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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The holiday season has officially begun! With the holidays comes the tradition of giving back.

Many people believe that giving back during this time of year is unique to this particular season. However, this is not the case–giving back is something you can do year-round.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

There is a certain psychology behind why people give back and volunteer. Here are some reasons why people choose to give back:

  • Understanding – wanting to learn new things and obtain new knowledge
  • Enhancing esteem – feeling better about yourself
  • Personal development – acquiring new skills, and testing your own capabilities
  • Sense of community – striving to make the world a better place
  • Humanitarian values – wanting to serve and help others

Celebrating the holidays can be difficult for people who have experienced a major change in their life, such as cancer. During this time families may either want to do too much and wear themselves out, or they may decide to simply skip the holidays altogether. It’s important to remember that traditions may change as situations change, and there can be a healthy balance of celebration and taking the time you need for yourself. It can be helpful to accommodate the circumstances by keeping things simple. Maybe scale back on some holiday activities, and stick to tasks that involve little to no stress.

The holidays can also sometimes intensify feelings of loneliness, isolation and sadness, even when surrounded by family. Remembering the true meaning of the holidays and being sure to express any emotions you may be feeling is important.

Below is a list of tips to help patients, family and friends affected by cancer:

  • Express your needs
  • Set realistic expectations
  • Be gentle with yourself
  • Create new traditions and rituals
  • Keep activities non-strenuous and simple
  • Seek support

Caregivers can also help their loved ones by:

  • Reminding them that you care
  • Giving them space if they need it
  • Offering to help

There are many ways to get involved, make a difference and serve others. You can donate to an organization or volunteer where needed. On Giving Tuesday–which follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday–any donation made to the Cancer Support Community will be matched dollar-for-dollar by an anonymous donor, up to the first $15,000. We certainly hope you’ll save the date (Dec. 2) and help us spread the word!

If you are unable to make a donation, there are other ways to give. If you are interested in getting involved and volunteering for your local Cancer Support Community, take a look at our affiliate locations.

Also, if you have ever had a cancer diagnosis, you can also give back by joining our Cancer Experience Registry and sharing your journey.

If you have questions or would like more information, you can also call CSC’s toll free Cancer Support Helpline at 1-888-793-9355 to speak with a call counselor.

From the CSC family to yours–have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and happy holidays to all!

Category: Cancer Support
Tags: Giving