Living with Chronic Pain

Tips to Host a Holiday Party While Dealing With Chronic Pain


The holidays can be a stressful time of year filled with family gatherings, gift shopping, busy schedules, and meal preparation. Hosting a holiday party comes with certain expectations and pressure. Individuals dealing with chronic pain face additional challenges. For those with a chronic illness, hosting a holiday party must include prioritization and realistic goals.

10 tips to host a holiday party while dealing with chronic pain include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Plan ahead. Many side dishes or desserts can be made a day or two ahead of time. Certain casseroles, vegetables, or homemade breads can also be prepared beforehand and frozen. If you need to shop for gifts, consider shopping early or shopping online. Deciding on which gift to give before shopping is also beneficial. Instead of spending time wrapping gifts, consider gift bags.
  2. Give up perfection. Extra worry and stress add to chronic pain. You should be realistic about what you expect from the holiday party. Everything does not have to be perfect. Most times, the things you worry about most either never happen or are never noticed by the guests.
  3. Ask for help. When planning a menu, ask others to bring a dish. Most people offer, but if they don’t, let your guests know you are having a potluck meal. Prior to inviting your guests, make a list of dishes and who should bring it. This will remove unnecessary pressure from you. It is also beneficial to ask friends or family members to help prepare your home for the holiday party.
  4. Self-care. Taking care of yourself is important, especially if hosting a holiday party. Book a massage, take a long bath, or read a book by the fire. Self-care should be exercised before a holiday party and after it.
  5. Keep it simple. Some gatherings are extravagant, while others are simple. Keep your holiday party simple in order to better enjoy it. Having simple decorations and food also lowers stress levels.
  6. Use a slow cooker. A crock pot is a great way to cook meats, soups, stews, and a variety of other dishes. Utilize a small slow cooker for dips. For easier cleanup, use a crock pot liner.
  7. Buy pre-chopped or frozen. Chopping ingredients is time-consuming and increases pain levels. Try to buy pre-chopped fresh vegetables and fruits to make things easier. You can also find pre-chopped frozen vegetables.
  8. Take breaks. Plan your holiday party in the afternoon or at night. This allows time to take breaks throughout the day as needed. Remember, by not taking regular breaks, your pain will only increase.
  9. Make any changes required. Make changes to your menu, guest list, location, date, etc., without guilt. Changing a holiday party from your home to a restaurant or rented venue could also help with cleaning prior to and following a holiday party in your home.
  10. Use disposable plates and utensils. Cleaning and washing dishes following a holiday party is time-consuming, stressful, and can take you away from your guests. Not only are you exhausted from planning, organizing and hosting the party, but doing dishes afterwards will increase pain levels. Find party themed disposable plates, utensils, cups and napkins to decrease your workload.

Additional source: Pain Doctor

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