An exhausted man gazes out the window of his house at his trashcan sitting out on the sidewalk holding an old christmas tree.

How the Holidays Affected my AS

The holidays are long over now, but I felt the need to write this in case someone else suffered from them as long as I did. As I write this, it’s January 11th, 2022, and I’m finally just now getting back into my normal daily routine.

The holidays are exhausting

Everyone always expects the holidays to be this cheery, joy-filled time. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays and I love having all of my family together, with the Christmas music playing and the Christmas tree on.

But for those of us with chronic illnesses, the holidays can be incredibly tiring and stressful. I live with my parents, so I know I can’t relate to those of you who have to make dinner for the whole family and everything else. I truly think if I had to do that this year, I would have collapsed.

We only had one extra person in the house, my brother, but we played lots of board/video games. I was just more active in my house than I usually am. I’m used to spending a lot of my time alone in my room and being social a few times a day with my parents, so to use more of my brainpower was also quite exhausting.

How I was affected by this during the holidays

I noticed myself napping more, and for longer during the holidays, and I would feel myself crash harder than usual. I would be doing something, and then all of a sudden I would NEED to go lie down. It wasn’t an option to keep pushing through like it sometimes is for me.

I wasn’t in a ton of pain, but my fatigue was off the charts. I also noticed that playing board games just became exhausting, and I couldn’t do much for more than an hour or an hour and a half at a time. My brain just wasn’t used to being “on” that much.

How I was affected after the holidays

After the holidays, it took me a while to get back to normal. As I said earlier, it’s now January 11th and I’m just getting back into my normal routines. I took a lot of time to rest, and I know I’m lucky that I even get to do that. I work from home part-time, so I had a lot of recovery time.

A lot of days were spent in bed sleeping longer hours. I also tend to feel as if I’m getting a cold when I get too busy, so I had about a week of cold-like symptoms, where all I did was take cold meds and sleep a lot.

How were your holidays?

How did your holidays go, and how long did it take you to recover? I’d never experienced the holidays like this before, 2021 was my first year of really bad fatigue and more flare-ups since 2017, so I was not expecting to be hit so hard.

I hope you all recovered well and got lots of rest! Here’s to 2022!

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