The Spoonie Guide to Xmas…

Christmas is joyous and lovely and incredibly hard for the chronically ill. On top of keeping up with every day life there are a million other tasks to contend with. Not only is there shopping, wrapping & cooking, but there are a multitude of festive social events. Oh & the expectation that we’ll all be merry and bright.

When you’re chronically ill you don’t get time off for Christmas. Keeping up with seasonal demands when you’re in pain & exhausted can be impossible. Here’s my spoonie guide to surviving Xmas. Plus a little advice for friends of family of the chronically ill.

Make a list, check it twice.

The only way I can keep track of what needs to be done is making a tonne of lists. Lists help combat so many issues. If you’re dealing with brain fog, anxiety, impaired cognitive function, fatigue and so on, lists are life savers. I usually break things down into categories and try to assign a time scale to each list. The trick is to be realistic about how much you can do each day and not freak out if you don’t complete your list. Simply roll over outstanding items. Accept that some times you will have to make cuts. You can’t do everything. The world will not end if you don’t post the Xmas cards this year.

Start early & manage expectations.

I always start Xmas prep super early. The longer you have to get organised the more you can spread the work load. Getting a jump on the shopping also really helps if you have a tight budget. It is much easier to find smaller amounts of energy & money.

Be honest with yourself and others about what you can manage. If you have to trim the gift list or swap a meet up for a phone, do so. I believe Christmas is about embracing the ones we love. Try to work out in advance which parties/get togethers you comfortably manage and communicate that. Float the idea of secret Santa style gift giving rather than buying everyone in your group an individual present. Expensive presents don’t matter. An enjoyable phone call or grabbing a quick coffee is much nicer than forcing yourself to suffer through social engagements that cause you distress.

If you have to cancel, make your apologies, but be firm. You didn’t choose to be ill. You are not intentionally disappointing. Remind yourself of this and try your hardest not to feel guilty.

The internet is your friend.

I do the majority of my Xmas shopping online. It is much less stressful and physically taxing to order from the sofa. The shops are crazy at this time of year. Not to mention the weather is awful. Stay warm & rested and get your festive haul delivered. This goes for food too. You can order in advance and have the Christmas groceries delivered as and when you need them.

Allow yourself to enjoy what works for you.

Christmas comes with a variety of traditions. Everyone has their own variations and seasonal essentials. It’s lovely to uphold family traditions, but only if they work for you. This is your life and your Christmas, you are entitled to enjoy the festivities. If something will negatively impact your health, don’t do it. There is no joy in activities that hurt you.

Establish your own Christmas customs. Whether that is embracing existing rituals or just making up them up from scratch. Deck the halls, wear an ugly jumper, stick cinnamon on everything or don’t. Suit yourself. Celebrate in style, but make it your style.

Don’t be a dick.

This is for the loved ones. If someone in your life is dealing with chronic illness, be kind. We know we disappoint sometimes. We get that we’re not the easiest to accommodate, but please be patient. Cut us a little slack. As inconvenient as our symptoms can be for others, trust me dealing with them every single minute of our lives is harder.

I’d call that a bargain…

On Wednesday I was passing Primark & nipped in for a glass nail file. I’m sure you can all guess what happened next. Thus, I bring to you my mini haul. 

I did head straight to the cosmetics section fully intending to buy the nail file & leave. Unfortunately I spotted some pretty shinies & my will power wavered. These metallic stickers jumped right into my basket. Apparently they’re for your face, but I suspect mine will end up on my nails or a notebook or a phone case or who cares, they’re pretty! 

In keeping with the coppery theme , I lurched towards this beauty. 


For the uninformed it’s correct name is a comedone extracter. In simple terms it pops out blackheads. Gross, but also, essential. 

My magpie eye then lured towards this concealer/brightener. I’m usually a touché eclait girl, but have just run out & need a stop gap until my bank account has recovered from Christmas. I’ve read surprisingly good reviews about this & as it costs £3 I have nothing to lose. At worst I’m going to look less flawless for a week or two. I can deal. 

Having grabbed some beauty bargains I was again to determined to go immediately to the till, but the placement of super soft basics foiled me again. So, multiple bright leggings & cute jumper later I’ve given into Primark’s cheap seduction. 


This time the sports wear has caught my eye. Don’t laugh, it’s the crop top/sports bra type things that appeal. I’ve actually been hunting for a style that offers both comfort & support for a while. Many expensive brands have come up wanting; it’s down to the fast fashion queen to save the day. These £4 offerings are perfect. Hold the girls up & feel lovely. Just right for my more painful days. Bonus is the bright colours. I bought a bundle. 

Feeling rather pleased with myself I joined the check out queue before the heat in there killed me (seriously, why so hot?). Of course it is impossible to get to the actual till without impulse buying face wipes, screen wipes, hair bobbles & glittery nail polish. Primark, you’re sneaky & you know it. 

I go a walking…

My body has been up to mischief again this week. My kidneys decided that what I really needed was another infection. So, it was more hospital antics & anti biotics for me. 

Somewhere around the 2nd kidney infection I discovered that pacing was by far the most comfortable stance. Having thoroughly scunnered myself with traipsing up & down my hall I thought perhaps I should take my restless body outside. My trusty sister & Seb came to the rescue with a slow walk around the park. 

  

Spring is putting on a fine show & getting out was a good call. Seb had a rare time sniffing, whilst Lauren & I talked about the mens. 

  

I was aiming for heavy on comfort, easy on frump outfit wise. With that in mind I teamed my favourite flowing maxi with waist cinching belt. I also turned to some red lippy to further perk me up. I don’t know why it helps when I feel dreadful, but it sometimes does. 

  
  
Dress – Primark

Belt – AsosCurve

  
  
  
Lippy -Barry M

Bobby sox to Stockings….

I had high hopes for Saturday. My darling sister & I planned to visit the costume exhibit at Kelvingrove. As it’s so beautiful there we of course scheduled a blog shoot. 

The pouring rain was our first impediment. Rain, especially when accompanied by roaring wind, is no friend to just styled hair. What really scuppered our plans was the discovery that the exhibit closed a week ago. Unfortunately these inconvienances rendered us both grumpy & squabbles ensued. 

We pulled ourselves together & ended up getting some good shots. A rainy Saturday in Kelvingrove was too crazy for us, so we repaired to an Italian for lunch & then headed to the cinema. All was well. 

  
As you know, I like to experiment with retro pieces. I love the print & shape of this skirt. It’s just on the right side of mumsy. Pairing it with a simple vest kicks it up a gear. While topping the look with a flower crown adds just a touch of whimsy. 

  
  
Skirt – Lindy Bop

Vest – Primark

Flower Crown – Etsy 

Choose DIY…

Last year I discovered that I rather enjoy festooning my hair with flowers. Be it fresh blooms or elaborate flower crowns. However, I have been struggling to find a new adornment that matches the creation I have in my mind. Since I really wanted my imagined accessory I had no option but to take matters into my own hands.

  
I am not an incredibly crafty person. I lack precision & patience. It seems, though, that flower crowns may be my forte. Armed with artificial flowers, a satin hairband & big tube of superglue I embarked on a diy adventure. 

  
Half way.

I enjoyed my creative session & was even more pleased with the finished result. So much so that I am already dreaming up my next crowning glory. 

  

 

Mistletoe & wine….

Things are a tiny bit hectic at the moment. Honestly, it’s been one of those years. Anyway I find myself with two large house guests & no time for interesting outings or outfits. So, here is my obligatory Christmas jumper post. I wore this on a visit to my Dad’s on Xmas eve. I’m rather sad I’ll have to wait a year to get it out again. 

  
  
Jumper – Dorothy Perkins

Skirt – Forever21

Boots – Gift

I wanted a nice festive pic with my dear old Dad, but in classic ly style I have my eyes shut in every one. Dad looks good, though.

  

Oh & if you were wondering about those visitors, they snore, but they’re very cute.

   
 

It’s coming on Christmas….

I’m beginning to feel quite festive. Being the superwoman that I am, I finished buying gifts weeks ago. So, now it’s time to turn my attention on myself. Beware, I’m about to get all wanty.

When buying presents this year I wanted to select really personal items & I think I’ve done well. I thought I’d use the same theory on my self & sought out some quirky trinkets. 

  
Klimt bangle – TimeMachineJewelry (Etsy)

Scarf – River Island

Gimme Brow – Benefit

  
Sampler – YesStitchYes (Etsy)

Jumper – Dorothy Perkins

Number 11 by Jonathon Coe

Intergalactic Bath Bomb – Lush
  
Pendant – HomeStudio (Etsy)

Clutch – Forever21

Notebook – JournalLandCompany (Etsy)

Flower Crown – Asos
  
Candle – The Skye Candle Company

They’re Real – Benefit

Trapper Hat – Forever21

Chocolates – Not on the high street.
I’ve gone for a number of things inspired by creatives who make my heart sing. Flung in some winter warmers with a little glamour. Added a pinch of operation pretty tools & garnished with something to make me chuckle. 

What will you be asking Santa for?