7 Ways To Navigate The Holidays With Cancer

Caregiver & Patient Support

December 1, 2017

The holidays will be here before we know it, and you may not be feeling in the Christmas spirit like you usually do this time of year. You may be feeling apprehensive about all of the hustle and bustle. That’s normal when you have cancer. Things may not be perfect this year, but they can still be merry and bright!

If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, less than enthusiastic, disconnected, sad or even angry, cut yourself a little slack. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the holidays:

Express your feelings – Remember that whatever you are feeling is okay, and it’s healthy to tell your friends and family. Communication will relieve many of your burdens and also ease some of the apprehension that your loved ones may be feeling as well. Be honest.

Have realistic expectations – Prepare yourself before the holidays. This Christmas may or may not feel different. Whatever you may be feeling physically or emotionally, don’t push yourself to do it all. Only do what you feel like doing, and reserve judgment about how much you should be able to do.

Make choices – If you can’t bring yourself to send out Christmas cards this year, people will understand. Feel free to let go of things that are too stressful or overwhelming. Allow yourself to make choices and prioritize.

Count your blessings – When you are feeling down, focus on the joy of the season. You have spent enough time thinking about cancer; why not let the season be a distraction from those thoughts? Look for people and things to be thankful for to maintain your positive spirit.

Say yes – If a friend or family member offers to help, say yes! If someone wants to bring a meal or shovel your driveway, say yes! ‘Tis the season of giving, and by saying yes, you are giving the opportunity to both bless and be blessed.

Embrace online shopping – Make shopping as easy on yourself as possible. You may not have the energy to fight the holiday crowds at the mall or trek around to your favorite local stores. Save yourself some time and shop online.

Remember the meaning of the holidays – Enjoy viewing Christmas through fresh eyes and with your new perspective on life. You may find yourself noticing and appreciating things you previously took for granted. Celebrate those revelations!

The holidays can be stressful for anyone. Keeping your expectations realistic and your focus on the joy and wonder of the season can help you make the most of the season.