The holidays are often viewed as a great time to celebrate with friends and family. Eating delicious food, exchanging gifts, and catching up with old friends are just a few of the most favorite activities of the holiday season. However, all of these holiday celebrations can feel much more challenging if you or one of your loved ones has cancer, as trying to enjoy the holidays is often difficult. Understanding ways to enjoy the holiday celebrations while still taking care of yourself is essential to your well-being.
Keeping a few things in mind can make it easier to manage holiday stress while dealing with the impact of cancer for yourself or a loved one.
Avoid Family Stress, Seek Family Support
Trying to enjoy the holidays on your own is often a challenge. Seeking family support is a great way to keep your stress levels to a minimum while helping you through this difficult time. Spending time with your family can often uplift your spirits and help you feel more connected. Of course, you may not get along well with every person in your family, as limiting your time around these individuals is a good idea to avoid family stress.
Create a New Tradition
Another way to manage holiday stress is to create a new tradition to avoid feeling overwhelmed. For example, instead of making a big dinner on your own, you can relieve yourself of these duties by having a potluck with family members. Letting other members of your family bring their favorite dish can make it much easier for you to enjoy the holidays without having to do all of the work, which is especially important if you are coping with cancer.
Stay in Touch with Your Feelings
The holiday season can often create a lot of additional stress and bring up a mixture of feelings. Permitting yourself to experience all of your emotions is essential in helping you process these feelings. Letting yourself laugh, cry, and feel a wide range of emotions is key to your well-being. Speaking with a therapist or reaching out to a close friend can help you manage holiday stress better.
Take Care of Yourself
Eating well-balanced meals isn’t always easy during the holiday season. While it’s great to enjoy delicious meals with your family, it’s a good idea to avoid overeating too much every day. Finding time to exercise doesn’t only benefit you physically, but it will also lift your emotions. Physical activity will also help you release tension and make it easier for you to enjoy the holidays.
Spending time shopping in various stores to get ready for the holidays can quickly feel tiresome. An easy way to avoid this holiday stress is to shop online. You can easily browse websites at your convenience and from the comfort of your own home. Making a shopping list in advance can further expedite this process. Saving time while shopping online is essential for anyone receiving cancer care, as dealing with a lack of energy is often a common side effect of treating many cancers.
Reach Out to Your Healthcare Team
Trying to manage your doctor appointments during the holiday season is often challenging. Reaching out to your healthcare team in advance can help you set up appointments that best match your schedule. Discussing these appointments ahead of time is always a good idea to help you maintain flexibility if you need to make any changes.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Break
The holiday season can often be stressful, even if you aren’t receiving cancer care. Understanding your body’s limits is essential in taking breaks to get much-needed rest to help you enjoy your holiday with your family. Taking breaks and getting plenty of rest is vital for managing holiday stress while also helping you maintain your energy. Asking for help with chores around the house is a good idea to avoid getting too weak and overextending yourself.
Coping with cancer isn’t easy, especially during the holiday season. Trying to plan for family events, cook meals, and attend doctor appointments are just a few of the many challenges for anyone receiving cancer care during the holidays. Avoiding family stress, taking frequent breaks, and taking care of your body are critical aspects of managing holiday stress.
Reaching out to your healthcare team for scheduling appointments in advance is also important in giving you plenty of flexibility. Shopping online instead of in-person and creating new traditions can save you a lot of time and hard work. Ultimately, making a few of these simple changes can play a key role in helping you to enjoy these holiday celebrations while you are coping with cancer.