7 Tips for Coping during the Holiday Season

By Maria Zepeda, NBC-HWC, and Julie Rowin, MD


The Holiday Season is upon us, and this means a wonderful time for some and a difficult time for many. We are living through times of uncertainty and ambiguity which can feel overwhelming. Here are some suggestions on how to better cope with the challenges we face during the 2022 holiday season.

Recognize your feelings. Many people feel lonely during the holidays.  If you are following social distancing, loneliness and isolation may be even more prevalent.  Allow yourself to accept how you are feeling. If you have been coping well, its ok to feel happy and to not feel guilty about it. If it has been a year of challenging circumstances, then allow and accept those associated feelings. You cannot force yourself to be happy just because it is the holiday season. What matters is that you accept how you are feeling, reminding yourself that everything is temporary.

Follow your heart. Once you have figured out how you are feeling, ask yourself what your true desire for this holiday season is, and make it that. Do you want to put up holiday decorations? Do you want to give gifts, or would you rather donate to those less fortunate? Maybe your energy is low this year and you want to take a complete break from celebrating. Remember that it is ok to say “No”.

Stay present. Avoid focusing on what’s happened during the past year or past holidays and avoid trying to predict what may happen in the future. Focus on what you can control, your thoughts in the present moment. If you find yourself feeling anxious, overwhelmed or disappointed, then practice slowing down. Consider going for a walk, meditating, journaling or practicing breathing techniques.

Avoid comparisons. Comparing yourself to others and what they are or aren’t doing for the holiday season can result in feeling defeated. Their situation isn’t your situation and everyone’s experience is different. Take a break from social media and the artificial portrayal of what the holidays should look like.

Share your feelings of gratitude. Gratitude is a practice that has been shown to promote resilience during challenging times. No matter how difficult the situation, if we dig deep enough, we can find something to be grateful for. Make a practice of starting to notice the positives, the little things that bring you joy, and then sharing your feelings of gratitude with someone ‘out loud’. And most importantly, make it a point to express your gratitude for loved ones TO THEM this year.

Be realistic. The most joy comes from the simple pleasure of just being and accepting what is. If you are fortunate enough to be with others during this holiday season, then enjoy being together and expressing the gratitude you feel. If you are struggling with MG, this holiday may look different. You may need to find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos or meeting virtually on a video call.

Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad, anxious, or hopeless. If these feelings persist, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.


Join us during this Season of Giving


Click the blue button to donate via our secure online Season-of-Giving page.

Your Gift Makes a Difference!

Please help us raise $10,000 during this Season of Giving. With your gift, you will be improving the lives of individuals who struggle with the rare autoimmune disease called myasthenia gravis.

Living with Myasthenia Gravis (MG)

Sara Hasemeyer danced with Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater for over 20 years. “I would dance, teach, work out, for 20-40 hours a week. Then I got MG and I could barely walk a block without having to rest in bed immediately. Like most people with MG my energy level changes day to day, hour to hour sometimes minute to minute. I go through periods of being able to walk my dogs each day to waking up too weak to eat breakfast.”

Through Conquer MG, Sara has found a knowledgeable doctor, useful information, and understanding friends. She notes, “I am living this new chapter of my life still with a smile! I just hope it’s not a long one (chapter I mean) and am hoping for a cure.”

Our Mission

At Conquer Myasthenia Gravis, we talk with people from all walks of life, from their 20s to 90s. Myasthenia gravis can strike any age, any ethnicity, and any income.

For 50 years, this organization has been serving individuals who have MG. Our mission is to help them get timely diagnosis and optimal care, and to improve their lives through programs of support, education, public awareness, and medical research.

Your Help is Needed!

Conquer MG needs the support of caring contributors like you. Every donation – no matter the size – will get us closer to a world without myasthenia gravis.

What is Myasthenia Gravis?

MG is a chronic autoimmune disease that impairs communication between nerve and muscle, causing erratic and sometime severe weakness. Symptoms fluctuate, and occur in many combinations with muscles that are responsible for facial movement, body movement, and breathing.

Conquer Myasthenia Gravis (legal name Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Illinois, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.









Oct 25: Emerging Therapies Webinar

Speaker: Pritikanta Paul, MD, Department of Neurology, UI Health/ University of Illinois at Chicago

Register Now!

  • Emerging Therapies for MG

Tuesday, October 25, 2022; 6:30pm Central

Speaker: Pritikanta Paul, MD, University of Illinois at Chicago

After years of research and clinical trials, a number of new therapies for myasthenia gravis have arrived or will do so soon. Instead of suppressing a person’s entire immune system (as with drugs like prednisone, azathioprine, and others), these therapies target and interrupt the immune system missteps caused by MG. For many, this means quicker response times, a more favorable side effect profile, and the potential for sustained and long-term remission.

Join us at 6:30pm CT on Tuesday, October 25, when neurologist Pritikanta Paul, MD, University of Illinois at Chicago,  will discuss “Emerging Therapies for Myasthenia Gravis.” He’ll explain terms like “complement inhibitor” and “Fc receptor
inhibitor,” and what these mean for MG treatment options such as Ultomiris, VYVGART, and Soliris. He’ll also address new therapies in the works that target B cells, T cells, and other disease pathways

The presentation can be found on our YouTube channel:  

We gratefully acknowledge our webinar sponsors.






Archive – Hot Topics

Useful information…at your fingertips.





Financial assistance for MG patients – Sept 30 2022Staff2022 Sept
MG Activities of Daily Living (MG-ADL) ScaleKourosh Rezania, MD2022 Sept
Patient Experience with PyridostigmineStaff2022 Sept
Update – Myasthenia Gravis and CoronavirusConquer MG Medical Advisory Board2020 Dec
Myasthenia Gravis and TelemedicineRabia Malik, MD2022 Oct
MG Clinical Trials: Your Questions AnsweredRabia Malik, MD2020 Jan
IVIg, Plasma Exchange, and Emerging MG TreatmentsRyan Jacobson, MD2019 July
Men’s & Women’s Issues and Myasthenia GravisDavid Randall, DO2018 Feb
MG and Vision IssuesThomas Mizen, MD2017 Feb
Myasthenia Gravis & Drug InteractionsMitra Habibi, PharmD2017 Jan
8 Ways to Optimize Immune Health NaturallyJulie Rowin, MD2020 Apr
Wellness Now: Own Your Health In a COVID-19 WorldMaria Zepeda, National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach; Julie Rowin, MD2020 July
MG Wellness: Meditative BreathingYoga Instructor  Jill Crockett, Julie Rowin, MD2020 Sept
MG Wellness: Myasthenia Gravis and ExerciseJulie Hossack, ACE Certified Personal Trainer; Julie Rowin, MD2020 Sept
Most Popular: Exercise, Nutrition, MG Treatment, VisionStaff2020 Dec
Navigating the Disability Insurance MazeMark DeBofsky, Attorney2021 Mar
Financial assistance for MG patients – Sept 30 2022Staff2022 Sept
An MG Wall of HopeStaff2021 July
Conquer MG celebrates 50 years serving the MG CommunityVolunteers SeAndrea Ferguson, Victor Yipp2022 Apr


Financial assistance for MG patients – Sept 30 2022

How to diagnose Myasthenia Gravis (MG)?

Are medical costs overwhelming you? These programs may provide relief. Click the links to learn about who’s eligible and what each program covers.

Status (open/ waitlisting/ closed) is current as of September 30, 2022:

The Assistance Fund is accepting new enrollments for individuals who have myasthenia gravis. This program helps with out-of-pocket medical costs.

The National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD)‘s financial assistance program is temporarily waitlisting MG patients. (In other words, get on the waitlist.) NORD helps with the cost of insurance premiums, office visits, medications, and other for myasthenia gravis patients. Click here for waitlisting updates.

The PAN Foundation fund for myasthenia gravis patients is currently closed, but you can sign up to be notified when the program resumes support for MG patients.

Conquer MG’s Patient Assistance Program has supported MG patients since 2014. Medical costs up to $1,000 may be reimbursed if you have an MG diagnosis; live in Illinois, Indiana, or Wisconsin; and have financial need. Applications for 2022 are being accepted.

Other Resources

NeedyMeds is dedicated to helping people who cannot afford medicine or health care costs.

RxAssist offers a database of patient assistance programs, as well as practical tools, news, and articles so that health care professionals and patients can find the information they need.

The Medical Assistance Tool is a search engine tool sponsored by PhRMA; it can help you find many of the patient assistance resources that the biopharmaceutical industry offers.