The holidays may seem like the worst time to be sick. Or have chronic illness like cancer, it’s always on your mind. Holiday traditions lose their shine when you’re worried about your healthcare needs or those of someone you love.
For patients with cancer, use these tips to help lift your holiday spirits and continue your healing progress. It’s important to cope with stress in a healthy way. It will help you and the people you care about. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings. Reach out to a healthcare professional if you are struggling with managing holiday stress.
Tips for Lifting Your Spirits
Take Care of Yourself: Make time for exercise, sleep and eat balanced meals. Take a warm bath and take naps if you need them. These are a healthy way to release tension and reduce levels of cortisol that can be detrimental in cancer.
Don’t be Afraid to Express Your Feelings: Whether of joy, fear, sadness or pain, feel and express your feelings, let yourself cry and laugh.
Ask for Support: Do not be afraid to ask for help if you need it to safely help with shopping, gift wrapping and decorating.
Holiday Cooking and baking may be one of your favorite things to do. But it can be overwhelming if you try to do too much. Make a cooking schedule and preparation plan. And ask for help anytime you feel you need it. Large meal preparations should be done as a team.
Holiday Events: For many of us, this can be overwhelming, Make plans on how you want to spend your time and with whom you'd like to spend time. Avoid situations or events that have an opportunity to bring more stress to your life.
Do Not Fear Saying No: People will understand if you can't attend or do certain activities. You don’t want to have a health-related setback during the time you are healing. You don't have to do everything.
Don't Overindulge in Food or Alcohol: Because of the sugar content, it's best not to drink alcohol when you have cancer. In addition, alcohol is a depressant so it can cause feelings to come out that might be distorted. Overindulgence of food and drink can hinder your cancer healing progress.
Avoid Overspending: Try to avoid spending too much money over, and because of, the holidays—can lead to stress. The holidays are a wonderful time to give gifts to the ones we care about love. Decide how much money you can afford to spend on gifts and stick to your budget. And look for the many after-Christmas sales. After-Christmas shopping can be just as much fun as opening gifts on Christmas morning, many discounts will be available.