HCA Midwest Health - December 04, 2023

Let’s be real, holidays can be wonderful… or really difficult. Sometimes they are both at the same time. After a cancer diagnosis and treatment, family gatherings and holiday events can be even more challenging. Your may need a little extra support during this time of the year. Here are some quick tips to help manage the holiday stress:

Watch the expectations.

The perfect holiday with the loving family enjoying a delicious meal and meaningful conversation is a great image, but not reality for most of us. Consider what is realistic for you this year.

Ride out the emotions.

Holiday traditions and rituals can trigger some strong emotions. Recognize that emotions are temporary. Feel them, talk about them if you feel like it, and let them go. Take time for self-compassion.

Consider your own needs.

Give yourself permission to step away, take a nap, go for a walk, or read a book. Do what helps you cope.

Stay in the moment.

This can be a time when we are visited by grief, missing those we have lost. It can be a time of anticipatory grief if health and family relationships are in flux. Be present and connect with others.

Adjust the routine.

Family traditions are important but it is okay to make a change here and there. What things can be simplified? What tasks can be shared?

Embrace the memories.

Things don’t have to be perfect to be memorable. The turkey-stealing dog, burnt pies, or a toppled tree can create treasured stories for years to come. Share your remembrances of holidays past.

Share your thoughts.

Let your loved ones know what you need or what you want to avoid. Start conversations early. Focus on what is most important.

Learn more about the HCA Midwest Health cancer survivorship program by calling 913.982.7577 or email us.