How to celebrate the holidays while you handle your hemophilia
Planning ahead is a necessary step for the season, especially if you're traveling
Every year, the holiday season appears to arrive earlier, a stark contrast to the days when Christmas wasn’t even contemplated until after Thanksgiving. Now, the hustle and bustle of preparations begin as early as Halloween.
This year, the approaching holiday season carries a bittersweet weight for me as it’ll be my first since my mother passed away. In the face of this loss, I’m trying to maintain a positive outlook, reminding myself to keep my chin up and find moments to relax. Despite the challenges, I’m gearing up to travel from the sunny warmth of Florida to the chilly landscape of Chicago, where I’ll celebrate with my relatives.
Navigating the holiday season with hemophilia requires planning and a focus on personal health. To ensure a joyful and secure experience, here are some tips to consider.
Prioritize self-care and mental health
Listen to your body and get enough rest. To manage stress, practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. Maintain a balanced diet, even during holiday feasts. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Talk to a therapist, counselor, or support group if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Practice gratitude by focusing on the best aspects of the holidays. Cultivate a positive mindset. Reflect on what you’re grateful for, even amid the challenges of your bleeding disorder or the loss of a loved one. Expressing gratitude to others can improve your overall well-being.
It’s crucial to ensure you have an ample supply of your medications, especially during the holiday season. Running out of them or other supplies can add unnecessary stress to an already busy time.
Plan ahead by scheduling any necessary medical appointments before or after the holidays, allowing you to focus on enjoying the festivities. If you’re traveling, please make sure to pack all necessary medications, along with a travel letter from your healthcare provider and sufficient supplies to last the duration of your trip.
In case of a medical emergency, having a thought-out plan is essential. When I travel, I always carry a letter from my healthcare provider detailing my hemophilia B and von Willebrand disease, as well as my treatment plan.
It’s also crucial to ensure that someone close to you knows your medical needs and how to assist you effectively. Wearing a medical ID bracelet or necklace can provide vital information to healthcare professionals in case you’re unable to communicate during an emergency. These simple precautions can make a significant difference and provide peace of mind during the holiday season.
Ask for help if you need it, and don’t be afraid to reach out to your hemophilia treatment center should a problem arise while you’re traveling. When planning your holidays, take into account your energy levels and limitations. Avoid overextending yourself and allow time for rest between activities.
Choose quality over quantity. Focus on quality time with loved ones rather than trying to attend every event. Prioritize gatherings and activities that mean the most to you.
Set boundaries. It’s OK to say no if an event or activity will be too physically or emotionally taxing for you. Protect your well-being by communicating your limitations.
Remember that the holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy, and you deserve to participate in the festivities despite your hemophilia. By taking precautions and being mindful of your health, you can have a more enjoyable and manageable holiday season.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.