Healthy Holiday Tips

The holiday season will soon be upon us and often bring the chance to give and receive gifts and the possibility of seeing family, friends and loved ones.

However, the holiday season can also sometimes bring unwelcome guests like stress and anxiety that can take their toll on health and well-being, which is especially true if you have epilepsy.

This is why we have come up with some healthy holiday tips, which you can check out below:

Remember That Your Feelings Are Valid:

  • Feelings of stress, anxiety, fear, or sadness are normal during the holiday season
  • For example, you may feel:
    • Stress or anxiety about your finances in terms of buying gifts for others
    • Fear about having seizures during the holidays
    • Sadness about being away from loved ones
  • Remember that your feelings are valid, no matter what time of the year it is
  • Realize that it is okay to take the time to express your feelings during the holiday season, whether it is reaching out to a loved one to talk about your feelings and emotions or joining one of the BC Epilepsy Society’s online support groups

Stick to Your Regular Routine:

  • Sticking to your regular routine of taking your medication and getting enough sleep is an important factor in staying safe during the holidays with your epilepsy
  • Ensuring that you are taking your medications on time and at the correct dosage as prescribed to you as missing a dose of medication is one of the most common triggers for seizures
  • Also, ensuring that you are getting enough sleep during the holiday season is an important step to take as lack of sleep is another one of the most common triggers for seizures

Keep Seizure Triggers in Mind:

  • It is important to try to avoid known triggers for your seizures during the holiday season
  • Seizure triggers can vary from person to person and can include:
    • Missed Medication
    • Lack of Sleep
    • Flashing Lights (Only in about 3-5% of people living with epilepsy)
    • Stress
    • Illness or Fever
    • Hormonal Changes
    • Drug Interactions
    • Alcohol and/or Drug Use
    • Hyperventilation, Dehydration and Overheating
  • Speaking of triggers, it is important to remember that people with photosensitive epilepsy may experience seizures due to flashing lights in some Christmas lights displays which are seen in many places
    • If you have photosensitive epilepsy and you are caught in the midst of flashing Christmas lights, remember that you should never close your eyes as this could increase your risk of having a seizure
    • Instead, you should cover one eye with the palm of your hand and turn away from the light source which reduces the intensity and the number of brain cells stimulated by the flashing light and can prevent a seizure from happening

Practice Self-Care:

  • Take some time to relax during the holiday season, whether that is reading a good book or doing mindfulness, meditation, yoga or breathing exercises
  • Practicing self-care is a great and easy way to destress during the holiday season
  • Check out our blog post on self-care here for more information.

Keep Healthy Habits in Mind:

  • It can be easy to get carried away and overindulge during the holidays
  • However, it is important to keep healthy habits in mind because your health shouldn’t take a backburner, even during the holiday season
  • Try to exercise regularly by doing an at-home workout or going on a daily walk
  • Try to maintain a healthy diet by eating a variety of healthy foods
  • Try to avoid alcohol and/or drug use

Stay Connected:

We hope our tips help everyone to have an enjoyable and safe holiday season this year!

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