increasing the possibility that you will experience joy and high happiness.”
- Praise yourself for who you are, not what you do: For many who are diagnosed with lupus, the holidays may look or feel different after your diagnosis. You made need help with the meal preparations and gift shopping. The way you feel may dictate whether you can do all the things you want to do this season. Don’t let it steal your joy! Owning the realization that your value is not in what you do, can help you to not feel defeated. Author Max Lucado once stated, “You are valuable because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you ARE.”
- Let go of past hurts: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine…”. If you spend your time mourning what could have been and focusing solely on your limitations you miss out on the joy of the holiday season. Also, if you spend your time thinking about things that others have said that have caused hurt and anger, that steals your joy too.
- Love Thy Neighbor: One of the best ways to break yourself of focusing on your holiday stress, pain or depression is to focus on serving someone else. A study done at the University of Virginia found that merely witnessing acts of kindness, loyalty, and heroism created a significant elevation in mood and increased the desire to perform good deeds. According to happiness researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, those that participate in helping others have a generally more joyful attitude. She states, “There are lots of consequences that come from showing kindness that make you happier and help you stay happy.” She adds, “…and being happy is the key antecedent to joy.” Whether it be serving at a soup kitchen, making gift boxes for those in need or helping someone in your family, showing kindness can reap joy and allow you to look back at this season of giving with fondness.
- Garlic Mashed no-potatoes with cauliflower
- Winter Squash
- “Crustless” pecan pie
- Homemade cranberry sauce
- Veggie and ground pork stuffing
- Walnut, cranberry and avocado salad
- Processed foods
- Artificial sweeteners
- Red meat
- Starchy nightshade vegetables
- Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates
- Hand Warmers
- Easy Grip Jar Opener
- Microwavable Sock Slippers
- Key Turner
- Neck Wrap
Author: Karrie Sundbom
Updated by Kelli Roseta (2016)
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