The most wonderful time of the year is not so wonderful when you and your family are struggling with hardship. A cancer diagnosis or cancer treatment during the holidays can make it especially difficult to find joy in celebration, but that does not mean it is impossible. There are steps you can take to, not forget about your cancer, but work with it so that you can find ways to enjoy the season, even if you may not be able to participate in the same events you used to, at least in the same way.
Coping With Cancer During The Holidays
Everyone deserves to have a joyful holiday season, especially when it has been difficult to find things to be joyful about. These tips can help you and your family keep the holiday spirit alive while still preserving your physical and emotional wellbeing.
- Shopping can be tiresome and frustrating. Do as much online shopping as possible and get creative. A shirt may not mean as much as a memory from childhood.
It’s perfectly fine to say “No” and you should. People will understand if you can’t do certain activities.
- Do things you enjoy, such as reading, playing board games with family, or even taking a nap, to lift your spirits when you’re not feeling at your best.
- Enlist support for organizing holiday gatherings, meal preparation, and cleanup. Don’t try to do everything yourself.
- Express your feelings and embrace the support of the important people in your life. Give yourself permission to feel and express your feelings. Let yourself laugh or cry.
- Don’t overindulge in alcohol. Because alcohol is a depressant, it can “bring out” or heighten bad feelings.
- Maintain healthy habits: Eat balanced meals, drink in moderation, get plenty of sleep, and try to make time for some physical activity, which is a good way to relieve stress.
- It’s all about preparation. Plan how you want to spend your time, with whom, and for how long. Create a list of the usual traditions and events and decide if you want to continue certain traditions or create new ones.
- Trying to celebrate alone can be very difficult. Make plans to get together with friends, family or co-workers over the holidays to balance the time you’ll spend alone.
It may seem like there isn’t much to celebrate, but there is always something to be grateful for and that is worth celebrating. You and your loved ones have developed new strengths with the day-to-day challenges of cancer. You have discovered a greater capacity for courage and love and that is worth embracing and building on during the holidays.