22018Jan
Surviving the Holidays with Hepatitis C

Surviving the Holidays with Hepatitis C

The holidays are a time for spreading cheer, spending time with loved ones and indulging in food and drink. Unfortunately, for those living with hepatitis C, it’s those things that can make holidays a difficult time of year. Hepatitis C symptoms can range from depression and anxiety to loss of appetite and different forms of stomach pain. It’s not uncommon for the hustle and bustle of the holidays to exacerbate those particular issues.

Despite those circumstances, the holidays don’t have to be doom and gloom. There are a variety of simple things people can do to not only make it through the holidays, but find ways to enjoy them as well. Here are some ideas for surviving the holidays with hepatitis C.

Embrace the Season with Decorations

There’s something about pulling your box of decorations out of storage and spending some time meticulously putting them up around your home that can brighten your spirits. Put on some holiday music, maybe bring in a small tree as well, and you’re sure to get an energy boost which will do wonders for your overall mood.

Get Outside and Stay Active

If the weather outside isn’t too frightful, make it a point to spend time outside and get some light exercise every so often. Even something as simple as taking a walk around the block and viewing the holiday lights or taking a walk through the mall is an excellent way to remain active and improve your overall health during the holidays.

Don’t Worry About Skipping the Family Function

Big family functions are a common occurrence during the holiday season. While they can be delightful, sometimes they can do more harm than good if you have some unagreeable family members that can trigger feelings of anxiety or irritability. Not to mention, these get-togethers often involve alcohol and unhealthy eating. Don’t feel guilty about stopping in for a short visit or even skipping a family function if you’re concerned about your health.

Give Back

It’s important to remember the holidays are supposed to be about giving. You might be surprised how volunteering at a soup kitchen, dressing up as Santa Claus at a community center or visiting senior citizens in assisted living can liven up your spirit. Plus, you get the extra bonus of bringing joy to others who might desperately need it this holiday season.

Give Yourself a Holy Night

No matter your religious affiliation, a church, synagogue or other kind of sanctuary – religious or not – can be a great place to visit on a night where you might be in need of a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere. You’ll often find others willing to listen or lend a helping hand where possible.

Remember to Eat Healthy

One aspect of the holiday season that can spell trouble for everyone is the endless sugary and salty treats that seem to follow you wherever you go. That can be even more of an issue for those with hepatitis C, as unhealthy eating can have worrisome ramifications for your liver. Try to maintain a well-balanced diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and avoid high calorie foods and alcohol in tempting situations like an office holiday party or get-together with friends and family.

Find a Support Group

Sometimes the best medicine is talking things out and embracing empathy and positivity from others. Family and friends can be helpful, but many find that talking with those who have a better understanding of what you’re going through can be more emotionally beneficial. You can ask your doctor about hepatitis C support groups in your area if you’re unsure where to look.

Caring Hepatitis C Support and Healthcare

In addition to taking your own steps toward quality living, it’s important to seek professional medical care as well. The caring professionals at St. Hope Foundation provide expert medical care for patients living with hepatitis C or B while offering the newest and most effective treatment methods, mental health counseling and case management services. Contact St. Hope Foundation for more information by calling (713) 778-1300 or by going online today!

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Rodney Goodie is founder and chief executive officer of St. Hope Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to medical care, pharmacy, clinical research and dental care.

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