It’s that time again… it’s almost Christmas!
As it’s December, it’s also time for me to take part in the monthly blogging link up with A Chronic Voice.
The linkups are a monthly get together for anyone with a chronic illness or condition.
This month, the prompts to write about are: Exhausting, Exciting, Socialising, Indulging and Cutting.
I thought I’d use the prompts as an excuse to write about Christmas in light of the pandemic. It’s going to be different, that’s for sure.
Christmas is always an exhausting (and painful!) time of year. Have you ever tried to wrap presents with a spinal fusion? Not easy! Then there are the parties, gift buying, money stresses. The list goes on. I usually have quite a packed schedule at this time of year, and by now I would have had a fair few shopping trips and nights out.
This year is different though. And in some ways I don’t mind it. I do miss the usual build up, such as the office party and the Christmas markets, but I like the fact that it feels more chilled in general.
Last year I got very ill in December due to overdoing it and so it’s nice that there is no pressure to see everyone and do everything. I’m looking forward to enjoying a quiet Christmas with my boyfriend in our little support bubble and video calling my family on Christmas Day. Even though the government are relaxing the rules over Christmas and allowing households to come together for a few days, for me, it’s not worth the risk for the sake of it being Christmas.
If I’m honest, I have found this entire year and working from home since March mentally exhausting. I’m lucky that my job has got busier as a result of the pandemic but it feels like I’m always working as there isn’t much else to break up the days.
My anxiety has also been particularly bad over the last few months due to various health issues. I suffer with health anxiety anyway and I think with being at home more, I have more time to obsess over symptoms and wind myself up. For these reasons, I am looking forward to a rest over Christmas and have booked some time off work to hopefully chill out a bit.
Christmas is my favourite time of year, I just love the build up to it! This year there hasn’t really been a build up and I don’t really feel festive yet.
That doesn’t mean I’m not excited though. I think I’m more excited about having a rest and some time off work!
This year has really taught me to appreciate what (and who) I have in my life and enjoy the little things. So for that reason, I am excited about a chilled Christmas with the person I love spending time with the most. I also am so grateful that I have someone to spend Christmas with. As I live alone, it could have been very different (and sad!) Yes, it will be different to normal but that’s not always a bad thing. I’m excited about a new kind of Christmas. One that will go down in history.
We will make the most of it and still have video calls with family. In many ways it will be more relaxed and probably less stressful than normal!
This Christmas will be unusual from a socialising point of view. No long journey’s to see extended family, or Christmas parties. I must admit, I do enjoy socialising, but I’m also ok with not doing it as well, especially if it is keeping everyone safe. It can be exhausting sometimes. And travelling around on Christmas day can mean that you can’t just relax and enjoy it.
I do miss going out for Christmas drinks with friends and some of the other Christmas social events, as the build up often helps to get me in the Christmas mood. But, I’m still looking forward to socialising with family via video call and hopefully I can still meet friends over Christmas for a socially distanced walk or Zoom call or two.
As we are not having a Christmas party this year, my company are holding a virtual event via Microsoft Teams where we are all going to dress up and have drinks at home. Not the same, but still a bit of fun. 🙂
It’s funny, I seem to have been indulging less this year – especially in terms of Christmas treats and alcohol. Although that may change next week ha!
I have definitely cut down on alcohol and hardly drink at all at the moment.
This is something that I wanted to do anyway but I think it’s because I am not going out. Usually I drink quite a bit in December with the various Christmas parties and Christmas markets. So I guess that is a positive, as that definitely benefits my health.
I have indulged a little bit on gifts for people and a few treats for myself this month though. I’m lucky in the sense that I have more spare money than usual due to not going out or travelling (which is where my money usually goes!)
This year we have all cut back on so much, seeing family and friends, travelling, gym visits and more, due to Covid.
I’m usually pretty strict on myself with setting goals for the new year, but next year I’m going to cut back. I had some pretty big goals for 2020 and it can feel disheartening when you don’t achieve the goals set for yourself, even if this is caused by events outside of your control.
I’ve also had to cut back on running and exercise this year due to an injury, which is partly related to my scoliosis. This has also had the side effect of making my anxiety ten times worse, as usually exercise helps me to manage my anxiety.
Everything that’s happened, plus my injury, has made me reflect quite a bit recently. I need to look after myself, my back and my body more and try not to put so much pressure on myself with my goals.
I may still set some personal goals as I like having a focus, but I’ll try not to set as many as usual and I also need to be realistic with what I can achieve.
Thanks for reading this far! I hope you have a safe Christmas and manage to make the most of things, whatever your plans.
I had scoliosis surgery in 2010 and blog about my experiences living with scoliosis. My aim is to raise awareness of scoliosis and help and inspire others with the condition.