How to Survive the Festivities When You’re Sick

Whilst Christmas is meant to be the most exciting, loving and wonderful time of the year, for some people it’s hard to feel those things.  Some people will spend Christmas in hospital, in bed or simply suffering from their illnesses – they may find simple Christmas tasks hard to do or struggle to participate alongside their family.  And, worst of all to some, the fact that having all sorts of family members around can bring anxiety – not everyone understands why you might not be in the Christmas Spirit, why you can’t eat the traditional dinner or why you have to call it a day early. 

I love Christmas, and whilst it really isn’t about presents and gift-giving, one of my favourite parts is seeing what my husband gets me.  Why?  Because he is brilliant at picking things that I wouldn’t have ever thought of yet I simply love.  But this year, I have noticed that illness has very nearly got in the way of our traditions.

So here lies your Christmas survival guide!

Do Things in Parts

When it comes to choosing a tree, decorating it, adorning your house, writing cards, buying gifts and preparing foods, it can definitely feel like a lot to do.  No wonder it can be overwhelming, particularly if you’re struggling with day-to-day tasks as well.  So, one of the best things to do is do these things in small parts – just because you’ve bought your tree doesn’t mean you have to decorate it on the same day, or even decorate it it one go.  You can even do things like write your Christmas cards in chunks, spread your gift buying out or prepare food early and freeze it.  Doing bits and pieces like this will help conserve energy, make things feel less overwhelming and still allow you to get into the Christmas Spirit. 

Ask for Help

Christmas is most definitely the season of giving so you’ll find plenty of people willing to help – all you’ve got to do is ask!  If you need help putting up your tree or decorations, there’ll be people who’d love to help.  If you’re hosting and feel you aren’t able to do all the cooking, I’m sure there would be a family member out there who would take on a part of the meal for you.  When it comes to wrapping presents, there are small businesses and even volunteer services (you’ll need to have a look on Google to find out more) that can do it for you for either a small fee or for free!  


Did you know that gift giving has become such a formalised task that people end up spending large amounts of money on presents people won’t use or want?  If you’re in the UK and watched Martin Lewis’ TV show (he is a finance expert who has a fantastic company and TV show about saving people money), then you might have seen this clip about unnecessary Christmas gifts.  If you haven’t then it is definitely worth a watch – it might save you time, effort and money.   That aside, if you’ve got a long-term sickness or health condition, then money may be tight due to working problems which in turn could cause stress regarding presents.  What can you do?  Well I always believe it’s the quality of the gift rather than the quantity or price, so remember than when you’re doing your Christmas shopping.  You also shouldn’t feel pressured to buy a gift for someone you didn’t expect would give you a gift – sometimes a brief conversation doesn’t do any harm.  Things like Secret Santa, remember that you don’t have to participate and no one should judge you.  

Don’t be Pressured!

This sort of goes alongside gift giving, but applies to all sorts of things relevant to Christmas.  You are under no obligation to buy presents for anyone, attend Christmas parties or cook/make certain things that other people want.  If anyone goes to judge you or make a passing comment, ignore them – Christmas is not about any of those things.

You Don’t Need to  Explain

If you’ve got all your extended family coming over at some point over Christmas then you may have that niggle of worry about them asking you all sorts of questions.  These might be people that don’t really know a lot about your health or even understand it, so it’s no wonder how awkward you may feel when they start questioning.  But, you don’t need to explain anything to anyone – if you’re not well on Christmas Day and people are asking you why, then you can just have a simple minimal answer that keeps detail limited.  If you know people are likely to ask you about your health, you could always plan an easy answer that doesn’t let the conversation go any further.  And if people start asking the most awkward questions – those about babies, marriage or work, then I think you have every right to put the people asking them back in their place!do things in part

Visiting Others

If going out, travelling or being in unfamiliar surroundings is challenging for you, then you could always switch-up tradition and have people meet in a more convenient location or even at your house if that’s possible.  If you’re unable to make a Christmas outing, then it isn’t the end of the world – visiting can still occur after Christmas or when you’re feeling better.

I hope you find these tips helpful and have a wonderful Christmas!

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