Looking cancer in the face every day can be challenging. Facing that challenge over the holiday season can be exceptionally difficult. One important thing to remember is to put one foot in front of the other and take one day at a time.
Below are some tips to help both patients and caregivers handle the additional challenges that the holidays can bring.
- Acknowledge your feelings. It is perfectly normal to go through an array of emotions during holidays and special occasions. You may feel joyful, sad, hopeful, worried, happy and angry, which are all to be expected. The important thing is to talk to someone about your feelings. Don’t hold everything in.
- Take time for yourself. The holiday season can cause fatigue for those not facing cancer. Take time to rest and relax. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to an event or task.
- Adjust your expectations. Realize that this holiday may be different than those you’ve had in the past. It might be time to start a new tradition.
- Talk to your health care team. If you are having difficulties with coping, talk to your doctors and nurses about your concerns. If you need to change an appointment date or time, ask your health care provider. Most can be flexible to accommodate a special occasion.
- Ask for help. If you’ve always been in charge of organizing your holiday celebration, ask someone else to take charge this year.
- Enjoy special moments. Though this holiday may not be the same as it’s always been, it can still be memorable. Stay flexible and be kind to yourself and your family.
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