It is time for A Chronic Voice’s December Linkup!
This months prompts are:
  • Exhausting
  • Exciting
  • Socializing
  • Indulging
  • Cutting

I wrote a post some years back called Avoiding Stress During the Holiday Season with Fibromyalgia. And any given year those tips still apply but during a worldwide pandemic it is a little bit different. Many of us are not seeing extended or immediate family for Christmas this year. I don’t think anyone here will be. And that sort of makes me melancholy, to be honest. I always go see my mom for Christmas. She lives right in town after all. And my dad has moved close now too. Not this year though. And while I hate that I don’t want anyone getting sick. And we all have to do our part to make sure we dampen COVID-19 for our overburdened healthcare workers. So I can suck it up.

But one thing I know, for sure, with chronic illness is to avoid at all costs these preconceived notions of what the holiday season Must Be. Because my health is unpredictable and I can’t predict what I will be able to do or Not do. In other words, I am used to making use of what I can do and what is available to me and just enjoying that.

A Pandemic Christmas

Exhausting

This word defines my existence right now. Too exhausted from vertigo and pain to move or do a thing. Exhausting my spouse’s retirement fund because he is out of work due to pandemic and, well, we have bills to pay.

And that expresses two important factors I always remember about Christmas but are of particular heightened important this year.

  1. Buying online– I never really have the pain endurance or energy to go shopping and if I do it is for one thing, in and out. This year I have no energy to go shopping and it is a pandemic so it is recommended people shop online. Shopping online is a great alternative for those of us with chronic illnesses that can’t get out and about much so this helps us a lot in saving and conserving our energy and pacing during the holidays.
  2. Limited budget– Ever since I went part-time I have had a limited budget, then on disability much more limited. And now my spouse isn’t working much, much, much more limited budget. However, I want to buy Christmas gifts because it is meaningful to me so it is just small token gifts. And we should remember we can make them or bake them as well. Create them. But if we buy them, it really is the thought that counts. Also there are always other options. Gift exchanges or no gifting at all. I just really like to buy, create or make a Little something for people I love. And I managed that via sales and deals and a restrictive budget and a whole lot of creativity.

Exciting

In general, the holiday season is my favourite time of year in my least favourtite season of the year. Maybe because it breaks up the winter? Or it is full of nostalgia which I sort of love. But the pandemic sort restricts all of that, doesn’t it? I mean, I am extremely worried about so many things right now. One being the fact my spouse’s unemployment runs out in the new year. That sort of dampens the holiday spirit.

Maybe I can’t spend the holidays with my family. However, I am willing to do that for their safety, for the safety of others, and because it is good for everyone. So you sort of have to make due with what you have. My brother and sister-in-law have moved in with us to help with money problems and that means I will be spending the holidays with them- that is something that I can be happy about. We put lights on the house. We put up my brother’s much bigger tree and decorated the house. We have wrapped presents under the tree. We have put ourselves into the Christmas vibe!

Still, I have to say, I feel more worried than anything right now. My health isn’t great. Financially we are really not great. The world, not great. Stress is extremely high this year. And we have to remember that the holidays can be stressful as well. So we have to really take care of ourselves. Especially this Particular year.

Socializing

There has been a whole lot of Not socializing around here since we can’t have people not of our household over or go to someone’s household either due to the pandemic. It is difficult for everything, I think. Humans need people. Isolation doesn’t do so well for me actually and my Seasonal Affective Disorder kicked in hard, causing me to go back on my medication for that. However, I have been very ill and had we been able to socialize not sure I Can anyway. So sort of moot in my case. However, it has impacted me a lot. And I see the impact on others as well. It has not been easy on anyone.

Indulging

Not much indulging for me this year. Just trying to scrape by as is. And that is fine. I am a person of very few needs really. And when I indulge it is usually in books. That is my usual treat for myself and with my health lately it is difficult to read for long durations so my to-read pile is lasting a Very long time indeed. So that saves me from indulging.

Cutting

Now, cutting things out, I have been doing to save money. One is eliminating cable because I have Amazon Prime and see no point in both (I kept it instead because it Also has free books and free books is fine by me). First I reduced cable and then just got rid of it. Also I went on Provincial Disability here which will Hopefully eliminate the need for outside health insurance to cover all our health insurance needs (my work disability one doesn’t cover 100% and I do not have the expendable cash to pay the difference), so we are hoping to cut That bill as well. I am looking to cut other things in the new year to save more money… just to see what I can do and how I can do it.

I don’t have a good feeling about this month and the new year. But I think that is partly anxiety. Partly. We shall see how it unravels. I will try to enjoy the holidays as much as I can.

See more related articles

Epidemic of loneliness
Isolation, the pandemic and winter depression
November A Chronic Voice: Spinning

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16 thoughts on “A pandemic Christmas

  1. Hi Nikki
    Lovely to hear from you again. I so understand what you mean. I’m on the same boat. I’m constantly worried about my finances too. I have a mortgage on my own. I don’t know what my future holds. I have been isolated since a month ago because my legs are very painful and I can’t walk much. I’m scared and worried I’m not going to get my mobility back. I still work a few hours from home but that’s not going to last long. My manager will need me on site and I can’t do it. I’m in the process of applying for disability but I’m so scared I’ll be refused. I’m so hopeless right now. I’m still chasing doctors hoping they can help me somehow but no help so far. It seems like I don’t get much benefit from Duloxetine or pregabaline. Right now life is hopeless, the future is bleak. I don’t know how I’m holding it together. I definitely don’t enjoy taking painkillers every day but I can’t bear the pain without them.
    I’ve managed to buy everyone in the close family a little present this year but don’t know about next year. I hope I will still have a roof over my head and less pain than this.
    I find life so unfair. I’m stuck in my room unable to walk or drive. The only person that gives me some hope is my mother. I don’t know what I would do without her.
    I’ve been buying stuff from Amazon. They’re good with their delivery. I still hope for a better future, where’s life there’s hope too. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you are in financial stress as well. I know too many people that are. Unfortunately with us we are unable to resolve it by going back to work and I desperately wish I Could do that. But I can’t. And it is extremely frustrating to me. So yeah it adds a lot of stress to being sick as we are to have the financial concerns on top of that.

      Like

  2. This is a tough time but all we can do is be thankful for the small comforts and that we have homes and family. While I am financially stable due to my husband’s fulltime wage, it could change in the new year because we are now separated and I’m waiting for him to discuss what happens with our joint mortgage etc. For now I am working hard on my freelancing and my new small business as a reiki practitioner, and making the best of the season for my young children. I don’t qualify for disability allowance since my chronic condition is very rare and mostly unheard of, so I muddle through as best I can. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so very hard for us all this year. I am thankful that my family is healthy so far this year. It will be a small Christmas but I want everyone to stay safe and healthy so that is most important. With everything else and financial worries I know I’m not alone in this and I can only hope it improves for us all in the new year.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry you’re having such a crap time with your health. It defo is a year of cut backs I agree that its the thought that counts and to me creative gifts say so much more! I really hope things pick up for you x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have hopes that my health with get some sort of balance in the new year whenever I get treatment. So that is something to look forward to for sure.

      Yeah, anything we can cut back on this year, it is definitely the year for it. I’m getting creative with all the things I am cutting out and trimming down for our tight budget.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry you are having a tough time, it’s especially worrying when you have financial problems. It’s nice that you have your brother and sister-in-law to help out though. I hope that things work out for you and you manage to enjoy the holiday season without stressing too much about the future. Things have a way of working out and hopefully we’ll all be rid of this dark shadow of COVID hanging over us. x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A great post, Nikki, I am sorry you are going through such a hard time, especially financially. It is good that your brother and sister in law were able to move in and help out. I agree Christmas is the best holiday in the worst season (although if we actually got snow I would enjoy that, even if only through the window!). We have a restricted gift-giving budget this year too and I will be making many of my gifts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Snow is beautiful… from afar, definitelu from inside. lol But it is the part I do not like for sure. Still it is my favourite holiday even if it will be pretty strange this year. I will miss my mom.

      Like

  6. Finally there is a very effective vaccine, doctor said it will be available in a couple of months, and I can’t wait to get it. I do believe next year is going to be a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello for the last time this year, Nikki! This year has been such a challenging and shit one for you and so many, turning life completely upside down. I hope you and your family had a good Christmas despite the restrictions and hope that 2021 is a brighter and happier year for you. All the best, Rhiann

    Liked by 1 person

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