Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year but they’re also pretty stressful and filled with a variety of foods you normally wouldn’t eat on a daily basis. So, what are you to do to manage your medications? Here are some helpful tips.
Create a Schedule
If you’re dealing with a serious health condition that requires taking medication at a specific time, make it your priority and schedule your activities around it. Just like you schedule your work meetings, family gatherings, and kids’ soccer practices, put “taking meds” in your calendar.
It might seem awkward at first if you’ve never done it, but holidays can turn really hectic really quickly, not leaving you enough time to even remember if you’ve taken your meds or not. And especially if you have a big family, chances are you’re putting yourself last and everyone else first.
This way, you’ll treat taking your medications just like another important item on your daily to-do list, and seeing it in your calendar will create this sense of urgency and responsibility around it so you don’t miss your cue.
Plan it Out
It’s one thing to put it in your schedule, but it’s another to actually prepare your medications beforehand so you’re never in a situation where you have to run back home to get them. The night before a big day, place your meds in a safe container and pack them in a bag you’ll take with you throughout the day. That way, you’ll ensure you really do take your meds at 9 am, 2 pm, or even 8 pm if you’re out for dinner.
This tip is even more important if you’re traveling for the holidays. Don’t rely on refilling your stash when you arrive at your destination. Instead, calculate exactly how many dozes you need (and get some extras just in case), put them in their containers, label the days, and pack them. That way you can travel with ease, preventing anxiety around browsing through the stores just to find the medication you need.
If you’re not a planner, it might take some time to get used to, but once you get a hang of it, you’ll quickly realize how convenient and time-consuming this routine actually is. Just give yourself time to figure it out.
Set an Alarm
If you’re really forgetful and easily put all other tasks before yourself, creating alarms on your phone will help remind you to take your meds. Even if you planned everything out and put it in your calendar, chances are you’ll forget they’re in your bag or check your schedule right in between meetings and put in a mental note that you “have to do it later,” only to never actually get to it. Set an alarm for every medication you’re taking and don’t snooze!
Get an Accountability Partner
Sometimes no amount of planning or scheduling helps if you’re incredibly busy, especially if you’re struggling with a condition that doesn’t require strict management of time when you’re taking your meds. Get an accountability partner that will remind you to take the medication you need, make you aware of why you’re taking them in the first place, or will simply ask you “have you taken your meds today?” every night before bed.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help during this stressful and busy time of the year. It’s no surprise life gets hectic come November and December, but putting yourself at risk of worsening your condition is helping no one, so you need to do whatever it takes to remind yourself to stay on top of your treatment plan.
Sign up For Automatic Refills
Not only does tracking your daily medication intake get hard during the holidays but remembering to go to your pharmacy and pick up a new prescription sometimes seems like one of those items on your to-do list you can always “get to” so you keep putting it off until the last minute. This can often turn to not getting what you need in time and running out of a refill when you need it the most.
Luckily, many drugstores nowadays offer automatic refills so you never have to think about it again. You can have it delivered to your house or to your preferred pharmacy and that way you can rest assured knowing this important item is checked off your list.
Nourish Your Body
We all know that holidays come with plenty of fatty, fried, and sugar-rich foods, and while that’s completely normal and fine to consume in moderation, it’s also important to nourish your body with healthy foods and superfoods. This way, you’re helping your body be better prepared and have a lesser inflammatory response, as well as promoting better digestion, food breakdown, and waste disposal.
On the other hand, if your condition doesn’t allow you to eat certain foods, as hard as it is, you’ll need to abstain from them. If it makes your life easier, make your own, cleaner versions of certain traditional dishes and bring them with you to parties and gatherings. This way, you won’t feel like you’re missing out and you’ll still be able to enjoy yourself knowing you’re not harming your body.
Hydration is also one of the most important aspects of nourishing your body as it helps optimize all of your body functions. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and stay hydrated!
This is also coupled with nourishing your body with movement. Taking a walk after a heavy meal helps lower your blood sugar levels, brings your stress and inflammation levels down, and even improves your digestion. So, nourish your body with all tools you have at your disposal to prevent this holiday season impair your healing journey.
Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is known to interact with some medications, so by being aware of the risks, you’re already one step ahead. Plan out your medication schedule around holiday dinners and if you absolutely need to take a pill before, during, or after your meal, stay away from alcohol so that it doesn’t counteract its effect. Even more so, alcohol can potentially make your condition worse and be really dangerous in some situations, so choosing an alcohol-free beverage will be your best bet!
As always, if you’re unsure of how alcohol affects your exact condition and whether or not you need to limit or completely abstain from alcohol, ask your healthcare provider and pay attention to their recommendations.
Taking your medication is important for your healing and it’s one of those daily routines you shouldn’t sacrifice, no matter what. The people in your life will understand why you’re saying no to your grandma’s delicious cake or bringing your own sugar-free cookies to Christmas gatherings. Your health comes first, always.