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Coping with Cancer During the Holidays

In general, people view the holidays as a time to celebrate, rejoice, and renew connections with family and friends. However, the season can be a stressful time if you are coping with cancer and you may have many complex feelings, both sad and happy.

It’s important to embrace the joy and happiness of the holidays – enjoying favourite meals, giving and receiving gifts, reuniting with family and friends, and celebrating religious traditions.

People with cancer and their loved ones can sometimes feel out of step from the rest of the world. Sharing your feelings with the people you love and who love you can help you feel more connected.

Here are some tips for coping with cancer during the holidays:

  • Plan to get together with friends, family or co-workers over the holidays. Trying to celebrate alone can be very difficult, so accept some invitations from others.
  • Find the right balance between celebrating with family and friends and spending the time you may need on your own.
  • Give yourself permission to pace your activities and to decline an invitation or two so that you have the energy to enjoy the gatherings that are most important to you.
  • Create a new holiday season tradition that makes the most of your energy. Change your usual holiday activities so you relieve yourself of some of the pressures of entertaining. Have a bring and share meal with family members and have someone else host the meal or suggest eating out at a favourite restaurant.
  • Be an innovative shopper. Use direct selling catalogues or try online shopping this year. You can also make a gift of sharing your thoughts and feelings. Write a short note or make a phone call to let others know that you are thinking about them.
  • Express your feelings in ways that help you receive the support of the important people in your life. Tears can bring a sense of relief. Laughter can be relaxing. Sharing can be comforting. It is common to experience a mixture of anticipation, excitement and apprehension about the future, talk about your feelings with a loved one, friend or professional counsellor.

Source: Cancer Care

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