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Managing Breast Cancer During The Holidays

Managing Breast Cancer During The Holidays

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While the holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends, the season can quickly go from joyful to stressful for women and men with breast cancer. Whether trying to juggle holiday responsibilities or struggling with social expectations when feeling anything but festive, you and your loved ones can find this time of year challenging and end up feeling overwhelmed, disconnected or depressed.

Confronting a serious illness or a change in health, even if things are going well, can change a person’s perspectives, priorities and energy level. Sometimes people just need a little more quiet thinking time. Other times, they need a little more companionship or closeness with those important to them. Whenever you go through truly challenging situations, even when things are looking up, you may experience losses along the way that can lead to a need to grieve. It is normal and healthy to grieve losses throughout life, and it is natural to feel disappointed and frustrated with unexpected turns and journeys.

Three key words to remember for both people diagnosed with cancer and their family/significant others are acceptance, communication, and flexibility. If you or someone close to you is going through or recently completed treatment, consider these tips for helping through the holidays.

For People with Cancer:

Accept where you are. If you are feeling tired, more introspective and less social than usual but don’t believe you are depressed, know those feelings are OK. There is a tendency for people to have expectations of themselves and others when going through something challenging. They think they should be behaving and feeling a certain way and when they aren’t meeting those expectations, it is yet another source of stress.  Try to let go of expectations.  Allow yourself to be where you are emotionally and physically.

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