Coping and Thriving During the Holidays

December 16, 2022

Receiving a cancer diagnosis evokes many thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Receiving a cancer diagnosis during the holidays adds an additional layer of emotion. Below you will find educational information that might provide you with support during the holiday season. Please make sure to discuss any strategies with your physician. 

1. Prioritizing your time and energy: When facing a cancer diagnosis, it is crucial to prioritize where you place your energy, time, and interactions. Start by making a list of those things you value most. When possible, the things that are at the top of that list should be the ones that you receive your energy and attention first. 

2. Keep traditions by adjusting expectations: One of the things that is crucial following a cancer diagnosis is a reevaluation of expectations. If you were a runner and are having trouble maintaining this routine, consider walking. If you are finding it difficult to leave your bed following surgery or treatment, set up a visitation routine in your bedroom or on the sofa. If you are finding it difficult to visit with others because you are overwhelmed, consider a visit with a smaller group. 

3. Practice self-care: Now is the time to place a crucial focus on your physical and emotional well-being. Taking naps when you are tired, practicing relaxation techniques, exercising as you are able, following your physician's advice, consider connecting with a support group or therapist, advocating for your needs, and providing space for others to provide support. 

4. Remaining in the present moment: Although difficult in practice, remaining in the present moment is a way to potentially reduce anxiety, increase focus on priorities, and bring forth a sense of gratitude. It is important not to become discouraged if you are unable to remain in the present moment consistently, but instead, gently bring yourself back. 

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