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The holidays are traditionally a season to look forward to. It’s a time best spent with family and friends; best enjoyed with good food, and celebrated in the spirit of revelry and fun.

When you have arthritis however, it also means more flare ups, more fatigue (as if it was possible to get even more fatigued than we already are), and even more stress.  As any arthritis sufferer would know, this is simply inevitable when you suffer from chronic pain. But there are ways to manage it so you can properly get into the holiday spirit.

1. Instead of wrapping, opt to use gift bags

A lot of people love the idea of carefully wrapping presents for their loved ones. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible anymore when your hand suffers from stiff and aching joints. If you have the option to have your gifts wrapped at the store, do so. Otherwise, opt for gift bags instead.

2. Use net lighting or projector lights instead of traditional string lights

Twinkle lights are a trademark staple of the holidays. But it’s difficult to hang them around your home when you’re in pain. Visit your local crafts store and look for net lighting, which allows you to simply hang and drape your lights instead of having to carefully put them up one by one. If that’s even too much trouble, you can opt for projector lights to get you in the holiday spirit. All you have to do is simply plug and project it on any flat surface.

3. Choose disposable baking materials

Cooking is such a huge part of the holidays; but simply lifting heavy glass dishes or cast iron pans can take its toll on your wrists. If you must cook, give your hands a break by using disposable foil bake ware instead. Not only is it lighter, it also saves you from the hassle and stress of having to clean up after.

4. Boost your holiday mood with color

Even if you have to skip a lot of the usual holiday activities, it’s no reason to keep yourself from getting into the full holiday mood. Research actually shows that simply wearing bright colors such as red and green–staples of the holiday–can help boost your energy.

5. Try online shopping

Anything outside of your daily obligations can already be too much for a lot of arthritis sufferers. Imagine having to do extra shopping during the holiday rush. As an alternative, try online shopping. Avoid holiday crowds and long queues and finish your holiday shopping in the comfort of your own home.

Any tips that you’d like share on how to enjoy stress and pain free holidays? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.

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