Hotflashes | December 2020

Creating Holiday Boundaries for Those with Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses come with their own sets of issues, especially during the holidays. The pressures from family and friends not dealing with your health issues can be heavy. Setting boundaries for yourself and informing your loved ones can help everyone, especially those living with chronic illnesses, enjoy the holidays together. Try starting with assessing these key issues and how you can strategize your holiday plans around your health needs.

Create time for rest: Some of us feel pressure to “keep up” energetically with our loved ones who aren’t living with chronic illness, and that pressure can lead us to disconnect from our needs and breach our own boundaries. Know your limits.

Communicate your expectations: Whether you decide to send a thoughtful group email, or have individual conversations with a few key people, being clear about your needs ahead of time can help everyone support you.

Consider set boundaries and moveable boundaries: decide where your boundaries may be more solid to serve you, and where you’re open to giving them more flexibility from time to time.


Beating Your Bloating During Pregnancy

Blame your hormones…well somewhat. Your body’s making more of estrogen and progesterone now to relax smooth muscle tissue. Unfortunately, this causes your gastrointestinal tract to relax a little too much, leading to side effects like bloating, indigestion, constipation, stomachaches and, yes, all that horrific gas you’ve been having lately. But, believe it or not, you could actually be adding to your own discomfort just by what you’re eating or what you wear. Here’s a list of the most common causes of bloating and indigestion during pregnancy.

• Eating greasy, fatty, or highly seasoned foods
• Eating or drinking too much caffeine—chocolate, soda, coffee, or other drinks
• Eating big meals
• Eating too fast
• Lying down/not moving much after eating
• Wearing restricting clothing

Sound familiar? Try these tips to help cut back on the bloating:
• Eat several small meals throughout the day
• Pace yourself while eating and drink less during each meal
• Drink water throughout the day and avoid caffeinated drinks
• Try to avoid lying down following a meal. But if you’re totally pooped, at least prop up your upper body with some pillows when you lie down.
• Wear loose and comfy clothing


Start New Traditions for the 2020 Holidays

The year has been very hard and many of us would rather forget it. However, the best family experiences, regardless of circumstance, are chronicled to create lasting memories. Christmas 2020 should be no different. We can use the season to salvage some good memories by using the unique circumstances to create new ones.

Create a Christmas 2020 scrapbook. Use this year’s season as the chance to start a scrap booking tradition.

Cue up an epic Christmas movie lineup. Make a list of must-watch Christmas movies for the family. This year’s twist? Include extended family members in this family activity via Zoom. For more fun, include extended family members in the movie compilation. This ensures that there’s something for everyone.

Camp out under the Christmas tree. Have a staycation one night under the Christmas tree and enjoy the lights while sipping hot cocoa before bed.

Go virtual with your Christmas greetings. Everything else is already virtual, why not Christmas cards? Record videos, include a TikTok, and even shots of the family pets. These will be a source of love, warmth, and hilarity for years to come.

Try a Christmas cookie swap. Get a couple of family members in on the plan, then mail cookies to each other.