The holiday season is a time of joy as many reunite with family members and experience the comfort of old traditions. However, it can also be stressful! From hosting events to shopping for presents, this season can be overwhelming. For those dealing with a cancer diagnosis or with post-treatment recovery, the stress may be even greater. Here are some tips on how to enjoy the holiday season while taking care of yourself:
Make time for yourself. Yes, the holidays are about spending time with family and friends, but make sure to allot some time for you as well. Don’t hesitate to take an extra nap during the day, go to bed early or make time for exercise. By respecting your needs, you will have more energy for activities with friends and family, and it may help alleviate some stress.
Watch what you eat. If you need to maintain a certain diet, try to keep “cheating” to a minimum. Include healthy recipes on your holiday menu, and bring along a dish or two to parties. By ensuring that healthy options are available at the table, you will be less tempted to stray.
Be honest with your loved ones. Your friends and family are there to support you. Don’t be afraid to let them know what you need. The more open you are about how you feel, the less uncomfortable interactions will be.
Use your resources. For more information on healthy living, visit our Living Healthy with Cancer page.
If you are a family member or a friend, there are things you can do to help:
Change traditions. Make changes to your holiday traditions so that your loved one can be included. For example, make plans that require less travel, or offer to help host the traditional holiday party.
Help inform other family members and friends. If you are planning to attend a family gathering during the holiday season, it can be helpful to inform your family and friends of any changes in appearance of your loved one, any special accomodations they might need, or of any new developments in their situation.
Be kind to yourself. Supporting someone with cancer can be overwhelming. Don’t forget to recognize that you are doing your best. Remember to take care of yourself and let others help you too.
Use your resources. You are not alone in this process. If you would like more information on caregiving, don’t hesitate to visit our Caregiving page.