Dec 6, 2019

Do’s and Don’ts for Safe Holiday Decorating with Arthritis

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The holiday season is here! With all the excitement and magic in the air, it’s easy to get caught up in the festivities and forget about your health. Unfortunately, while you’re busy decorating the house and trimming the tree, safety is probably one of the last things on your mind. But for those who suffer from arthritis, it’s important that safety and body awareness is a priority. To ensure you have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday with your loved ones this season, here are six do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you deck out your home.

Do start early.

Start your holiday decorating so you can do a little bit each day. Dedicate one day to your tree, another day to the outside, and another day to deck the halls. If you start early enough you’ll give yourself plenty of time and you won’t feel rushed, which can lead to overdoing it and injuries. You can take hours, or even days between decorating so you can give your body plenty of time to recuperate. Not only that, but studies show that decorating is actually good for you.  According to Southern Living, “in a world full of stress and anxiety, people like to associate with things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of childhood.”

Don’t use harmful tools.

Put away the staple gun. Not only will staples damage your home, you could also damage the lights. One staple misfire can ruin an entire strand of lights and put you at danger for a fire. Not only that, but the repetitive motion is terrible for arthritic hands. There are so many tools on the market made that make life easier for arthritis sufferers, so take advantage!

Do get creative.

If putting up a tree is just too much for you, it’s ok to let go of old traditions. Get a smaller tabletop tree, or try a chalkboard tree. They are just as much fun to trim, but half the work. If you insist on a regular-sized tree, look into something pre-lit and give yourself one less thing to stress over. Eliminate all that bending and stretching and your body will thank you!

Don’t climb or lift- enlist help instead.

Make a fun day out of your holiday decorating and seek support from your family and friends. Instead of climbing and risking injury, let others handle the top of the tree and hanging the outdoor lights. Have the little ones work on stringing the popcorn and cranberries, and getting the ornaments set up with hooks. Assign others to any heavy lifting to avoid any unnecessary strains. Just be sure to pay your holiday elves with plenty of cocoa and cookies to keep them coming back.

Do plan ahead.

Think about what it takes to remove everything as you are decorating. Stay organized so that when it comes time to remove décor, things are easy for you. Use clear and labeled storage bins and store them in a place that has easy access.

Don’t feel guilty.

Let go of the guilt about not being able to put up a big tree, or string hundreds of twinkle lights from the roof. Taking care of yourself and staying healthy needs to be a priority so you can enjoy your family, friends, and the holiday.

It can be difficult to enjoy this time of year when simple things such as decorating leaving you feeling exhausted or in pain. However, having arthritis doesn’t mean you have to give up on your favorite time of the year. It just means finding new ways to adapt and manage. Following these do’s and don’ts for decorating is a great start and they will leave you feeling happier and healthier holiday season. If you have more holiday concerns this season, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Carolina Arthritis!