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Coping With Illness During the Holidays

Low Cost/ Free Gift Ideas
Remembering Those Who Serve and Those In Need!


Coping With Illness During the Holidays

by Andrea Chervenak


The holidays can be a challenging time if you are also struggling with illness. Having survived 10 very difficult holiday seasons, here are some suggestions to help you make the most of this holiday season!

1.  Accept the physical and emotional limitations of your illness.  Resentment won't change anything, other than to make you feel worse than you already do!

2.  Don't be tempted by unhealthy foods - if you want your body to heal you need to support it with proper nutrition.  Before you put something in your mouth ask yourself, "will this make me stronger or make me weaker?" 

3.  Don't overdo.  You want to do it all...but honor your body, and don't push.  Recovering from an energy deficit can take a long time to recover from.

4.  Make sleep a priority.  We often underestimate the power of a good night's sleep. (Read our article on Sleep Disorders for sleep tips)

5.  Keep your focus on the blessings you do have.  When I was a kid and would complain my dad would remind me, “there is someone who has it worse than you.”  Every time life seems to be getting the better of me, I remind myself of this and I start focusing on the things I am grateful for – it always helps!

6.  Use visualization to see a positive outcome to the holiday season.  Create a picture in your mind of you feeling great, having fun, enjoying whatever activities you are able to  participate in.  I am a believer that “if you want to be it, you have to see it!”  There is a very powerful connection between the mind , body & spirit!

7.  Meditation is a wonderful way to distress and create an environment of peace and calm around you.  I find a One Minute Meditation throughout the day very helpful for soothing frazzled nerves before they get the best of me!

8.  Show the same patience and love to yourself that you would to someone else who is in your situation.

I pray that next year you will be able to look back upon this time as a period of growth and renewal, and that the future holds nothing but peace, health, and joy for you and yours.   ~ Andrea   (Read My Story)


Low Cost/ Free Gift Ideas!

by Andrea Chervenak

These are challenging times for everyone. If you are unable to purchase gifts this year, here are some gift ideas that cost little or no money, but will mean a lot to the recipient!

1.  Create a video card – let the people you love know how much they mean to you in a video…you can post it to You Tube and send them the link with a nice note!

2.  Do volunteer work in their honor : select a cause or organization that holds meaning to the person you want to give the gift to. Ask the organization for  a brochure or other information that you can wrap along with a note explaining that you are going to volunteer time in their “honor.”

3.  Cook their favorite meal, and make enough so there are leftovers for them to enjoy again.  Can’t afford to make a meal?  Offer to go to their home and offer to be their chef for the day!!

4.  Clean up their yard or take care of household chores they have been putting off.

5.  Plant seeds/ bulbs (they are less expensive than live plants) that will enjoy in the Spring, and year-round!

6.  Give something of yours they’ve admired and that you know you can live without.

7.  Write a poem or letter expressing their importance in your life.

8.  Make a gift - knit a sweater, bake some cookies (of course using  healthy ingredients!), pick up an inexpensive craft project, frame a favorite photo, or purchase a greeting card with a meaningful message and frame it.

9.  Give the gift of your time: help with shopping,gift wrapping, and cooking.

10.  Remember that the greatest gift you can give is your love!

Interested in volunteering?  www.VolunteerMatch.org, www.1800Volunteer.org, www.Idealist.org


Remembering Those Who Serve & Those in Need


The holiday season is the perfect time to remember the brave soldiers who serve our
 country, particularly those who have been injured, as well as to volunteer time and
money to those who are less fortuante. 
Happy Holidays!!!


  • To let a wounded soldier know that he/she is in your thoughts this holiday season, send a holiday card or note to:
    A Recovering American Soldier
    c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
    6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
    Washington, D.C. 20307-5001
  • Xerox's Let's Say Thanks program offers the opportunity to send free printed postcards to troops stationed overseas. www.letssaythanks.com
  • Modest Needs is a non-profit organization whose goal is to "give people a hand up. "People who are struggling and in need of financial assistance post their situation, allowing you the opportunity to select who you would like to help or you can give to a general fund.  Last year I asked my family and friends to donate to Modest Needs in place of getting me a gift - they said it was a humbling and rewarding experience!

    The mission of Modest Needs is "to prevent otherwise financially self-sufficient individuals and families from entering the cycle of poverty...to restore the financial self-sufficiency of individuals who are willing to work but are temporarily unable to do so because they do not have the means to remit payment for a work-related expense...to empower permanently disadvantaged individuals who otherwise live within their limited means to continue to live independently, despite a temporary, unexpected financial set-back; and to strengthen small non-profit organizations by providing a forum whereby such organizations can apply directly to the general public for the help they need..."  For more details visit, www.modestneeds.org.
  • Volunteering is a great way to give back for the blessings in your life! If you are interested in volunteering here are a few websites that can help you to find the perfect position:  www.VolunteerMatch.org, www.1800Volunteer.org, www.Idealist.org.

Happy, Healthy Holidays!!


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