How To Deal With the Holidays With TED

The holidays can be stressful in general. A lot of family, a lot of togetherness. Catching up with how the year has gone. Having thyroid eye disease (TED) can add a whole other layer of stress on top of the already stressful year in general. Here are some tips on how to handle TED this holiday season.

Unsolicited advice

Most people have not heard of TED so when a family member hears what you have been dealing with, you may tell them what symptoms you are dealing with or how it’s impacted your life.

In order to connect with you, your family member may tell you how they had a similar situation or experienced a familiar symptom.

They could then proceed with giving you suggestions of how they dealt with their situation that is entirely unrelated to your present problems. Some of it you may have done, some of it you may never do, and some you might think is totally crazy. Remember, you never asked for advice from this family member, they are just giving it to you because they think they are being helpful.

Good intentions

I do not know about you but I do not like unsolicited advice. Unless I asked you for some help, any time someone tries to give me some nuggets of wisdom I did not ask for, it makes me feel inadequate as a human being. I feel like I did something wrong or I am incapable of knowing this knowledge without having someone explain it to me.

This is something I am learning to change. Instead of getting frustrated, I try to remember they have good intentions. They love me and want to help. Is their advice helpful? More than often no.

Because TED can change your appearance, it is more noticeable to those who know you. People who see things sometimes will comment on the differences. It can be very frustrating when it may be the last thing you want to talk about it.

Know your limits

In high-stress situations, you know your body and your situation better than anyone else. You are doing the best you can right now. Trying to get through the holidays while not feeling like yourself because of TED can be incredibly frustrating and overwhelming.

Know what you can handle in those family gathering situations and what you cannot. If you do not know, pay attention to how your body reacts in more stressful situations. If you feel yourself getting tense or feeling worked up, it is okay to do your own thing too.

Set boundaries

Self-care during the holidays is the most important thing with TED: Leaving a conversation when it is too intense. Taking unsolicited advice with a grain of salt. Not feeling bad when your eyes are watering and you need to be by yourself to calm them down. Not apologizing for bumping into things you did not see were there.

Accommodating yourself and your own needs when you are going through a difficult time is not easy but it is necessary. Some people may wonder why you left or feel bad for your struggles. That is on them. Do not feel bad if you need to leave early because of your eyes or you just feel exhausted or self-conscious. At this moment, whatever makes you feel most comfortable should be your first priority. And the people you love should understand that.

Managing the holidays with thyroid eye disease

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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