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2018 December Prompts: De-Stressing, Savouring, Simplifying, Resting & Finalising

December 2018 Prompts: De-Stressing, Savouring, Simplifying, Resting & Finalising | A Chronic Voice

CLICK HERE to submit your own entry, and to read about what others are up to as well!


As most people’s social calendars ramp up in intensity this month, mine is ironically slowing down. My partner’s dad was with us for most of November, so I’ve had my fill of quality ‘family time’. As he was here for a holiday, we pretty much ‘celebrated’ for a few weeks with all the nice dinners, chats over sweets and alcohol (them, mostly!), and my routine was out of whack. But all for good reason!

Thus, December will be a time for me to unwind and de-stress, to slow down, and to be more mindful with my living habits. It will be a time for me to meet up with my small group of friends and family, people whom I don’t feel any pressure hanging out with at all. Even though I don’t enjoy cooking so much, it will be a time to make some cosy meals, and enjoy the nourishment they provide.

I hope to draw the year to a gradual close, like a long exhalation expelling stale air. At the same time, I’d like to begin preparations to usher in new beginnings once again. Nothing fancy, more of a simple flow down the river of life, but with tiny adjustments to my little boat.


One thing I like about the holiday season is the fantastic excuse to let myself go, to a certain extent. Of course too much of a good thing isn’t good anymore, but it’s nice that all I have to say is, ‘it’s the holidays!’ to negate some judgment or criticism.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to revel in the magic of white Christmases here. It’s more like a soggy Christmas with the torrential rain, and filling your lungs up with humid air. But I love how bright, happy and festive everything looks out and about, and even online. I’m savouring the joyful vibes, delicious food, and cosy moments spent with loved ones that just seems more prevalent during this season of love and light.


Ever since I stopped working in an office and going to church, my interaction with other human beings have reduced drastically. In some way, my life has become much less ‘complicated’ than it used to be. I no longer have to force myself to go for ‘important’ functions, or come up with excuses to avoid or leave a gathering early, especially when I’m feeling unwell.

There are pros and cons to this simplification. For one, I never in my life could have imagined that I’d actually crave some contact, after a few years of being mostly alone! It seems like we’re all social creatures at the end of the day, although the amount of interaction needed may vary.

This isolation and loneliness can feel especially stark for me on Friday nights, even though I no longer follow a nine to five schedule. I imagine all the people celebrating the end of a work week, and having fun with their friends. This is a psychological thing for sure, because even when I was working, I never did enjoy crazy party nights!


Whilst I don’t have many events to attend that require pacing, I do need to re-adjust my sleep schedule. It’s been all over the place and not in the least bit healthy. My body needs not only the down time, but also the right hours, in order to repair and heal.

I have this weird thing where I get anxious going to bed early, because I feel as if I could be using that time to ‘do stuff’. Ridiculous, I know. I’ve even researched and written articles on the importance of sleep, and how our bodies are working really hard, but knowing this at a logical level still doesn’t help.

This will be a neverending life quest for me; my mother isn’t a good sleeper herself, having grown up in a large family with nine siblings. Her parents also owned a restaurant, and the children were expected to help out at odd hours. But yes, without quality sleep I will never heal, nor will my body or I be running at peak performance. So try hard I must. Do any of you have brain tricks to help with this?


Thinking about it, December and January are just months that come in succession. I may wish to make conclusive decisions on certain things, but in reality many issues will keep hanging in the air, whether by choice or not. My health status is forever in limbo, so any plans to have kids have been drifting along ever since I was a teenager. (Not that I wanted them then, but it has always been on my mind.) I’ll soon be 33, and this issue is starting to get a little more real.

Regardless, there are some things that I can finalise such as blogging and other life goals. I might not have the means to achieve some of them yet, but what I can do is to say to myself firmly that ‘yes, this is something I want to attempt in my life’, and begin putting one foot in front of the other towards that direction. Over time, that journey would have already begun, and quite organically to boot.

My mother lives a ‘take it one day at a time’ philosophy, and based on what I’ve observed of her of late, she does seem so much happier and lighter. It’s probably a good one because what other day can you really live in? Things will always work out in the end she says, and I too, cling onto that hope now.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to read your responses for December’s prompts too! Click here to submit your own entry, and to read about what others are up to as well!

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December Prompts: How will you be taking care of yourself this holiday season, while living with chronic illness? I will ironically be slowing down. Click to read or pin to save and share. /////////// Chronic Illness / Spoonies / Home & Living / Christmas / Holiday Season / December Writing Prompts / Linkup Party / Mental Health / Self-Care & Awareness / Community #ChronicIllness #SelfCare #WritingPrompts #HolidaySeason #spoonie

December Prompts: How will you be taking care of yourself this holiday season, while living with chronic illness? I will ironically be slowing down. Click to read or pin to save and share. /////////// Chronic Illness / Spoonies / Home & Living / Christmas / Holiday Season / December Writing Prompts / Linkup Party / Mental Health / Self-Care & Awareness / Community #ChronicIllness #SelfCare #WritingPrompts #HolidaySeason #spoonie

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Jumpstart Positivity
Jumpstart Positivity
December 31, 2018 01:01

Thank you so much for another great linkup! Sometimes we look at all of the great content that you produce and we find ourselves in comparison mode wondering how the heck you get #allthethings done. But it’s nice to see you’re human because we’re all human, too! We each have our own journey. It’s about connection, not competition. And we couldn’t ask for a better space for connection than A Chronic Voice 🙂

Sheryl Chan
December 31, 2018 13:48

Hello! Yes I think as humans we can’t help but wonder and compare. I too compare myself, actually. I don’t know how those with chronic illness can hold down a full (or even part time) job and still be so prolific with their blogs! Now that’s impressive 🙂 Thank you for your support as always!

December 20, 2018 02:30

I’m looking forward to your posts in 2019. Happy holidays Sheryl! Xxx

Sheryl Chan
December 20, 2018 11:35
Reply to  Kirsten

Thanks Kirsten! I’m looking forward to yours as well 🙂 Happy holidays! xxx

December 18, 2018 02:35

Thanks for the great prompts, Sheryl! I hope you have a lovely Christmas!!

Sheryl Chan
December 18, 2018 11:38
Reply to  Kathy

You’re welcome, glad you liked them. Have a Merry Christmas too Kathy! x

December 8, 2018 18:22

Love these prompts, and great ones to use to discuss the most wonderful time of the year! Thought-Provoking prompts that allowed me to reminisce about what Christmas means as someone living with a chronic illness, and how changes are needed to be able to enjoy and participate in the festivities.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and hope it is a special one for you and your loved one, and all the best for the rest of the year and for 2019!

Sheryl Chan
December 9, 2018 12:03
Reply to  Rhiann

Thanks Rhiann, I hope the prompts weren’t too tough for the month (or any other month…I tend to make things a little too complicated at times, heh). Hopefully it helps us all to pace a little better this season, though! Sending you good thoughts and a Merry Christmas too!

December 6, 2018 02:33

I understand about the sleep cycle. When I am not working my gets really warped. But with the vertigo I am tired early and get up early which is… weird for me. Since I have had crazy insomnia since I was a kid

Sheryl Chan
December 6, 2018 10:20
Reply to  Nikki

Hi Nikki, yes it’s a tough one for some of us 😉 Haha even when I was working it was also warped. I guess it really is a matter of discipline and retraining the brain. Like many other things as well, all it takes is one day to break the loop, too!

December 5, 2018 00:24

Love these prompts! I love the holidays,but they can also be stressful at times. I, too, have fewer obligations than in the past because of simplifying my life, but I also miss the connectedness at times. I also love the thought that December and January are just months in succession. I’m always up for re-evaluating goals, planning out ideas, etc, but sometimes there seems so much pressure to make these drastic changes between Dec 31 and Jan 1, and for many of us (probably most of us, realistically), that’s just not feasible. So I love the idea as using it as a marker, but maybe not putting quite so much pressure on ourselves for instant and dramatic change.

Sheryl Chan
December 5, 2018 15:21
Reply to  Maya

Hi Maya! Yes the amount of stress (whether self-inflicted or out of obligation) can really get out of control in Dec! But there are many steps we can take to help ourselves out a little, too! It’s good that you are always re-evaluating goals, etc…I think it’s a good habit to have 🙂 And yea, I mean, different cultures follow different calendars even, so nothing to stress over really 😉 Sending hugs!

Rachna Parmar
December 4, 2018 20:07

That made for a good read. Holidays can be stressful for few. I hardly get any these days. With a teen and a tween, it’s a lot of work. I am hoping that we can catch maybe a weekend getaway somewhere. I work from home so at least there is no stress of commute. Wishing you happy holidays!

Sheryl Chan
December 4, 2018 20:20
Reply to  Rachna Parmar

Thanks for reading, Rachna! Yes that sounds hectic too – a teen AND tween 😉 I hope that you can also catch a getaway and get some time to relax and unwind. Wishing you happy holidays, too!

Susie Lindau
December 3, 2018 22:52

Fantastic! A great way to roll into the holidays.

Sheryl Chan
December 4, 2018 11:00
Reply to  Susie Lindau

Thanks Susie! Let’s roll in at a nice cruise speed eh 😉

Jen @ The Frozen Mind
Jen @ The Frozen Mind
December 3, 2018 19:45

These were perfect prompts for the holiday season! Thank you so much for doing this link up!

Sheryl Chan
December 3, 2018 20:29

Phew! And here I was worried that they were not appropriate enough! Thanks Jen!

December 2, 2018 20:04

Hi Sheryl! Another fab linkup with very thought provoking writing prompts.
Liking that you’re de-stressing and things are slowing down for you in December. This month can get to be more stressful than is necessary and to be able to slow the pace a little and take things as they come is a great thing to do if possible.
Though the feeling of isolation can weirdly be a not so fab side effect of slowing down. I completely related to what you said about how you’ve been simplifying your life, but the con to that is being a bit isolated. Like you, leaving work was essential for health, but on the flip side, you miss the socialisation that came with work and even the parties you never really wanted to go to anyway!
I’m quite busy (for once) next week with a lot of socialising and a side of hospital appointments. Honestly not sure if I’m going to be able to do everything and I’m getting a bit anxious. But I’ll take it as it comes.
Anyway, have a fab December and happy holidays ?
Kate xx

Sheryl Chan
December 2, 2018 21:00
Reply to  Kate

Hi Kate, thanks for dropping by and reading 😀 Haha I hope thought provoking in a good way, and not too complicated! 😉

Not sure I still like any kind of office type parties, or parties where you’re obliged to attend, but I definitely miss some form of human interaction! 😉

I hope that the business will end on a good note! Sometimes it’s nice to be busy (but not too much!) 😉 Take care of yourself this season and hope to read your reflections too, but only if you have time and want to! x

Carrie Kellenberger
December 2, 2018 14:55

Hi Sheryl! Today was dedicated to you! First of all, thank you so much for a terrific year of link ups and prompts. I am looking forward to participating more regularly in 2019.

I’m also slowing down and starting to take it easy. This is usually a time of year when everything speeds up, but I’ve learned rest is best, especially over the holiday season. I’m so happy to hear that you got your celebrations in and can look forward to a nice and easy entry (hopefully) to 2019. Fingers crossed that your health stays on track and you don’t have any mishaps for the remainder of this year.

Like you, my Friday and Saturday nights are very isolating and hard to get through. My husband usually goes out. I try to fill my time with reading or other things to avoid looking at all the fun that everyone else is having on the weekend. It’s really hard to stay positive when you’re stuck at home weekend after weekend. I’m not a big partier, but I used to enjoy going out for an afternoon over the weekend or meet with my friends for brunch. I haven’t done that all year.

It’s also interesting that you mention sleep because that has been on my mind for a while now. My sleep patterns are so messed up. I’m really working hard to get to a better sleep schedule and perhaps even achieve unmedicated sleep – something that I haven’t been able to do in well over six years.

Wishing you all the best for 2019.

2018 brought me a new friend. I’m very grateful to have met you!

Sheryl Chan
December 3, 2018 18:17

Hi Carrie, thanks for the comment, apologies it took me a while to reply. Been fairly busy and also unwell here and there…hope you’re doing okay!

I’m glad someone gets the Friday/Saturday night thing! It’s weird cos I’m not even a party, social creature 🙂 And I guess when you’re working you just want to go home and rest, the irony.

And I’m sorry to hear you have problems with painsomnia 🙁 I hope you manage to get a little better in 2019 and that it will help with all aspects of your life. Looking forward to reading more of your writing in 2019!

P.s. I have that picture I keep forgetting to send you. Will do so soon. It’s not you, you look fab! I look awful is all. Haha! l;)