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Living with Parkinson's disease (PD) may change your holidays, but you can still have enjoyable and meaningful celebrations. Although Parkinson's may make some holiday traditions challenging, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy connecting with friends and family during the holiday season. By communicating your limitations due to Parkinson's, being flexible, and adjusting your expectations, you can help make sure the holidays are still enjoyable and memorable despite Parkinson's.
Communicate Your Needs
Let your loved ones know that connecting with them over the holidays is as important as ever to you, but Parkinson's is making it hard to plan as usual due to symptoms like difficulty walking and posture changes. Added stress can worsen symptoms of Parkinson's, so you need to put your health first or risk worsening your condition.
Instead of saying "no," say "yes" to something else. If a family tradition no longer works for you since you or your loved one developed PD, it may be time to suggest an update.
If it's just not possible to get together in one place this year, consider using a video chat service such as Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime to have a special holiday call on a smartphone or laptop. During a video chat, you can:
Adjust Your Expectations
Even without a chronic illness like Parkinson's, holidays often come with high expectations that lead to disappointment and stress. Letting go of the illusion of a "perfect" holiday can help you keep expectations realistic and focus on what's most important about the holidays. For many people, that means connecting with loved ones, being thankful for what you have, and finding hope for the new year.
Here are some mindful tips from Johns Hopkins Medicine for adjusting holiday expectations:
During the holidays and year-round, the members of MyParkinsonsTeam are here for each other. Joining MyParkinsonsTeam means gaining a support group of thousands of others with Parkinson's who understand exactly what you're going through.
Here are some conversations from MyParkinsonsTeam members about navigating the holiday season with PD:
Have you found ways to celebrate the holidays despite Parkinson's?
Share in the comments below or post on MyParkinsonsTeam.
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